Article: Leading in the age of GenAI – Striking the balance between futurising and humanising

HR Technology

Leading in the age of GenAI – Striking the balance between futurising and humanising

The move towards skill-based views of organisational structures signifies a paradigm shift in talent management strategies.
Leading in the age of GenAI – Striking the balance between futurising and humanising

How many corporations have dropped off the Fortune 500 roster in the past 20 years? 

The number is 52%, which amounts to over 250 companies. 

“It's remarkable to consider that these were once stalwarts—entities with substantial resources, stellar leadership, competitive pricing, loyal customer bases, and widespread presence. Yet, they've all faded into irrelevance in recent years,” said Rajiv Jayaraman, CEO, Knolskape opening the conversation on “Leading in the age of GenAI - Striking the right balance between Futurizing and Humanizing”, a roundtable presented by Knolskape and People Matters in Gurgaon.

The pace of change

The era of artificial intelligence (AI) is one where disruptive forces are reshaping multiple facets of the business world. “As we ponder the implications of this paradigm shift, questions arise about the future trajectory of individuals, organizations, and society as a whole,” Rajiv noted setting the context with the opening keynote.   

An estimated 90% of the world's information has been generated within the span of the last two years alone. This exponential growth in data, fuelled by the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technological advancements, underscores the pervasive influence of data-driven decision-making in our daily lives. “It's a testament to the relentless march of progress, where innovation knows no bounds,” he added.

The entry of ChatGPT, a groundbreaking AI model, has heralded a new era of intangible creativity and insight generation. With its ability to distil vast amounts of information into coherent narratives, ChatGPT represents a paradigm shift in how we perceive and interact with artificial intelligence.

Against this backdrop of unbounded innovation and relentless iteration, organisations grapple with the imperative of future readiness. “Leadership models evolve, strategies pivot, and cultures adapt in response to the changing dynamics of the digital age,” Rajiv said. 

Central to this evolution is the rise of AI, which blurs the lines between man and machine, automation and intelligence. As AI permeates every sector of the economy, leaders are confronted with twin imperatives: to future-proof their organisations while maintaining a human touch. The delicate balance between high-tech advancements and human-centric values defines the leadership ethos of the 21st century.

Rethinking work

As work itself transforms today, it becomes evident that a nuanced approach is necessary. Over the course of two hours, leaders from multiple industries shared their perspectives on how they’re tackling learning and skilling priorities. 

Identifying tasks ripe for automation while preserving human-centric aspects demands careful consideration. “How can we unbundle the intricacies of work and strike a harmonious balance between automation and human involvement? This remains a central challenge requiring thoughtful navigation,” Rajiv noted.

The element of trust 

In a world where different stages of the work lifecycle is automated, trust emerges as a cornerstone, redefining the HR role in cultivating relationships and maintaining ethical standards.

An HR leader from a management consulting company noted in the context of their business, “where client relationships are paramount, technology must enhance rather than replace human interaction. As we delve into AI implementation, maintaining trust and personal connections remains a priority.”

“The crux lies in integrating AI while preserving the trust and rapport cultivated with clients and stakeholders,” She added.

The impact on skills & learning

A critical aspect of skilling initiatives involves mapping the skillsets of employees to identify areas for reskilling and upskilling. Leveraging AI-driven platforms within the organisation's ERP facilitates the creation of comprehensive skill matrices encompassing both internal competencies and external certifications. This approach enables employees to access personalised learning pathways tailored to their skill profiles and career aspirations.

The move towards skill-based views of organisational structures signifies a paradigm shift in talent management strategies. Rather than traditional role-based perspectives, organisations are increasingly adopting skill-centric taxonomies to drive career development and talent optimisation initiatives. This shift underscores the importance of aligning skillsets with organisational objectives and fostering a culture of continuous learning and development.

In essence, the integration of AI within HR functions represents a transformative journey towards optimizing talent management practices and fostering a culture of lifelong learning and skill development within organizations.

Questions ahead

While different companies are at different stages of maturity in their technology roadmap, leaders need to take considered steps while managing their technology mandate. 

As the reality of disruption looms, one significant impact of this evolution is the transformation of job roles. It's imperative for leaders to discern how these roles are changing, identify the evolving skill sets, and, consequently, chart a path beyond mere rescaling. 

“This shift is noteworthy as it grants L&D a seat at the table of opportunity, with AI facilitating this transition. Over the past year and a half, our discussions on AI have transitioned from mere admiration to a call for action, signalling a shift in tone towards proactive engagement. Yet, amidst these discussions, we must not lose sight of our objective: taking tangible steps to address efficiency, productivity, and talent acquisition,” said Dr Ritwik Mishra - SVP and Global Head of Consulting, Knolskape

At the heart of this cultural shift lies the role of leadership—leaders must be deeply invested in driving this transformation, serving as role models and cultivating a culture of innovation and experimentation. We've explored various perspectives, but the key takeaway resonates: the time for action is now.


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Topics: HR Technology, #ArtificialIntelligence

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