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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Alsup

Building a Future-Ready Workforce: The Case for AI Culture

“90% of companies want to do GenAI, but only 10% of them are successful, and the reason they fail is because they haven’t built the mechanisms of actually transforming the workforce to adopt new technology and new capabilities.” - Brad Miller, Chief Information Officer of Moderna
An office of workers being transformed by AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer a futuristic concept confined to science fiction (no Terminator references here!). It is a transformative force reshaping the landscape of modern business. From automating routine tasks to providing deep insights through data analytics, AI is becoming an integral part of operations across industries. Companies are leveraging AI to enhance productivity, streamline processes, and innovate in ways that were previously unimaginable. However, as powerful as AI is, its successful integration into the workplace requires more than just technological readiness—it demands a cultural shift within organizations.

You're interested in AI, but what's the first step? As technology experts we see education and work-culture as the best places to start.

Cultural readiness for AI adoption is crucial. It involves preparing the workforce to not only accept but also embrace AI as a valuable tool. This means staff should be encouraged to use AI tools in their work and shouldn't be shy about sharing how and when they are using AI. Sometimes people feel shy or ashamed if colleagues know that they used AI to complete a task. People may also feel threatened by the capabilities of AI. Both of these reactions are valid but also unhelpful. In an AI positive work environment AI use is celebrated and shared.

If a person is great a using Excel, they are not ashamed, or it is not considered "cheating"! An Excel wiz is a valuable staff member who is more efficient than a person who doesn't know how to use the tool. The same goes for AI tools!

A cultural shift is essential for maximizing the benefits of AI and ensuring its sustainable and ethical use. Without a positive AI culture, organizations risk facing resistance from employees, misaligned goals, and potential ethical pitfalls. By fostering an environment where AI is seen as an enabler rather than a threat, companies can harness its full potential and drive significant advancements. Some people are afraid AI will take their jobs, but really, it's going to be people who use AI that will take the jobs.

Worker replaced by ai

Looking back, we see that companies who were early adopters of cybersecurity, cloud computing, and the internet reaped substantial rewards. As we know, businesses that quickly integrated the internet into their operations unlocked new markets and transformed their business models, setting themselves apart from slower competitors. We believe AI will be a similar story.

Major Companies are Already Making the Shift

Operational Excellence

There are plenty of use cases where AI will be playing a big role in organizations, but operational excellence is perhaps one of the most significant advantages that an AI-positive culture brings to an organization. By integrating AI, companies can streamline their processes and leverage real-time data analytics for strategic decision-making, leading to enhanced efficiency and productivity. Of course, many technologies make the same promises, and perhaps AI isn't quite ready for prime time in your business, but positioning your organization to take advantage of it as the technology matures is a smart move.

Here's a great case study about Moderna's shift to AI

Streamlined Processes through AI Automation

AI automation transforms repetitive and time-consuming tasks, allowing employees to focus on higher-value activities. For example, in the manufacturing sector, AI-driven robots and automated systems can handle routine assembly line tasks with precision and consistency, reducing errors and increasing production speed. Siemens, a global industrial manufacturing company, utilizes AI-powered automation in its factories to optimize production schedules and maintenance routines. This automation has not only increased operational efficiency but also minimized downtime by predicting equipment failures before they occur.

In the customer service domain, AI chatbots and virtual assistants are revolutionizing how companies interact with their customers. Companies like Bank of America have implemented AI-powered virtual assistants like Erica, which handle common customer queries, perform transactions, and provide financial advice. This automation ensures that customer service representatives are available to tackle more complex issues, improving overall customer satisfaction and reducing response times.

Real-Time Data Analytics for Strategic Decisions

AI's ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data in real-time provides organizations with critical insights that drive informed decision-making. In the retail industry, companies like Amazon use AI algorithms to analyze customer data, predict purchasing behaviors, and optimize inventory management. This real-time analysis enables Amazon to stock products efficiently, reduce waste, and ensure that popular items are always available, thereby enhancing the customer experience and boosting sales.

Similarly, in the healthcare sector, AI-powered analytics are transforming patient care and operational efficiency. IBM's Watson Health uses AI to analyze medical data, providing doctors with real-time insights into patient conditions and treatment options. Hospitals can use these insights to make faster and more accurate diagnoses, improve patient outcomes, and optimize resource allocation. This real-time data analytics capability is crucial for making strategic decisions that enhance the quality of care while reducing costs.

In financial services, AI-driven analytics enable institutions to detect fraudulent activities and manage risks more effectively. Companies like JPMorgan Chase use AI to monitor transactions in real-time, identifying suspicious patterns and potential threats. This proactive approach to risk management not only protects the institution and its clients but also strengthens the overall financial system's integrity.

You may not need top of the line AI in your line of work, but just like having a webpage became something all businesses needed we may see implementation of AI tools playing a similar role.

human working with a robot to solve a problem

How to Implement an AI-Positive Culture

Honestly, we could put together a detailed and thorough guide with "AI Readiness Audits" and "Setting Measurable AI Adoption Goals", but for 99% percent of us those are pretty vapid recommendations at this stage.

Here are three things we see as actual steps most businesses can easily take that will put them on the path of AI adoption.

  1. Vision and Leadership

  2. Education

  3. Access to basic tools

AI Positive Vision and Leadership

The leadership in your organization must agree to an AI positive mindset. Staff that use AI should be praised not punished. Even if the leadership team doesn't know exactly how AI will play a role in their business, they need to recognize it's coming and that the AI driven tools that are slowly making their way into the market are powerful game changers.

Small incentives or even just recognition are enough to start getting employees interested in and perhaps using AI.

AI Education for Staff

Everyone will need at least some basic AI education. It could be as simple as explaining GPT capabilities and limitations to more advanced use cases. A systematic and formalized education program is best, but just getting started is the critical piece of the puzzle. When I just pay attention, I see AI education coming at me in piece meal form. For example, I received an email from Microsoft about "How to talk to Copilot". Microsoft if very deliberately training me on how to interact with their AI. This is the AI equivalent to understanding how to format a table in Excel.

Identifying members of your organization who are more capable with AI and pairing them with others who are not, may be a good way to transfer knowledge as well.

A deeper understanding of AI will be important to have within your organization (or outsourced to your Managed Service Provider) because there will be an ever-shifting landscape of cybersecurity, data privacy, and compliance regulations to navigate. So, you'll have general AI users who have a basic working knowledge of the tools and then you'll have your experts who are in charge of ensuring the AI within your company is being used properly.

Access to Basic Tools

At this point, we are seeing GPT, Copilot, Gemini, and a few other similar apps as the frontline AI tools. These are the simplest to use and are easily deployed. Getting these tools into the hands of your employees not only gets them hands-on experience but as they use the tools, they will undoubtedly find novel ways to use the tool in their work.

Please note that you should consult your IT department, IT guy, IT professional BEFORE using AI tools. The tool should be vetted, and guidelines should be put in place regarding what data can be put in the AI program.

Cybersecurity and awareness around AI should be a major area covered in your education section.

You don't have to sprint to AI, but you better at least be walking!

We are pretty much at the starting line, but the race has begun. By taking incremental simple steps in education and leadership, your company will be well positioned to capitalize on AI as more and more opportunities reach maturity.


I used Chat GPT to help me outline this article. I didn't use the entire outline but took some of the ideas and worked from there.

The images are created by AI.



The information contained in this communication is intended for limited use for informational purposes only. It is not considered professional advice, and instead, is general information that may or may not apply to specific situations. Each case is unique and should be evaluated on its own by a professional qualified to provide advice specifically intended to protect your individual situation. Kosh is not liable for improper use of this information.


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