Leading Teams Into AI - www.ciceron.com

Leading Teams Into AI.

Ciceron is now entering the third major overhaul of marketing. It started with the Web in the mid-90s as the basis of our founding, then the collision of mobile and social in the mid-00s, and now the AI revolution. To soon to call it a revolution? I think not. If you pay just a half attention to what’s going on, you see it right in front of us.

During each transformation, we chose to move early. That’s easy for me to do, functionally. I can simply make a decision. But what about my staff? What about yours?

How do we lead during these times. I’ll give you my playbook.

1. Don’t be precious.
This is hard. I tell my staff, “During times like this, do not get too attached to the ‘things’ you do. Those ‘things’ are likely to be disrupted by technology.” For some, this is really hard. They like what they do. But so did typesetters. Or HTML programmers. Or social content designers. If at the end of each day much of your work was filled with zeros and ones, then it’s likely that tech is coming for you. It’s optimized to solve zeros and ones challenges.

TIP: Give your team members time to experiment. Give them access to tools. Give them the freedom to reimagine their work and value.

2. Never underestimate the power of new tech.
Just because a new technology like AI doesn’t do what you think it would out of the box, don’t worry: it will. Most of the AI products we have available to us are in very early stages of development and launch…and they’re pretty incredible. We’re just getting started. Realizing that provides you a mental roadmap for where the future is headed. Remember, for many years, people didn’t think Amazon could sell enough books to be a viable business.

TIP: You need to lead towards a vision larger than the current tech. You need to establish that vision, with your team’s insights.

3. “Move fast and break things.”
Largely attributed as the motto of early Facebook, I believe in the mantra. Would you rather disrupt yourself than have it done to you? There are myriad people hoping you’re slow. A unfettered competitor. The investor community that sees blood in the waters (sorry, gross). Your existing technology partners hoping you won’t notice. You’ve got to move. You have to ask your staff to unwind current ways of working, platforms you use, and services you offer. You have to question everything because everything was created for a different era.

TIP: Make the assumption that the new methods, partners, and services are going to be better than the ones you have. Assume them to be holding you back. But without the vision from section two, your team can flounder. It’s up to you to set the course.

These are amazing times to reinvent. Live robustly with curiosity. Inspire your team to pursue new greatness and support them when they will likely make many tiny failures on the path to perfection. Enjoy the ride!

Andrew Eklund