AI for Business Transformation I Use AI as Your Mission Multiplier

Mar 26, 2024

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hottest topic in 2024, just as in 2023, and will most likely continue to be in 2025 and beyond. We are witnessing the beginning of a shift that will impact the world for years to come.

So, what does that mean for your organization? The transformative power of AI for business is a tangible reality for organizations and companies to multiply their mission and gain a competitive edge.

Our team at OnStrategy is incredibly passionate about the power of AI as a mission multiplier because, as practitioners of strategy implementation, we have seen firsthand the power and the possibility it has on organizational transformation.

In this exercise, we dive into why and how businesses can embrace AI to enhance operational efficiency and fundamentally reshape their organizations. This post will guide you through three critical driving questions to unearth how your team can use AI for business transformation.

Check out our other whiteboard session videos on all things AI Strategy!

Why Use AI for Business Transformation?

Using AI for business transformation allows you to multiply your mission quickly! What does that mean? It means your business can make an even greater impact and achieve your desired goals and future faster, easier, and more efficiently without extending beyond the resources and talent on your team today.

Multiplying your mission means the sky is the limit!

But it’s not enough to just sign up for a free trial of the newest AI bot or launch Microsoft Co-Pilot on the company computers. To leverage AI for business as your organization’s mission multiplier, you need to deploy your implementation strategy with deliberation and intentionality. A methodological and strategic approach to your AI for business strategy ensures that the deployment aligns with and propels the organization toward its goals.

Need help using this AI framework and building your AI roadmap? We’re here to help!

AI has changed everything – and there is no strategy without a clear approach for how AI will transform your organization. Not sure where to start? We can build your AI transformation strategy and governance in 30 days.

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Before Your Start: Ensure AI is Aligned with Your Organizational Strategy

The purpose of this whiteboard exercise is to ensure that your AI implementation strategy aligns with your overall strategy. Regardless of whether you plan on utilizing a few out-of-the-box AI tools, like chatbots or natural language processing tools such as Jasper or ChatGPT, or whether you plan on building your personalized solution for process automation, AI integration should always be done to support and cascade up to your organizational strategy. It should also help support or create a competitive advantage in your organization.

The following three questions in this exercise will help guide your business and your team members through the initial stages of the process to ensure alignment.

3 Questions to Guide Your AI for Business Transformation Exercise

Integrating AI into your strategy requires a structured approach. Organizations can craft a clear, impactful strategy that aligns with their mission by addressing three pivotal questions.

The job of a strategy leader is to help make order out of chaos. And AI feels chaotic right now. So, we’ve developed a guided exercise and accompanying Miro board to help guide your organization in building your significant ‘why‘ around your AI vision. Leverage the questions in this exercise to help answer how AI will impact your organization and multiply your mission. The three questions you will address in this exercise are:

  • Question 1: What is the big long-term vision for you and your organization regarding AI?
  • Question 2: What is the impact of AI on your team? How much time could you save?
  • Question 3: What does it mean for AI to multiply your mission?

This exercise intends to do it with your team. It may be a good practice to send these questions to each team member before your whiteboard session to pre-think the session and show up with a few actionable insights.

Step 1: Create an AI Vision

Question 1: Where do you want your organization to be with AI in the next 12 months? 24 months?

In other words, what is your hope for organizational deployment in the next 12 or 24 months?

This question must be asked because establishing a short- and mid-term vision for AI usage within your organization sets the stage for all subsequent strategic decisions. Because AI, in its current iteration, is changing so rapidly, we recommend casting your ‘long-term’ vision no further than 24 months.

Pro Tip: Think of this question as setting little mini-visions specifically for applying AI within your organization.

This vision should encapsulate your aspirations for AI deployment and its expected impact over the next one to two years. Consider the extent of AI experimentation within specific teams and job roles, adopting pre-built AI tools, initiating custom AI projects, and realizing efficiency gains and new value propositions. This foresight helps align team efforts and ensures that the pace and direction of AI adoption are clear and coherent.

If you follow along with our Miro board, you’ll see a series of pre-built sticky notes that each represent a different outcome and appropriate categorization. With this exercise, you will then move the stickies into the appropriate time-frame box that asks, “What will this look like organization-wide in 12 months?” and “What will this look like organization-wide in 24 months?” For example:

AI Experimentation: Who in your organization is experimenting with AI?

  • Are select teams experimenting?
  • Is every staff member, team, or department experimenting?
  • What types of AI are we experimenting with? Machine learning? Natural language? Generative AI?

Maybe in your 12-month AI vision, you want select teams to begin experimenting with AI, and by 24 months, you want every department or team to experiment with the relevant AI use cases for their specific needs.

Use of AI pre-built AI tools: What will the usage of tools look like in 12 or 24 months?

  • Is your organization using some pre-built AI tools and mixing them with other custom tools?
  • Is your organization focusing primarily on a broad use of pre-built tools?

Again, maybe each of these stickies will have different time-frame objectives. Perhaps you want to begin in the short-term with a broader use of pre-built AI tools, and then by 24 months, you plan to transition out of the pre-built tools into more custom options, which brings us to our next category.

Custom AI projects launched: What will using custom tools or projects look like in 12 or 24 months?

  • Do you have some custom AI projects underway?
  • Have you begun launching your AI pilot projects?
  • What does our AI implementation look like?

The vision for any personalization AI project is essential. What is the desired time frame for these custom-built tools?

Outcomes: What are the desired outcomes for efficiencies gained and organizational transformation?

  • What efficiency gains would you like to realize in your work processes and business functions?
  • What new value propositions do you wish to see delivered or business processes would you like to see transformed?

Both sticky notes in this category may be applied to either or both time frames. These two questions are derived directly from our AI framework, where AI initiatives have two applications. They can transform your organization and value proposition or improve efficiencies within business applications and processes.

Step 2: Evaluate Workforce & Staff Impact

Question 2: What impact will AI have on your staff?

If we could shift time around and get more efficient using AI and automate tedious work, what would that give us from a capacity perspective?

Envisioning the impact of AI on staff morale and productivity is crucial in designing an AI strategy that enhances efficiency and empowers employees to contribute to more meaningful and fulfilling work.

The integration of AI is not just a technological upgrade; it’s a strategic move that affects every level of the organization, especially its people. To multiply our mission, we need to free up capacity to do more strategic work. So what might this look like?

Pro Tip: Pose this thought experiment with your team: “How much time would be saved if each team member could free up to 5 hours a week? What could you do with that time instead to strategically move the organization forward?”

By automating routine tasks, AI can potentially free up to 5 hours per week per employee, significantly saving time and operational costs. If you’re following along with our Miro board, you’ll notice that this next exercise may require a bit of math, so break out your calculators!

Step 1: Determine team capacity.

Determine the capacity by person or team (multiply the number of team members by 5).

Step 2: Calculate total hours.

Find the total number of hours saved. So, a team of 20 people each saves 5 hours a week by automating one aspect of their job duties. This totals 100 saved hours.

Step 3: Calculate FTEs.

When considering this in terms of people capacity, you can divide this total number by 40 to calculate the number of full-time employees this could free up, which would amount to nearly 3 FTEs!

This isn’t hard-and-fast data analytics but a look into how AI might impact your organization’s time. You don’t have to be in the financial industry to understand the impact AI could have on your organization.

However, it is essential to note that this newfound capacity isn’t about reducing or adding to your headcount but shifting and reallocating resources to more strategic, mission-aligned activities. It’s about asking yourself, “What could we do with that extra time, talent, and treasure?”

Step 3: AI as a Mission Multiplier

Question 3: What does it mean to ‘multiply your mission’?

Finally, we’ve reached the foundation of the entire exercise. The final and most important question is, “If we could multiply our mission, we would…”

This goes without saying, but make sure your mission statement is clear and understood by your team. Everyone should know your organization’s mission like the back of their hand.

OnStrategy’s mission is: We create strategy that matters and drive the culture to execute it.

Another best practice to keep in mind is that every member of your team should answer this question. Ensure that everyone can brainstorm and think about this question before the session. During the session, go around the room and make sure everyone reads out their pre-written answers.

The ultimate goal of integrating AI into business operations is to multiply the organization’s mission. This involves identifying key areas where AI can allow your organization to multiply your impact and dive deeper into your mission today—whether enhancing customer service and improving existing customer relationships, developing new products or services, or expanding into new markets.

Pro Tip: To complete this exercise, let everyone have an opportunity to share their answers to the original question. From these responses, decide on your three biggest impacts or mission multipliers. And with each of those responses, write a short sentence about ‘Why that impact matters.”

Impact example:

If we could multiply our mission, we would… and it matters because….

Impact #1:If we could multiply our mission, we could deliver outcomes to our clients more efficiently and faster. It matters because by streamlining processes with AI, we can exceed client expectations, accelerate progress, and make a tangible difference in their success.

Impact #2:<If we could multiply our mission, we could connect deeper with our clients to help with their most strategic challenges. It matters because forging stronger client relationships fosters trust, enables deeper collaboration, and empowers us to provide solutions that drive long-term value.

Impact #3:If we could multiply our mission, we could help organizations multiply their missions. It matters because leveraging AI to expand our reach and influence can catalyze positive change on a broader scale, empower others to achieve their goals, and collectively contribute to a more impactful and sustainable future.

By freeing up resources through AI-driven efficiencies, businesses can make insightful business decisions and redirect their focus and efforts toward initiatives that significantly amplify their impact on customers and communities. This strategic pivot requires thoughtful consideration and engagement with the entire team to ensure that the AI initiatives are both technologically sound and mission-aligned.

Conclusion

AI for business presents a transformative opportunity for anyone willing to harness its potential as a mission multiplier. By addressing the three critical questions outlined above, organizations can begin to develop a basis for their AI strategy before they get bogged down with big data, strategic opportunities, cybersecurity, and all the details that come with GenAI.

This strategic approach ensures that integration is not just about technological adoption but about reimagining and amplifying the organizational mission. As we move forward, the intentional and strategic use of AI will undoubtedly be a defining factor in the success and impact of businesses across industries.

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