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  • Writer's pictureEmily Maxie

Three Steps Before Scaling Generative AI Adoption

I have to admit, it’s easy to get excited about the productivity gains your team can see by using generative AI tools. By seeing even a 10% lift in employee productivity (a low estimate) these tools easily pay for themselves — see AI thought leader Paul Roetzer’s analysis here


But Paul is also quick to point out that the ROI of generative AI tools doesn’t automatically justify buying licenses for everyone on your team. He says that before you think about scaling the use of generative AI, you need to establish three foundations — AI usage policies, educational programs, and a designated AI program owner. 


I know, I know. These things don’t sound fun or sexy. But they’re absolutely vital for getting the most out of your generative AI adoption. So let's dive in.


Step 1: Establish Clear Generative AI Adoption and Usage Policies

The emergence of generative AI isn't the first time where organizations have needed to swiftly revise or recreate policies. We’ve seen the same thing with social media and even the internet itself.


"When social media first became prevalent, organizations scrambled to build guidelines and policies regarding employee use to ensure a clear delineation between personal and professional use," says Lisa Sterling, chief people officer at Perceptyx in a recent SHRM article. "Now GenAI has introduced some new twists on those guidelines, and most people are still working to define the new parameters."

A well-designed generative AI policy provides a framework that governs the use of generative artificial intelligence within an organization. Without this guiding document, you risk ethical lapses, legal complications, and mismanagement of AI resources.


Here are some things you should consider when crafting your policy:

  1. Purpose: Define whether generative AI can be used for both internal and external purposes within your organization.

  1. Disclosure: Decide if there's a need to inform clients or stakeholders when using AI-generated content.

  2. Data Protection: Establish what data can be fed into the AI and what should be withheld to protect privacy and intellectual property.


Even if your initial policies are not flawless, it is crucial to have basic guidelines in place. These guidelines will serve as a compass to steer your team in the right direction when integrating AI technology. These guidelines will help your team navigate the complexities and intricacies of AI implementation, ensuring a smooth and successful integration process.


Not sure where to start? Check out my blog, "How to Write a Generative AI Use Policy for Your Startup."

Step 2: Initiate an Educational Program on AI


As an early adopter of generative AI, it's important to keep in mind that not all of your employees may have a complete understanding of generative AI or how it can be applied in their everyday lives. It becomes crucial to educate your team about the potential of generative AI and any specific tools you plan to implement. By doing so, you can empower your team with the knowledge they need to fully benefit from generative AI.


Let's dive into a few key points:

  1. Understanding the Potential: Take the time to explain the possibilities and applications of generative AI. Help your team grasp how it can enhance their work and contribute to the organization's overall success.

  2. Training and Support: Offer training sessions or resources to help your employees get familiar with generative AI tools. Provide ongoing support to address any questions or concerns that may arise during the learning process.

  3. Collaboration and Shared Learning: Encourage a culture of collaboration and shared learning within your organization. Foster an environment where employees can exchange ideas, insights, and best practices related to generative AI.

Remember, by educating your team and fostering a collaborative atmosphere, you can harness the full potential of generative AI and drive success in your organization.


Step 3: Appoint a Dedicated AI Program Owner


A dedicated AI program owner plays a crucial role in overseeing the adoption, training, and utilization of generative AI. This individual ensures that the adoption plan aligns with the goals of your startup and maximizes the technology's potential.


This person will be responsible for starting with a controlled pilot program, selecting a small, trained group to use the AI while adhering to established guidelines and oversight procedures. They should also consider setting usage benchmarks that justify the company's investment in the technology for each user and develop clear metrics to track success and utilization, guiding decisions on scaling up the AI rollout.


Conclusion


By setting clear usage policies, investing in tailored education and training, and appointing a responsible overseer, your startup can confidently scale up the use of generative AI. This systematic approach minimizes risks and allows your company to fully capitalize on the capabilities of generative AI.


The future is here with generative AI; harness it prudently to scale new heights for your startup.


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