Executive Briefings

Making the Leap to Artificial Intelligence: Four Keys for Manufacturers

It seems everywhere you look, traditional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI). Ford recently announced its plans to invest $1bn over the next five years in Argo AI, a start-up formed just in December whose focus is the development of autonomous vehicles. Similarly, last year GM invested $1bn when it acquired Cruise Automation, another AI start-up.

Of course, the decision to invest in AI is not limited to traditional OEMs, as demonstrated with Intel's $15.3bn acquisition of Mobileye.

Once organizations make this type of investment, they face some serious talent concerns: How can they make sure the new employees from the startups they acquire assimilate smoothly into their organization? And how can they attract the right talent from outside to maximize their investments?

It all starts with getting the culture right.

Do your cultural due diligence
Take the time to study the start-up organization’s culture and how it handles delegation of authority, work environment, budget and cost approval, travel policies, values and style of communication. Ask questions like: How many people are needed to get something approved? Who needs to decide which customers, suppliers, markets, products and technologies will be priorities? How many cost and profit centers are there, and how well do they work together? What is the span of control for managers? How long does it take to approve a job opening and get someone hired and working? How hard is it to gain access through purchase or licensing of new technology or software? How complicated are contracts with the company?

Comparing these answers to the existing policies, processes, and practices at the established enterprise will identify gaps in culture that will need to be bridged to enable motivation and success for the acquired business.

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Of course, the decision to invest in AI is not limited to traditional OEMs, as demonstrated with Intel's $15.3bn acquisition of Mobileye.

Once organizations make this type of investment, they face some serious talent concerns: How can they make sure the new employees from the startups they acquire assimilate smoothly into their organization? And how can they attract the right talent from outside to maximize their investments?

It all starts with getting the culture right.

Do your cultural due diligence
Take the time to study the start-up organization’s culture and how it handles delegation of authority, work environment, budget and cost approval, travel policies, values and style of communication. Ask questions like: How many people are needed to get something approved? Who needs to decide which customers, suppliers, markets, products and technologies will be priorities? How many cost and profit centers are there, and how well do they work together? What is the span of control for managers? How long does it take to approve a job opening and get someone hired and working? How hard is it to gain access through purchase or licensing of new technology or software? How complicated are contracts with the company?

Comparing these answers to the existing policies, processes, and practices at the established enterprise will identify gaps in culture that will need to be bridged to enable motivation and success for the acquired business.

Read Full Article