ELIN HAUGE

  • Elin Hauge

Dear leader - are you qualified for the future?

Updated: Jul 18

Digitalization in general and artificial intelligence in specific should be on the agenda for all top management, C-suite, and boards. According to insights from Eurostat (Artificial intelligence in EU enterprises - Products Eurostat News - Eurostat (europa.eu)), that cannot possibly be the situation. Their data shows that only 7% of European companies are currently using some form of AI.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Digitalization in general and artificial intelligence in specific should be on the agenda for all top management, C-suite, and boards. According to insights from Eurostat (Artificial intelligence in EU enterprises - Products Eurostat News - Eurostat (europa.eu)), that cannot possibly be the situation. Their data shows that only 7% of European companies are currently using some form of AI.


Based on my daily interactions with leaders and companies across the Nordics, Europe and Middle East, I sincerely believe that the main challenge is lack of competence on top management, C-suite and board level. And let's not forget investor/owner level. Even among investors in the tech landscape, the general competence on AI and other emerging technologies is surprisingly low.


So what? Why bother?


My answer to that is that unless you skill up fast, you are not qualified to either run, steer or own a company in the future:

  1. The future is digital, and covid helped us with a boost in that respect. If you want to run, steer or own a profitable company, you need to make sure you are competent to make the right decisions. According to a study performed by MIT Sloan (It Pays to Have a Digitally Savvy Board (mit.edu)), digital savviness on board level pays off very well.

  2. Security threats are also to a significant extent digital. Understanding of how digital and data driven technologies work is essential to be able to ask the right questions and implement mitigating measures.

  3. The proposal for the new AI Act for the EU in practice means that as a leader or board member, you are legally responsible for understanding how data-driven technologies are integrated in your business and for ensuring compliance with the regulation. If you fail, the fine is up to 30m EUR or 6% of annual revenue.

This may sound harsh and black-and-white, but it needs saying. I, for one, would not want to invest my money into a company that is clearly not future-ready. I would also not want to invest in or be customer of a company that goes bananas with creative "personalization" in an attempt at monetizing my personal data. Spotify, are you listening? That is, however, a topic for a future article :-)


To start your upskilling, I recommend listening to podcasts, taking online courses (often free), or simply ask for help. And when you think you are done, it's time to repeat, because the digital future is volatile.




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Elin Hauge

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