Nearshore Americas

Navigating the Wild West of AI

The rapid development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in various industries have revolutionized the way businesses operate and the way consultants generate value to their client companies. Or so it should…

As AI-powered tools become increasingly competent, their functionalities often overlap, presenting companies with a double-edged sword: miss the opportunity to adapt and risk falling behind; or fail to recognize the overlap and end up paying twice for the same service.

In this context, the concept of “ambidexterity”, introduced by Professor Peter Kawalek, plays a crucial role in ensuring businesses can innovate effectively while optimizing their resources.

As we explore the risks companies face in this AI-driven environment, we’ll introduce how embracing ambidexterity can help organizations adapt and optimize their resources effectively. We will also draw from Professor Edward Hess’s recent book, Own Your Work Journey! (2023), which emphasizes the concept of adaptation as crucial in navigating the ever-changing landscape driven today by tremendous technological evolution in very short time. 

Risk #1: Failing to Incorporate AI Capabilities

AI has permeated various industries, offering advanced tools and solutions that can significantly improve business processes. Companies –or management consultants that are slow to adopt technological capabilities, whether related directly to AI or not– risk losing their edge as their competitors might become more efficient and cost-effective and their clients more aware of the gap. 

[Ambidexterity] refers to ‘an organization’s ability to excel in both innovation and optimization’

Organizations must stay informed about the latest AI developments and actively incorporate these innovations into their operations. As a consequence of the mitigation of this company risk, your MCSP (Management Consulting Service Provider) should be also on the same frequency, to ensure it helps you create value in the best possible effective manner.

Risk #2: Overlapping Capacities, an Effectiveness and Procurement Problem

As AI and tech tools become more advanced, their functionalities often evolve into an overlap with other solutions. Organizations might find themselves using various tools with similar features. This redundancy may result in increased costs and reduced effectiveness. It’s not a given, but that’s precisely the risk. 

In Strategic Procurement, there is a concept called TCA (“total cost of acquisition”) which improves physical world logistics and hidden costs associated with buying something. In the world of services and online tools, similarly, we should try to lower the TCS (“Total Cost of Subscription”).

To avoid this pitfall, companies must continuously assess their procurement strategies and the solutions they employ to ensure they are making the best use of their resources. From ERPs to workflow automation, RPA or CRM tools, a team should be created to assess how to improve effectiveness and at the same time, hopefully, lower the company’s cost footprint. 

Companies must continuously assess their procurement strategies and the solutions they employ to ensure they are making the best use of their resources

There will be hard times ahead. Your company should prepare for that environment, since changes to core processes are not easy or fast. 

Embracing Ambidexterity for Innovation and Optimization

Ambidexterity, as introduced by Professor Kawalek, refers to “an organization’s ability to excel in both innovation and optimization”. This concept is particularly relevant in the AI-driven business landscape, where companies must balance the need for innovation with the necessity to optimize their resources. 

To achieve ambidexterity, organizations should:

  • Stay Informed: Keep up to date with the latest developments on the services, tools and solutions you use, and identify which are best suited for your organization. Engage in industry events, subscribe to relevant publications and collaborate with your trusted MCSP to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Foster a Culture of Experimentation: Encourage your team to experiment with new AI tools and other tech-based solutions. Create an environment where employees feel comfortable testing new ideas and sharing their insights, ensuring that your organization remains agile and adaptable.
  • Assess and Reassess Constantly But In a Reasonable and Orderly Manner: Regularly evaluate your organization’s tools and solutions to identify if you are paying for overlapping features that can be unified. Implement a procurement strategy that factors in the potential for redundancy and makes adjustments as needed, with competitiveness always in mind.
  • Embrace Continuous Learning: Encourage employees to stay current on the latest trends and co-invest with them in their professional development. By fostering a culture of continuous learning, your organization can stay on the cutting edge of innovations by tapping on the multiplying effect of synergy.
  • Leverage Ambidexterity for Strategic Decision-Making: Develop a strategic approach that balances innovation and optimization. Use data-driven insights where possible to make informed decisions that will enhance your organization’s ambidexterity and ensure long-term success. Also, trust your gut. Data alone can be misleading as well. The combined usage of data, critical thinking and experience that is an Art in itself!

In one sentence: EXCEL AT ADAPTATION.

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In short, the Wild West of AI-driven technology offers both challenges and opportunities for businesses. By embracing the concept of ambidexterity and the value of adaptation, organizations can effectively navigate this rapidly evolving landscape, striking the right balance between innovation and resource optimization. 

The key is to foster a culture of continuous learning, experimentation, effectiveness and adaptation, positioning your organization for long-term success in this future AI-driven world.

Otto Acuna

Otto Acuna is an Internationally Certified Management Consultant that helps organizations to work better through strategy, operational improvement and digital transformation.

He is the Founder and CEO of e-Consulting Global Solutions OÜ, an Estonian company that help consultancies utilize the latest methodological and technological resources to serve their clients. E-CGS was designed as a fully digital organization that combine the capabilities of the most digitized society in the world with the drive for sustainability and vision of Costa Rica, in the Americas, where Otto resides.

He has over 20 years of experience both as a professional management consultant and working in functional leadership positions in companies, always associated to business improvement, human resources and finance. Otto is the first CMC-Certified Consultant in the Spanish Latin America region. He is also an ISO 20700 Trainer for the CMC-Global Institute.

He is currently volunteering as the Chairperson for the CMC-Global Institute - the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes, the global organization which creates the standards and regulates the management consulting profession in more than 50 countries and territories. He also serves as Lead Assessor for the Quality Assurance Committee, where he supports the triennial audit of management consulting institutes worldwide.

As of 2023, Otto and e-CGS support consultancies in Canada, the US, Costa Rica, Egypt, Mongolia and Kenya, as part of its expansion into emerging markets. You can contact Otto by email or or LinkedIn.

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