Time for HR to Adapt?

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On March 11, 2019, Microsoft announced the launch of its AI Business School, built in partnership with INSEAD. We examine how HR’s role must evolve to prepare the workforce of tomorrow, in the light of this development.

Microsoft announced the launch of Microsoft AI Business School on March 11, 2019. This move comes at a time when organizations and governments are deploying artificial intelligence (AI) solutions at scale to get ahead in the global AI race.

In December 2018, IBM launched a similar AI-skills development initiative – IBM AI Skills Academy to help businesses plan, build and apply strategic AI initiatives across the organization. Meanwhile, in the world of academia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed plans to have an AI-focused college built by 2022.

Also Read: IBM Sets its Sights on AI Skills Training: Here’s What You Need to Know

AI in the Workplace in 2019

Clearly, organizations and institutions recognize the need to respond to the disruptive impact of AI across all industries and fields. There are multiple concerns around large-scale AI deployment and workforce issues and their impact on jobs.

What makes AI different than any other technology before, is that AI development is moving faster than governments, organizations, and educational institutions can react and adapt to. Better data, improved computing power, and smarter algorithms are driving the next phase of AI deployment.

A recent study commissioned by Microsoft found that as AI is implemented across the organization, motivating and investing in employees has to become a top investment priority for leaders. The findings suggest that leaders recognize the impact that uniquely human qualities have on the success of a company.

Also Read: Employee Experience, Jobs and Skills: How AI will Impact HR

“It’s essential that today’s workforce is able to pose great questions. AI is a powerful technology if we can ask insightful questions and connect those inquiries to meaningful data. Unfortunately, the traditional education system trains students to provide answers more than to ask questions – we need to change that,” said Sarah Nahm, CEO at Lever, speaking exclusively to HR Technologist

Survey after survey on AI’s impact on HR revealed that while organizations want to deploy AI, they don’t have the talent, leadership or confidence in their HR team to make it happen. IBM predicts that 120 million workers in the world’s 10 largest economies will need to be reskilled in the next few years to adapt to an AI-driven marketplace – and that if companies don’t get started soon, they will quickly risk losing their competitive edge.

HR’s Evolving Role in the Age of AI

With companies like IBM and Microsoft offering organizations access to drive AI reskilling at scale, HR leaders, specifically L&D leaders, need to start thinking more strategically about their roles. Kandi Gongora, VP of People & Organizational Development at Goodway Group, believes that imagination, strategic management, and a growth mindset will be the most valuable skills for global L&D leaders in the age of AI.

Also Read: Why Soft Skills are Crucial in the Age of AI

Speaking exclusively to HR Technologist, Kandi said, “CLOs must have the ability to consistently reimagine how things can transform and improve in the workplace through the utilization of AI.

“The alignment of the learning strategy and use of AI must be aligned with the business strategy. Because AI is changing the way we work, CLOs must be strategic in addressing how to develop people for jobs that don’t exist today but with the speed that keeps the employee’s career relevant.

“CLOs must be comfortable facing challenges and not be afraid of failure as we continue to utilize AI more in the workplace.”

As AI becomes a fact of workplace life, HR has an incredible opportunity to change the conversation around AI from fear-based to opportunity gains by leveraging programs like AI Business School and AI Skills Academy to educate stakeholders and create a shared vision for delivering business results using AI.   

How are you preparing your workforce for the AI revolution? Let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook. We’re always listening

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