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AI = The Future of “H” in HR : Introducing AIQRATE’s consulting offerings for CHRO/CPO/HR leaders
AI = The future of “H” in HR . In today’s competitive businesses , the role of AI in planning, operations & strategy has transformed from being a competitive differentiation to a competitive necessity . The age of “ trust me , this will work” is over. In the current business mandate , where HR is held accountable for delivering business results , it has become imperative to harness the power of AI . AI can elevate HR from a tactical support function to a strategic transformative function . HR business function disruption thru Talent Sciences : business capability of using AI and algorithmic modeling to drive HCM decision making will form the backbone of HR function.
Introducing AIQRATE’s consulting offering for Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) / Chief people officer (CPO) / Chief Talent officer (CTO) /HR Leaders working across Enterprises , GCCs , SMBs , Startups , Public Institutions :
- AI master class session : Contextualized for CHRO , CPO : demystify AI , AI strategy canvas , AI landscape & wide applications , HR vale chain interventions
- AI advisor on-demand : Build AI led decision making strategies and processes across the HR value chain and strategic interventions
- AI talent mapping strategies : Execute AIQRATE “T-REX” framework for building enterprise wise AI skilling & learning regime
- AI led interventions for CHRO/CPO : Reimagine HR domain , HR business function problems and scenarios leveraging AIQRATE consulting expertise
- Analytics to AI maturity assessment : Gauge your enterprise AI adoption maturity with AIQRATE “Elevate” transformation journey framework
AIQRATE’s extensive yet bespoke consulting offerings for CHRO/CPO/HR leaders focuses on building AI led strategies on talent workforce decisions and tracking performance of HR strategic initiatives and also on building data driven discovery algorithms on improving HR process efficiencies and outcomes.
AIQRATE’s attempts to gear up HR leaders to the future of work and our curated offerings will enable navigate four broad shifts for HR leaders :
- Accentuate strategic business acumen
2. Augment AI driven expertise for decision making
3. Amplify “transformation driven impact “ within the HR business function.
4. Accelerate “innovation driven culture” within the HR team
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for detailed view and approach on our extensive AI consulting offerings for CHRO/CPO/HR leaders .
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YourStory’s 100 Emerging Voices of 2019 is a list of emerging thought leaders, whose opinions mattered to our readers in 2018 and whose voices, we believe, will gain prominence in 2020 and beyond.
Sameer Dhanrajani is featured in top 10 of 100 Emerging Voices of 2019.
Simplifying the world of AI and data analytics
Sameer Dhanrajani is a well-recognised analytics and data sciences leader who has come to be known for his deep knowledge and topical understanding across all genres of analytics and data sciences. His penchant for global analytics trends is apparent in the various thought pieces and the best-selling book he authored, titled AI and Analytics: Accelerating Business Decisions.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/people/sameer-dhanrajani
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Business transformation programs have long focused on productivity enhancements —taking a “better, faster, cheaper” approach to how the enterprise works. And for good reason: disciplined efforts can boost productivity as well as accountability, transparency, execution, and the pace of decision making. When it comes to delivering fast results to the bottom line, it’s a proven recipe that works.
The problem is, it’s no longer enough. Artificial Intelligence enabled disruption are upending industry after industry, pressuring incumbent companies not only to scratch out stronger financial returns but also to remake who and what they are as enterprises.
Doing the first is hard enough. Tackling the second—changing what your company is and does—requires understanding where the value is shifting in your industry (and in others), spotting opportunities in the inflection points, and taking purposeful actions to seize them. The prospect of doing both jobs at once is sobering.
How realistic is it to think your company can pull it off? The good news is that AIQRATE can demonstrate that it’s entirely possible for organizations to ramp up their bottom-line performance even as they secure game-changing portfolio wins that redefine what a company is and does. What’s more, AL led transformations that focus on the organization’s performance and portfolio appear to load the dice in favor of transformation results. By developing these two complementary sets of muscles, companies can aspire to flex them in a coordinated way, using performance improvements to carry them to the next set of portfolio moves, which in turn creates momentum propelling the company to the next level.
Strategic Steps towards AI led Transformation:
This aspect covers AI led “portfolio-related” moves. The first is active resource reallocation towards building AI led transformation units, which I define as the company shifting more than 20 percent of its capital spending across its businesses or markets over ten years. Such firms create 50 percent more value than counterparts that shift resources at a slower clip.
Meanwhile, a big move in programmatic M&A driven by AI led spot trending—the type of deal making that produces more reliable performance boosts than any other—requires the company to execute at least one deal per year, cumulatively amounting to more than 30 percent of a company’s market capitalization over ten years, and with no single deal being more than 30 percent of its market capitalization.
Making big moves tends to reduce the risk profile and adds more upside than downside. The way I explain this to senior executives is that when you’re parked on the side of a volcano, staying put is your riskiest move.
AI led Transformations that go ‘all in’ by addressing both a company’s performance and its portfolio yield the highest odds.
The implication of these transformation stories is clear: approaches that go all in by addressing both a company’s performance and its portfolio yield the highest odds of lasting improvement. Over the course of a decade, companies that followed this path nearly tripled their likelihood of reaching the top quin tile of the AI transformation power curve relative to the average company in the middle.
Play to win with AI
Life would be simpler if story ended here. However, you’re not operating in a competitive vacuum. As I described earlier, other forces influence your odds of success in significant ways—in particular, how your industry is performing. Research studies have indicated that companies facing competitive headwinds would face longer odds of success than those with tailwinds.
Companies that combined big performance moves with big portfolio moves (including capital expenditures, when not the only portfolio move employed) saw a big lift in their odds. Life is still challenging for these companies—their net odds are dead even—yet this is superior to the negative odds of the other situations.
Winning thru competitive advantage with AI
In an improving industry, the returns to performance improvement are amplified massively. This runs contrary to the very human tendency of equating performance transformations with turnaround cases
The takeaway from all this is that two big rules stand out as commonly and powerfully true whatever your context: first, get moving with AI , don’t be static; second, go all in if you can with AI led transformation programs —it’s always the best outcome (and also the rarest).
Running the AI led transformation program
In my experience, the companies that are most successful at transforming themselves with AI ,sequence their moves so that the rapid lift of performance improvement provides oxygen and confidence for big moves in M&A, capital investment, and resource reallocation. And when the right portfolio moves aren’t immediately available or aren’t clear, the improved performance helps buy a company time until the strategy can catch up.
To illustrate this point, consider the anecdote about Apple that Professor Richard Rumelt describes in his book, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy. It was the late 1990s; Steve Jobs had returned to Apple and cleaned house through productivity-improving cutbacks and a radically simplified product line. Apple was much stronger, yet it remained a niche player in its industry. When Rumelt asked Jobs how he planned to address this fact, Jobs just smiled and said, ‘I am going to wait for the next big thing.’
While no one can guarantee that your “next big thing” will be an iPod-size breakthrough, there’s nothing stopping you from laying the groundwork for a successful AI led transformation. To see how prepared, you are for such an undertaking, ask yourself—and your team—the following five questions. I sincerely hope they provoke productive and transformative discussion among your team.
1.Where is the new business value chain that’s driven by AI
Achieving success with big, portfolio-related moves requires understanding where the business value flows in your business and why. The structural attractiveness of markets, and your position in them, can and does change over time. Ignore this and you might be shifting deck chairs on the Titanic. Meanwhile, to put this thinking into action, you must also view the company as an ever-changing portfolio. This represents a sea change for managers who are used to plodding, once-a-year strategy sessions that are more focused on “getting to yes” and on protecting turf than on debating real alternatives. Get high-powered decision-making algorithms to navigate you thru this transformation.
2. Put your money in building an AI led strategy
Only 10% of the US fortune 200 companies have AI led strategy; this is an impending strategic aspect that cannot be ignored. The dimensions of reimagining customer experience, building innovative products and services and transforming the businesses need to have an AI led strategy move by the CXOs
3.Are you ready for disruption?
Increasingly, incumbent organizations are getting to the pointy end of disruption, where they must accelerate the transition from legacy business models to new ones and even allow potentially cannibalizing businesses to flourish. Sometimes this requires a very deliberate two-speed approach where legacy assets are managed for cash while new businesses are nurtured for growth.
4.Will our company take this seriously?
Embracing AI led transformative change requires commitment, and gaining commitment requires a compelling change story that everyone in the company can embrace. Philips recognized this in 2011 when it launched its “Accelerate” program. Along with productivity improvements and portfolio changes (including a big pivot from electronics to health tech), the company shaped its change story around improving three billion lives annually by 2030, as part of a broader goal of making the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation. Massive thrust and investment was laid by Phillips leadership team on AI led transformation programs.
5.Is the leadership ready for the transformation?
Leading a successful AI led transformation requires a lot more than just picking the right moves and seeing them through. Among your other priorities: build momentum, engage your workforce, and make the change personal for yourself and your company. All of this means developing new leadership skills and ways of working, while embracing a level of commitment as a leader that may be unprecedented for you.
In the end, AI led strategy for transformation is a process and start of a journey …. embrace it or feel the heat of leaving behind. The new age competition is agile and nimble and AI led transformation strategy is a right move to thwart the competition.
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It’s time for boards to craft an AI led strategy . Three strategic aspects can help them and senior leaders to augment decision making process in the board meetings
In the boardroom, and the head of a major global conglomerate is in the hot seat. A director with a background in the manufacturing industry is questioning the economics, an assumption underlying the executive’s industry forecast: that the industry’s ratio of forecast will remain relatively constant. The business leader appears confident about the assumption of stability, which has implications for both the competitive environment and for financial results. But the director isn’t convinced: “In my experience, the forecast changes continuously with the economic cycle and needs to bake in assumptions,” he says, “and I’d feel a whole lot better about these estimates if you had some facts to prove that this has changed.” and the rest of the board doesn’t have it. Finally, the chairman intervenes: “The question being raised is critical and not just for our manufacturing business but for our entire strategy. We’re not going to resolve this today, but let’s make sure it’s covered thoroughly during our strategy off-site and he added , “let’s have some good staff work in place to inform the discussion.”
If the preceding exchange sounds familiar, it should: in the wake of the financial crisis, we find that uncomfortable conversations such as this one are increasingly common in boardrooms around the world as corporate directors and executives come to grips with a changed environment. Ensuring that a company has a great strategy is among a board’s most important functions and the ultimate measure of its stewardship. Yet even as new governance responsibilities and faster competitive shifts require much more—and much better—board engagement on strategy, a great number of boards remain hamstrung by familiar challenges.
Enter AI led strategy for boards
For starters, there’s the problem of time: most boards have about six to eight meetings a year and are often hard pressed to get beyond compliance-related topics to secure the breathing space needed for developing strategy. A recent survey of board members to learn where they’d most like to spend additional time, two out of three picked strategy. A related finding was that 44 percent of directors said their boards simply reviewed and approved management’s proposed strategies. Why such limited engagement? One likely reason is an expertise gap: only 10 percent of the directors felt that they fully understood the industry dynamics in which their companies operated. As a result, only 21 percent of them claimed to have a complete understanding of the current strategy .
What’s more, there’s often a mismatch between the time horizons of board members and of top executives , and that lack of alignment can diminish a board’s ability to engage in well-informed give-and-take about strategic trade-offs. “The chairman of my company has effectively been given a decade,” says the CEO of a company “and I have three years—tops—to make my mark. If I come up with a strategy that looks beyond the current cycle, I can never deliver the results expected from me. Yet I am supposed to work with him to create long-term shareholder value. How am I supposed to make this work?” It’s a fair question, particularly since recent shows that major strategic moves involving active capital reallocation deliver higher shareholder returns than more passive approaches over the long haul, but lower returns over time frames of less than three years.
Compounding these challenges is the increased economic volatility prompting many companies to rethink their strategic rhythm, so that it becomes less calendar driven and formulaic and more a journey involving frequent and regular dialogue among a broader group of executives. To remain relevant, boards must join management on this journey, and management in turn must bring the board along—all while ensuring that strategic co-creation doesn’t become confusion or, worse, shadow management. This is where curating AI strategy for competitive advantage and informed decision making comes to the picture.
Three strategic aspects to ponder on AI led strategy for Boards :
While no one-size-fits-all solution can guide companies as they set out, board members and senior managers ask themselves three simple questions as they approach the development of AI strategy. Using it should raise the quality of decision making , overall engagement and help determine the practical steps each group must take to get there. The usual annual strategic refresh is unlikely to provide the board with an appreciation of the context it would need to address the questions fully, let alone to generate fresh insights in response.
1.Can AI make the boards understand the industry dynamics
Most boards spend most of their strategic time reviewing plans, yet relatively few directors feel they have a complete understanding of the dynamics of the industries their companies operate in or even of how those companies create value. To remedy this problem and to avoid the superficiality it can engender, boards need time—some without management present—so they can more fully understand the structure and economics of the business, as well as how it creates value. They should use this time to get ahead of issues rather than always feeling a step behind during conversations on strategy or accepting management biases or ingrained habits of thought.AI can lay out comprehensive picture of industry and competitive industry dynamics with historical and future forward looking scenarios to make the job of the boards simpler.
2. Can AI trigger enough board–management debate before a specific strategy is discussed?
Aided thru AI and armed with a foundational view based on a clearer understanding of industry and company economics, boards are in a better position to have the kinds of informed dialogue with senior managers that ultimately help them prepare smarter and more refined strategic options for consideration. Board members should approach these discussions with data driven mind-set and with the goal of helping management to broaden its thinking by considering new, even unexpected, perspectives.
During such debates, management’s role is to introduce key pieces of content: a detailed review of competitors, key external trends likely to affect the business, and a view of the specific capabilities the company can use to differentiate itself. The goal of the dialogue is to develop a stronger, shared understanding of the skills and resources the company can use to produce strong returns, as opposed to merely moving with the tide. This is where boards can evangelize and seep in AI in the senior executives group for broader knowledge augmentation .
3.Can AI bring in all strategic options and approaches to the table for board and management ?
Very often, the energizing discussions between the board and management about the business, its economics, and the competition represent the end of the debate. Afterward, the CEO and top team go off to develop a plan that is then presented to the board for approval. Instead, what’s needed at this point is for management to take some time—go thru the self-learning enabled algorithm —to formulate a robust set of strategic options, each followed through to its logical end state, including the implications for the allocation of people, capital, and other resources. These strategic options through the revised algorithmic exercise can then be brought back to the board for discussion and decision making.
Developing AI led strategy is a new phenomenon and will take time to mature —yet will become more powerful algorithmic based decision making process and with board’s increased involvement, which introduces new voices and expertise to the debate and puts pressure on management teams and board members alike to find the best answers. Yet this form of AI led strategy development, when done well, is invaluable. It not only leads to clearer strategies but also creates the alignment necessary to make bolder moves with more confidence and to follow through by committing resources to key decisions. AI led decision making for the boards is here….
(AIQRATE advisory & consulting is a bespoke AI advisory and consulting firm and provide strategic advisory services to boards , CXOs, senior leaders to curate , design building blocks of AI strategy , embed AI@scale interventions and create AI powered enterprises . visit : www.aiqrate.ai )
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A group of CXOs from several enterprises in Bengaluru came together recently at a round table organised by Forbes India in partnership with Microsoft. They discussed the state of AI and its impact on innovation in their businesses. Below are the edited excerpts:
“Whether we like it or not, AI is absolutely all-pervasive. It’s been there for about 50 years as a technology, but the adoption rate has gone up significantly in just the last four to five years due to multiple reasons – capability, visioning algorithms, better underlying infrastructure to make it run and just the sheer drive of the industry to drive more and more ROI.” said Rohit Adlakha, chief digital and information officer and global head, Wipro HOLMES at Wipro. “Human capability is getting pushed to the limits. How do we augment that with a certain technology that can work hand in hand, while not truly replacing them, but more in terms of enhancement? Looking at the size and scale of a seven billion population across the globe, it is clear that mere technology adoption will not get us there. Something as drastic as an Uber to the power of Uber is what we need actually to make this happen.”
“In terms of AI, adoption is really happening now — it’s no longer just theoretical. Some factors that are helping this are first, the ecosystem. Second, the computing power, the actual physical infrastructure for all this that we have today.” said Satyakam Mohanty, founder of Lymbyc, an AI startup, which has been acquired by Larsen & Toubro Infotech. “One of the challenges is that people are looking at technologies instead of problems. This is creating a lot of silos. If instead, one looked at the problem that needs to be solved and then asked how AI can be applied, then you have a better way to solve this. To get to the world hunger solving stage, you have to industrialise AI, which doesn’t exist today.
Right now, all of the conversation we’re having is the mechanics of how do you make these things operational, but for adoption beyond or even within organizations for larger issues, we have to look at the risk factor.” Satyakam explains further. “Because, as with any technology or business process, there is always a risk factor, right? And the larger the organization, the greater the risk, therefore, slower the adoption that’s the standard paradigm, so how do you de-risk it?”
“At Tech Mahindra we always ask – How can I bring AI into it? The use cases that we did initially were more towards leading process automation or IT operations automation and so on. Now, we have also invested in an open-source AI project called Acumos with AT&T, one of our largest customers,” said George Mundassery, senior VP and global head, Automation and AI at Tech Mahindra. Acumos AI is a platform and open source framework that makes it easy to build, share, and deploy AI apps. Acumos standardises the infrastructure stack and components required to run an out-of-the-box general AI environment. This frees data scientists and model trainers to focus on their core competencies and accelerates innovation. “When it comes to applying the AI and making it more and more vibrant and applying it on the ground, I’m sure that that’s when the real benefits will start to be felt,” said George.
“Companies today have no option but to adopt digital. So at every point, they have to redesign their operations, be it their supply chain or the way they connect with various networks or with customer support. So that’s where those possibilities are enormous with AI,” said Prithvijit Roy, CEO and co-founder of BRIDGEi2i, a data analytics startup. “How can we embed AI in terms of creating our customer support without talking to customers, or how do you give the client or the customer what they need without having them articulate it? So there it’s not necessarily just customer experience. How do you train machines to learn on their own and create an application?” Roy said.
“A customer of mine made this statement: ‘Can we go AI with AI?’ What he meant was can we go ‘All In with AI’!” said Sayandeb Banerjee, CEO, and co-founder of a startup The Math Company. “And then we started talking about what is really stopping us from going AI with AI. The point that came out is the democratisation of the thinking is not happening as fast or the democratisation of the ideas is not happening as fast, which in my mind is what is creating a roadblock. Most of the time, my experience is that the roadblock is really the imagination and the visions of what can be done,” Banerjee said. “If you invariably have a good vision, good leader, things are moving, when you don’t have, everybody has access to the same technology, as we have access to the same platform. Why does it finally boils down to vision from a few?”
“When AI becomes more industrial and gets embedded in many places, the question of our biases becomes more important because you’re no longer thinking about them,” said Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer at Microsoft India. “Take the case of an AI driven translator that interprets a doctor as he, and a nurse as she. We are coming to assume that that’s okay. We are not questioning it because it is so much a part of our thinking that the previous data has brought the pronoun to be changed to.”
Rohini continues, “So I think it creates a bigger question as AI becomes pervasive, industrialised and democratised. Are we putting in the right checks and balances? And when I talk to organisations about checks and balances, I think in some ways it is making us think about our own values first.”
“Eventually, what we are saying is that an algorithm is more about reimagining the decision making in your enterprise,” said Sameer Dhanrajani, CEO and co-founder of AIQRATE, an AI consultancy. “Now, if historically, all the decisions in the boards by the CXOs have been taken in the usual manner, in the conventional organisational structure, that may not be relevant anymore. But when you have an algorithm that works for you – embedded let’s say in the value chain of your business and doing a trade for you – it is, therefore, top of the mindshare for boardrooms, senior leaders, CXOs. Eventually, everyone is saying – look we want AI to revolutionise or reimagine our decision making.”
Sameer clarifies further, “if AI is about mimicking the human brain, organisations must have strategies, which are not defined piecemeal, isolated ad-hoc projects, or the Geek Squad. That’s a fundamental challenge.”
“Where AI is going, I think the new systems will be objective basically because you say I just want to increase my visitors to my store by 5 percent and that’s what it should do — help you make the right changes,” said Atul Batra, CTO at Manthan Software Service. “That’s the sophistication one is looking for. So basically, the systems are getting much more contextual for a specific business role like a merchandiser and store operation and so on. And one is seeing a lot of those systems deployed globally by a lot of vendors. I think that’s where it’s going – where there’s continuous feedback because you’re talking to the system and you’re getting feedback, and you’re helping evolve it.”
“We work to impact livelihoods across 14 disabilities. Purpose driven approach will make people do the right AI,” said Shanti Raghavan, founder of Enable India. “With AI, I’m expecting to be able to nudge people in their journey. Can I make them better at crowdsourcing solutions? We’ve done a lot of product management on this, like, how do you get more people to be like your TripAdvisor contributors, right? So we started introducing star users. The next time somebody comes on the program and says, you know what, I’m a star user, you can see that it’s making a difference. So, we have tons of data on how people are behaving on it, how often they log in, what do they actually listen to? We have all of that. We need AI to make sense of it. Now imagine all this data for the entire country; I cannot do this without having AI.”
“The human brain is not tuned towards trust very easily. So when you look at something physical, it’s very easy to understand. But now you come back and say that beyond the computer’s physical screen there is something, which sits on the cloud, which is a bot, which runs intelligence. I’m telling you, close to 100% will disagree.” Says Rohit Adlakha, chief digital and information officer and global head, Wipro HOLMES at Wipro. “The good part is we feel that AI is going to push the limits of the human brain to do much more than what you were able to do.”
“The challenge is that if a human is ultimately going to train a data set, which is going to train data set, you will always have your biases. So given the practical situation in mind, how do you make sure that you have a larger set of people, which will nullify each other’s biases?” says Rohit. “How do you balance it? How do you augment? How do you know humans and bots coexist? How do you make sure that both coexist and build the cast factor? I think we as an industry should push to move it from an enterprise scale to a global scale.”
“There is one more point out there, which is very, very topical today – that AI itself is not enough,” said Ritwik Batabyal, chief of technology and engineering head, Next-gen Business Products at Wipro. “Now we’re talking about these large, complex unresolved documents in office use cases. I mean somewhere algorithms the best of let’s say these kinds of models cannot solve. And in some way, I think there is a facet that is being understood by enterprises, which is can you bring in behavioral science? How do you design for a subconscious mind? You can have an algorithm, but if it’s not adopted, if it’s not implemented? What’s the use there?”
“I was certainly saying when you look at the most applied systems today, it’s getting better and better in terms of cognitive, but all said and done it is coming from some pattern,” said George Mundassery, senior VP and global head, Automation and AI at Tech Mahindra. “Today, I don’t think, it’s able to tell you that decision you made is the right one,” he said.
“There is no going back in this game; once the genie is out of the bottle we can’t put it back. So it’s like any other revolution, I think it’s going to happen,” says Prithvijit Roy. “The truth is that AI is going to take care of certain kinds of jobs that are repetitive. And that’s going to have an impact because mundane work is people’s livelihood in many parts.”
“So it’s not about replacing the human with other parts; it is making humans do certain things, which they were not able to do, which is the bigger part of the story, but this is going to be an impact in the short-term, which we all know how we will face it. So, it will work with enough time to balance out and will hopefully have better augmentation with it.”
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Technology has the power to disrupt status quo, alter the way people live and work, rearrange value pools, and lead to entirely new products and services to transform the future of a country.
In India today, technology has created waves across sectors. Through technology, there are skilled teachers available in remote areas addressing issues around geographical diversity, proximity, and access. There are accessibility tools, created for persons with disabilities, remote diagnostic apps, portable X-ray machines to name a few– all innovations showcasing breakthroughs in areas that were untapped until a few years ago.
NASSCOM Foundation has been encouraging ‘Tech For Good’ since its inception and through this summit it hopes to leverage innovation and collaboration to promote inclusive growth.
From the most sought after speakers in the sector, and thought provoking deep dive sessions to breathtaking social innovation exhibitions and live experiences, the Tech for Good Summit 2019 covered it all in two days – 4th and 5th December 2019.