Artificial intelligence as a challenge for leaders

Leaders will need to bring a balance of intellectual (IQ) and emotional (EQ) intelligence to managing AI-driven workspaces. This is one of the core theses of Avanade’s internal Think Tank. The leading provider of digital innovations in the Microsoft ecosystem, in collaboration with market research companies, has already commissioned a number of studies on, for example, artificial intelligence and intelligent automation. All in all, a differentiated picture emerges of the design of digitization, ranging from doubts of permanence to great confidence.

The surveys are the focus of attention, especially for corporate executives and employees. As the functions of Artificial Intelligence and the related aspects of Machine Learning and Robotic Process Automation continue to evolve, many workers are wondering if they may need to work for a “robot boss” in the future – but the trend is currently quite different: Leadership skills will have to change significantly if managers want to succeed in the digitized business.


IQ and EQ are equally important

One of the Avanade studies shows that around 85 percent of management thinks that corporate governance must consider both people and machines if AI is to be successfully established in the organization. More than 50 percent of those surveyed believe that understanding such new technologies is more important than strategy, sales and marketing expertise. At the same time, management will have to apply a balance of intellectual (IQ) and emotional (EQ) intelligence for AI-influenced workspaces.

Regarding the IQ, it requires a vision for aligning the business with AI: “Managers need to be aware that AI can be used to relieve their teams and their individual members, improve quality, and allow more time for more complex tasks Robert Gögele, who is responsible for the business of Avanade in the German-speaking area. “This approach is critical to reaching new levels of productivity. But even more important are the EQ and the corresponding skills in dealing with people. They are crucial for convincing the workforce of the benefits of the new technology. “This is the only way for employees to be successfully involved in corresponding projects and to reduce their fear of change. Change management programs are already in place in most companies.

Soft management skills and digital ethics are becoming more important

Machine-based systems are able to generate and process a much larger body of knowledge faster than humans. For this reason, appropriate soft management skills are increasingly important. Consequently, aspects such as trust or digital ethics become more important. There will be a new group of staff who will focus on deployment scenarios for the new technology while limiting their use along ethical legal and ethical considerations – including new jobs that are not everywhere today. In terms of history, such a development is not new in principle; similar mechanisms already existed with the introduction of PC workplaces at the beginning of the IT era.

But there are two big differences: the speed of progress and the fact that two parameters – human and machine – interact with each other in a highly dynamic and complex manner. “Managers need to be open-minded about adapting their own and their employees’ skills flexibly, and it’s critical to consider people’s needs,” says Robert Gögele. “Because one thing is clear: the only promising approach from our point of view and also a study is a human being AND a machine will not work.Also, a certain persistence is required – a majority of the interviewed decision makers understand AI according to our latest study as a Zeitgeist phenomenon, which, according to the current state, is a dangerous misjudgment. “

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