The C-Suite and AI

For any AI project you implement, you will need the involvement of a lot of people. Of all the people involved, those in your company’s c-suite (the CEO, CFO, and COO) are likely to be those that are the least hands-on. They will probably also have minimal knowledge of the technical aspects of AI and machine-learning technologies.

However, buy-in from those in your company’s c-suite is crucial for AI project success. This is where the company’s culture and other factors can play a key role. In this article, we delve deeper.

Senior Executives Offer Leadership

The direction of a company is determined by those in the c-suite. If senior executives are fully bought into a strategy, that buy-in will filter down through each layer of management and to every person in the company.

Those in the c-suite can issue instructions, put parameters in place, assign responsibilities, and set targets. All these things are important, and they are essential for making progress and getting things done.

C-suite buy-in isn’t just about actions and instructions, though. It is also about attitudes, motivation and priorities. The more you can get your senior executives excited about AI and committed to it as part of the company’s strategy, the more support and engagement you will get from others in the business.

Senior Executive Communication Throughout the Company is Crucial

When approached incorrectly, change can cause a lot of disquiet in a company, with the rumour mill going into overdrive and people feeling fearful, unsure and unmotivated.

AI will bring change to your organisation, so it is important that the company manages this change properly. Those in the c-suite are crucial to this change-management process, particularly when it comes to communication.

AI projects will run much smoother when employees understand what is happening, the objectives of the strategy, and the vision the senior leadership team has for the future. The result will be a well-informed workplace that will be enthused about the direction of the company as well as excited about the role that AI will play.

Senior Executives Determine the Allocation of Resources

You will need staffing resources and financial resources to ensure your AI project is a success. The decisions on those resources will be made by senior executives in the company. So, having those senior executives fully onboard with AI will help ensure you have the resources you need.

C-suite buy-in can also help in more subtle ways. Getting access to subject matter experts (SMEs) is an example. The pressure on an SME’s time can be substantial, making it a challenge to get the access you require when developing a new AI system. If SMEs, like others in the company, know that AI is a crucial part of c-suite thinking, they will be more likely to give you the time you need with minimal delays.

How to Get C-Suite Buy-In

The following tips will help you ensure full senior executive buy-in for AI:

  • Develop an AI roadmap detailing how AI fits in with the digital transformation of your business.
  • Develop a business case for the AI project, including both benefits and risk, with a focus on mitigating the risks.
  • Take steps to ensure senior executives properly understand what AI can do and the realistic potential use cases that exist in the business.
  • Encourage senior executives to understand how AI fits into the digital transformation strategy of the business.
  • Focus on business performance and objectives rather than on technology.

Finally, it’s also important to determine how AI fits into the near-term and long-term strategy of the company, the metrics you will measure, and how you will measure success.

The Tesseract Academy can support you in the journey of AI adoption through our long-term support programs, as well as our workshops. Also make sure to check out some our other free tools, as well as our insights videos.

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