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Five Steps Business Leaders Should Take Now While Exploring AI Adoption Within Their Organization

June 13, 2023
By Josh Rogers

Business leaders who follow recent AI developments likely have experienced a dizzying array of reactions, ranging from marveling at the technology’s potential to knee-buckling anxiety as they consider its risks and the efforts that lie ahead. Our new report, “Generative AI Game-Changing Technology, Warranting Effective Change Management” outlines the potential — and inherent risks — of AI.

Here are five steps leaders can consider to move past the handwringing and begin preparing the organization for the future AI will bring.


Generative AI is still young, but so much has occurred since its advent. And more is rapidly changing every day. As a leader in your organization — especially if communications, HR and people management are within your remit —

start following the topic now.

  • To familiarize yourself with trends and current thinking, seek out and follow technology and business management thought leaders covering the topic. Many, if not most, major news outlets already feature “experts” who generate almost daily content on the topic.
  • Seek out other knowledgeable voices to help you think through the implications for your organization. Fair warning: This will be a constant pursuit. But take heart: There certainly are more mundane topics that require your attention — but maybe none so important.
  • Engage your organization’s legal counsel to manage risks and mitigate litigation. And remember not to enter any generative outputs into public domain without their guidance.

With this technology’s disruptive potential — both positive and negative — and its remarkable momentum, now is the time to understand AI and its implications for your business.


It’s likely — especially if you work in a large enterprise — that several members of your organization already are knowledgeable about and using AI. Assemble a team with representation from communications, marketing, HR, IT, information security, legal, compliance/policy, procurement and ethics (or the equivalent teams within your business) to help guide your organization through its AI journey. Given the potential impact and continuing evolution of this technology, consider appointing a full-time project management organization (PMO) to drive this effort. Also bring in experts from such corporate efforts as DE&I and ESG to help figure out the potential impact on them. Make sure your team is diverse, providing a range of experiences and thinking. And if you are aware of early AI adopters who don’t necessarily have formal leadership roles, consider including them on the team or as a touchstone. They can add valuable perspective — and their participation can serve as a professional development opportunity.

This effort ultimately will require an executive sponsor — the No. 1 key to successful change — to signal its importance to the entire organization and to set the tone and vision going forward.


Business leaders should work to understand AI considerations specific to their business. The AI leadership team (referenced above) can help determine: Who in the organization currently is using AI to do their jobs? How are they using it? How could we be using it in ways we are not already to work better, faster and more efficiently? What will it take for us to use AI in this manner? What can we achieve with the resources and structure currently in place? What are we missing? What do we need? What are the specific risks to our organization? What guardrails, restrictions or policies do we need to ensure appropriate use of this technology for our business? And they can identify other AI-related issues that could impact your organization.


Although the process of charting the AI path forward for your organization will be a long-term endeavor requiring a significant level of analysis and decision-making, it’s important for business leaders to begin immediately. The reputation and business risks of inappropriate or misuse are significant. The rapid growth of AI and its many applications requires immediate and constant attention — with always more to learn. If they haven’t already, leaders should immediately begin working with the multidisciplinary AI team and the information and perspectives they surface to start understanding which approaches are and are not acceptable within the organization. They will need to quickly develop and communicate guidelines, guardrails and policies.

Consider how open the organization should be to the use of generative AI. Determine where the enterprise is willing to experiment. You will want to think about what “experimenting” looks like for your organization (e.g., will you establish a protected testing environment, such as a “sandbox” with security measures and perimeter, etc.). Evaluate the aspects of your business that must be protected and your risk tolerance. And contemplate how this technology can better equip and empower employees to advance the company’s purpose, mission, vision and values.


If the organization has in-house change management capabilities, include them on the multidisciplinary team. Absent in-house capabilities, enlist the help of third-party change-management experts. They can help your key AI decision-makers stay abreast of the latest developments and think through the potential implications — and steps needed — for your organization.

Do not underestimate the importance of people-first change communications. Those who are trained to understand and have experience with this essential facet of change management can help align and reinforce the behavior changes needed to adopt the technology and measure their effectiveness.