When I see how fast AI is advancing in our world and underpinning everything, I can’t help but appreciate how rapidly board directors and C-Levels are skilling up to advance their organization’s leadership in ensuring AI is applied responsibly.
Governance, my friends, is the system by which entities are directed and controlled. It’s all about structure and processes for decision making, accountability, control, and behavior at the tippy-top of an entity.
Now, I did my board director certification about a year ago and let me tell you, trying to understand what good governance means can be a career in itself, never mind actually applying it in my day to day leadership or board governance activities.
One of the key things about good governance is making sure you know who your stakeholders are and having a strategy to develop and strengthen stakeholder confidence. You also need a solid business strategy and governance framework in place to plan, implement, and monitor the performance of that strategy. And let’s not forget about understanding that ever-changing external environment and building risk management practices, so new technologies can seamlessly integrate into your organization’s culture. That takes commitment, planning, and a clear change journey roadmap.
Alright, now let’s dive into the world of AI governance. According to IBM, AI Governance is all about directing, managing, and monitoring the AI activities of an organization. It’s about tracing and documenting data, models, and associated metadata. Sounds good, right? But here’s the thing, IBM’s definition doesn’t stress the importance of talent management in the realm of AI governance.
Based on my years of experience, the most crucial building block of AI governance is the strategy framing and the case for action. Let me hit you with some key questions to get those gears turning:
1. Is AI important to your business model, and if it is, why is it?
2. What problems in your organization can AI help solve? Focus on the most significant ones.
3. How can you evolve your current business model by augmenting products/services/solutions with AI to gain a competitive advantage?
4. Who are the industry leaders in AI that you can learn from? Knowledge is power, my friends.
5. What are your customers saying about AI? Have you talked to them? Learn from their experiences and insights.
And that’s not all, folks! Keep going with these questions:
6. What are your competitors doing with AI? Don’t be left in the dust.
7. Do you have enough quality data internally to tackle the problems you’ve identified?
8. Have you identified all the stakeholders essential for successfully executing AI initiatives?
9. Do you have the talent in-house or do you need some external support? No shame in getting a little help.
10. Do you have a solid business case and implementation plan that focuses your execution pathway?
Remember, these are just some of the many questions to consider when it comes to AI governance. Don’t rush into the wild wild west without a proper plan, my friends. The role of a board director from a governance perspective is to THINK before running.
Unless board directors are trained and armed with the right questions to manage AI risk, many organization’s AI initiatives will suffer. So let’s get educated, let’s stay curious, and let’s govern AI responsibly.
Source: (Sorry, can’t mention it, but it’s out there!)