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How to Build A Generative AI Strategy

Recently, I found myself in a conversation with a CEO who was skeptical about the hype surrounding generative AI. "Isn't it just another hype cycle like Web 3?" he asked. I responded by pulling out my smartphone. "Remember when these were just devices to make calls?" I asked. Now, they're our personal assistants, our banks, our shopping malls, and even our movie theaters. They've transformed our lives in ways we couldn't have imagined. In just 15 years since the first iPhone was released, traditional taxis have been decimated by ride-sharing apps, shopping malls are losing ground to e-commerce, and physical bank branches are becoming a thing of the past. All thanks to the smartphone revolution. Now, we stand at the cusp of a new era. The emergence of generative AI represents a technological leap akin to the advent of electricity, computers, or the internet. This revolution is poised to happen even faster and be even more transformative. It's not just a buzzword, it's a wave of change that's coming faster than we realize. The question is, are you ready to ride it?



"I think immediately, many of us recognize that this is going to be completely game changing, not only for the tech landscape, but for humanity." - Chris Young, Microsoft Executive on HBR Podcast: How Generative AI Changes Strategy.


My name is Danoosh, and I’ve helped dozens of organizations from General Motors to Google formulate winning business strategies tailored to their specific goals and needs. In this guide, I’ll share the key steps to develop a strategy that leverages Generative AI to transform your business.



Shift Your Mindset


The first step is shifting how you think about artificial intelligence compared to other technologies. As AI pioneer Andrew Ng explains, “AI is the new electricity. Just as electricity transformed every major industry 100 years ago, AI will now do the same.”


Don’t think of generative AI as just a nifty tool. Think of it as a catalyst to reimagine your entire business. How could generative AI reinvent your operations, products, services and business model? That is the mindset needed to unleash its full potential.


Start with Your Business


A common mistake is starting with where generative AI can be applied. Instead, start with your business goals and challenges. As I advise my clients, “Go back and start with your business strategy and start with your business challenges and say okay what do we need to achieve as a business what are what our biggest goals what our biggest challenges what are the real priorities for us and how can we use artificial intelligence to help us with all of this.”


What objectives do you want generative AI to help achieve? Increased revenue? Reduced costs? Improved customer satisfaction? Let your goals steer your strategy.

For example, Optum Health is leveraging generative AI in their call centers. By using AI to understand patient needs and surface relevant information, call times have been cut in half. Identify similar opportunities where generative AI can move the needle on your key objectives.


Envision the Future


While quick wins are important, you also need a bold vision for how generative AI can transform your business long-term. What does your AI-powered organization look like in 10 years? How could generative AI enable new business models? As Chris Young of Microsoft says, it allows you to “ask ourselves some different questions because of what’s possible.”


Imagine a world where generative AI powers customized digital advertising campaigns, predicts supply chain disruptions, and analyzes countless data points to optimize pricing in real-time. The possibilities are endless if you think beyond incremental improvements.



Think Big, Start Small


When implementing any new technology, it's wise to start with small experiments to garner quick wins and learnings. But don't just stop there. Continue to scale out successful use cases across your organization. Quickly demonstrate value through targeted pilots, but keep the big-picture vision in mind.


For example, a retailers could pilot a generative AI-powered chatbot that recommends products to customers. Once benefits are proven, expand the chatbot across all customer touchpoints – website, mobile app, brick-and-mortar stores.


View Your Business Through the AI Lens


I advise examining your business through three lenses to identify the highest potential AI use cases:


1. Products - How could we make them smarter?


2. Services - How could we enhance their value?


3. Business processes - Where can automation help?


Carefully evaluate each area to determine where generative AI could have the greatest impact.


A manufacturing company could use lens 1 to create self-optimizing assembly line robots. Lens 2 may lead an insurance provider to AI-powered personalized policy recommendations. Lens 3 could help a software company automate coding and testing.


Assemble Your Generative AI Task Force


A successfully strategy requires coordination across your entire company. Pull together a cross-functional team of leaders in technology, product, risk, security, finance and other areas. This group can spot the most promising AI applications and enable organization-wide adoption.


Build the Right Foundation


You need the proper data infrastructure, security protocols and technical capabilities to deploy generative AI responsibly and effectively. Depending on your strategy, upgrades may be required. The good news – you don't have to do it alone. Leverage partnerships strategically rather than getting locked into one vendor.


Cultivate Internal AI Talent


While partnerships provide a valuable jumpstart, investing in homegrown skills is critical for long-term success. Hire technical experts in areas like data science and prompt engineering. Also train current employees on integrating AI tools into their workflows. Build a culture of learning and innovation around AI.



Monitor the Evolving Landscape


Given the nascent nature of generative AI, the landscape is evolving at breakneck speed. Continually monitor emerging technologies, use cases, regulations and risks. Adjust your strategy accordingly.


The Winds of Change


Generative AI has the power to transform your business in ways you never dreamed possible. But the key is having a strategic roadmap tailored to your specific goals and needs.


As your AI strategist, I'm here to help you navigate this rapidly evolving technology and develop a strategy that gives your organization a true competitive edge. Together, we can unlock the limitless potential of generative AI.


Are you ready to ride the wave and reimagine your business? The future is closer than you think, and I'm here to guide you every step of the way. Don't wait for the wave to pass you by. Let's start this journey together. Schedule a call with me [here] and let's start building your AI strategy today.


Sources:

  • McKinsey & Company. (2023, May). What every CEO should know about generative AI.

  • McKinsey & Company. (2023, January). How Generative AI Changes Strategy.

  • HBR Idea Cast. (May 25, 2023). How Generative AI Changes Strategy. [Audio podcast].

  • Young, C. (2023, July 14). Build a Winning AI Strategy for Your Business. Harvard Business Review.


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