Harnessing AI for organisational change led from the Board

London School of Economics | Published in AI | 5 minute read | Share this post on X Share this post on LinkedIn Share this post by Email Copy the Permalink to this post

Mario Thomas and Kenneth Benoit standing in front of a display screen at the London School of Economics

I had an incredible afternoon as a guest lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where I got to discuss harnessing AI for organisational transformation led from the Board, at this summer’s Data Science and AI for Executives class.

It was an enriching experience, thanks to the insightful questions and valuable contributions from the audience. I am particularly grateful to Sabine Benoit, Kenneth Benoit and Edgar Whitley for their gracious invitation and support. The enthusiasm and curiosity about AI from senior executives from around the world were truly inspiring.

About the Lecture

The lecture focused on the critical role that AI can play in driving organisational change, especially when led from the Board. Here are the key areas covered:

The Hype: Navigating the Noise Around AI

Understanding the current buzz around AI and distinguishing between the hype and the real impact it can have on business. This section highlighted the importance of keeping a broader perspective on AI’s capabilities beyond the current poster child of AI, generative AI, and moved the audience to consider multiple types of AI depending on the use case. Key concepts included:

The Opportunity: Understanding the Value of AI

Exploring real-world statistics and use cases that showcased AI’s potential in transforming businesses. This included examples from various industries where AI has successfully driven innovation and efficiency. It also differentiated between innovation and transformation, explaining that incremental business change through AI can be as impactful as broad change. Key concepts included:

The Pitfalls: Preparing yourself and your business for AI adoption

This section addressed the practicalities of AI implementation, focusing on potential risks, legal considerations, and the crucial role of Board oversight. It emphasized the need for a robust governance framework to manage AI adoption responsibly. It also touched on key questions I hear from executives about the implications of AI on their business as well as how to go about setting up an AI centre of excellence. Key concepts included:

The Pilot: First moves with AI

Ending on a practical note, I provided the audience with tactical steps to evaluate potential pilot AI programs that were low friction, low cost, and high impact. This included guidance on identifying suitable pilot projects and the mechanisms to use to get them underway in their business. Key steps included:

And Finally

I wrapped up with some thoughts around the question that comes up all the time, “Will AI take my job?” and my view that we may finally achieve the ‘3-hour’ work week (more on that in an upcoming blog post). I talked about the importance of the ‘human in the loop’, and offered my view on when we’ll achieve artificial general intelligence (AGI) — you’ll have to ask me directly to hear my answer!

About the Author

Mario Thomas is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in web technologies, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. In his role as the Head of the Global Trainer Centre of Excellence and Press Spokesperson at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Mario develops executive training programs and AI sales enablement strategies worldwide. He is a Chartered Director and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, providing valuable insights to Board Directors and senior executives on leveraging technology for organisational transformation.