Artificial intelligence will change many things, and one of the biggest will be how we think about success.
A lot of the time, leaders break down success on a per-project, per-task, or quantitative basis. Suppose you’re trying to figure out whether a person, a team, or a business strategy is succeeding. In that case, you can ask how productive they are, how many customers they’ve interacted with, or how many units they’ve sold per dollar invested.
In an AI world, though, it isn’t enough to simply “do things faster” or “do things cheaper.” Algorithms will make speed and efficiency increasingly easy to come by — and that will mean leaders will need to rethink the elements of success. We’ll need qualitative measures as well as quantitative ones.
With the world spinning faster and faster, organizations will need people with different and more human skills, including the ability to adapt and to think quickly, creatively, and collaboratively. But such people are hard to find.
To create nurturing cultures capable of driving success in a fast-changing world, we need to start working on ourselves as leaders and retooling our definition of success to encompass tangible results and intangible values that pave the way for continuing growth and development.
Leading With Soul
As leaders, after all, we already know that AI has the potential to deliver transformative results for our businesses. We also know that it’s capable of delivering some pretty scary and challenging changes! Some experts even think AI could lead to the destruction of the world in which our businesses operate.
Companies that look to move faster and reap bigger profits will only pour fuel on the fire regarding AI’s risks. The companies that truly succeed will aim to become “organizations of souls” made up of people who care about one another and the world around them.
This isn’t a question of going soft, It’s a question of recognizing that in the long run, businesses only really succeed if the ecosystem they’re part of is thriving, too. In an AI world, we need to use new technologies to drive benefits not just for our bottom line but for everyone, from the consumer to the employee to society.
Elevate Your Knowledge Mindfulness
How can we rewire our organizations to be more sustainable, soulful, and connected to the ecosystem around them? It starts with elevating our knowledge maturity to elevate our leadership style.
The more we integrate our knowledge—looking inward to our instincts and values and outward to the world around us—the more we’ll find that interconnected perspectives and holistic values ripple across our organizations.
Importantly, too, the more our knowledge mindfulness leads us to strive for intangible fulfillment in addition to tangible dollars-and-cents impact in our own lives, the more we’ll inspire our teams to do the same—and to seek a purpose higher than themselves as they go about their jobs.
This kind of leadership will be increasingly important as AI becomes commonplace in our organizations. Decisions must be made faster than ever, and their consequences will reach further. That means a culture of knowledge mindfulness—one capable of developing the knowledge maturity of all knowledge workers—has to become everyone’s responsibility.
The reality is that there’s no longer any room for complacency or mediocrity in our fast-changing world. We need organizations where everyone learns to evolve their knowledge maturity to be creative, communicative, quick to adapt, open-minded, and committed to positively impacting the world around them.
Only if we lead with knowledge and mindfulness, anchor our organizations in our shared ethical values and common humanity, and work to drive value for everyone can we truly succeed in an AI-powered world.