Let’s Talk About Talent

By | 2 minute read | July 21, 2020

A few years ago, I spent considerable energy convincing customers to consider AI’s power in business. Now I dedicate most of my time helping clients scale their thinking and plans beyond initial projects. That means confronting challenges like talent skills and scarcity, dubious trust in AI, and data readiness.

Today, I want to focus on the problem around talent, which centers on two issues:

1) People often lack the tools to do their job.
2) People waste precious time doing mundane, repetitive work.

The saying “AI won’t replace managers, but managers who use AI will replace those who don’t” might
sound cliché. But I firmly believe it to be true. The best managers I know seek out opportunities for AI to differentiate their business and create well-thought-out talent plans that bridge skill and capacity gaps.

Here are five plays I see those managers pursue:

#5: Ain’t no “I” in team
Bad managers optimize talent management at the individual level. They do not consider team dynamics. The best managers recognize that AI is multi-disciplinary, think about team design and composition, and tap into communities in and outside of their organization.

#4: Build better plays
Think outside the box. Not only should managers consider how to leverage AI to make their employees
more effective, but they need to think about how they can build better relationships with universities to hire top talent. Good managers will build better hiring plays, and therefore attract and retain top talent.

#3: Call an audible
Sometimes, you just have to call an audible. Think about trick plays. In order to be successful, you
actually need to make AI boring. You need to make it invisible by embedding it within your workflows.
That way you’re taking advantage of AI, but, similar to electricity, e-mail, or the internet, it’s no longer being treated like a shiny new object. Instead, it’s an integrated and essential part of your everyday business. It’s boring.

#2: Who’s your lousy manager?
Generally, a talent problem is an issue is with management. People don’t suddenly get smarter or
stupider overnight. It’s usually misalignment, which has nothing to do with talent. The best managers
know alignment is essential to success, which brings me to…

#1: Align to an objective
A lack of alignment to a well-defined, well-understood objective will result in a failed AI project. You can have the hardest-working employee or team, but if you’re not aligned to an objective, it doesn’t matter. You won’t succeed because you aren’t working towards the same goal. The best managers align their team to an objective, let their teams disagree, and then ultimately commit.

Want to know more about how we are helping our clients bridge the talent gap? I encourage you to check
out our Data and AI Virtual Forum event series, which is completely dedicated to helping you overcome
your talent, trust, and data challenges.

Access the talent event on-demand here.
Register for the July 29th event here.
Register for the September 16th event on data here.

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