Turn on the TV, browse through a blog or tune into a podcast and you will hear about the AI revolution. Whether a fan or a skeptic, the impact of AI on business is a reality. Chatbots and predictive analytics, to name two, are changing the way we conduct business. 

CEOs who want their business and executive brands to stand out from the crowd and effectively compete must ensure that they are AI-ready. CEOs who fail to prepare place themselves and their companies in danger of becoming obsolete. 

“The CEOs most at risk of being impacted by AI are the ones not embracing it,” says Mike Caito, CEO of MAP Consulting and a member of YPO for the past two decades. “We are looking at our value proposition and asking ourselves how we can integrate AI into our business model in a way that makes us hard to copy? How can we use AI to be even more sticky? That’s the question.” 

Preparing your executive team and company requires an in-depth understanding of the impact of AI on your business, a willingness to adapt both personal and business models, investing in AI technology, developing a roadmap for implementation, and fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability. The following five questions will get you started on future-proofing your personal and business brands.

1. Where could my business benefit from AI?

Identify areas where your company could benefit from the technology. According to one Forbes Advisor survey, 64% of businesses believe that AI will help increase their productivity. For instance, financial analysis, inventory management, customer service and marketing are all areas where AI can improve efficiency and increase profits. 

“We need to stay curious and experiment with AI,” says Stasia Mitchell, Global Entrepreneur Leader at EY and longtime YPO member. “AI will continue disrupting; it’s not going to be comfortable or easy, but I encourage the entrepreneurs I work with to focus on the areas where they want to experiment with AI. Ask yourself, where can this create an opportunity?” 

2. Am I using AI to free up my time as the CEO and increase my thought leadership? 

One of the most significant advantages of AI is its ability to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up valuable time for CEOs to focus on more strategic thought leadership initiatives. For example, AI can be used to automate scheduling and email management. In addition, AI such as ChatGPT can help you save significant time on thought leadership writing. It’s important to note that while natural language generation technology can be used to produce simple reports, news articles and other content, it does not replace human writing – it augments it. AI is highly effective for summarizing information and suggesting and brainstorming ideas.

In addition, AI-powered editing tools are highly effective at creating quick, easy thought leadership videos. Tools such as VEED, Wondershare Filmora and Lumen5 can automatically select and assemble the best shots, add transitions and adjust audio levels. These tools can also assist with image retouching, video stabilization and color correction. 

Although they are relatively easy to use, these tools still require learning to make the most of them. “CEOs need to understand that prompting and the ability to be able to instruct these AI tools where they want to go is going to be the critical skill that all workers, starting with the CEO, will have to learn in a very short time,” says João Barros, Chief Platform Officer of Nexar. In addition, Barros teaches about AI at the Porto Business School in Portugal and is part of the working group that expands AI knowledge across YPO.  

“It is critical that CEOs today start getting hands-on experience to adopt these AI tools to the advantage of their organization. It’s not enough to give their workers these tools,” says Barros. 

3. How strong is our online presence?

To compete effectively, teaching search engines like Google about who you are and what your company represents across various online platforms is crucial. With online discoverability, credibility and relatability, your personal and business CEO brands can keep up with the AI-driven competition. A robust online presence is crucial for establishing a solid brand in the age of AI. 

This means updating your personal and professional profiles and social media such as LinkedIn and creating consistent, engaging content for your business. This can include articles, blog posts, podcasts and videos.  

“You have to be extremally conscious that if you don’t show up in AI searches, you are nonexistent in a certain way,” says Asha Saxena, author of “The AI Factor” and Co-founder of WLDA (Women Leaders in Data and AI). Saxena, a YPO member based in New York, explains that the key is being “very visible – everywhere.” 

4. How can we upskill our leadership and employees to remain competitive? 

One critical initiative CEOs need to take to prepare their company brands for AI is to upskill their leadership and staff. Learning AI on the job and attending professional development courses or workshops are just a few ways to upskill your company.  

Specifically, leaders should be educated on how AI models work, how data can be leveraged for decision-making, and the ethical considerations of AI. For employees, the focus should be on both understanding and working alongside AI tools. The response is positive for employees who have the chance to learn about and use AI tools. A survey from SnapLogic found that 61% of workers say that adopting AI within the workplace has boosted their productivity. 

Finally, mentorship plays a significant role. An actual person can offer guidance, encouraging employees to participate in AI projects and foster innovation and hands-on learning. By embedding AI into the upskilling process, your company can stay agile and ensure that your workforce is prepared to harness the full potential of AI innovations. 

5. What is our roadmap for AI implementation? 

Developing a roadmap for AI implementation ensures that your company stays on track and achieves its short- and long-term goals. I work with my clients to help them create a cross-functional team to strategize (outline milestones, establish timelines) and oversee the integration of AI into their business operations. According to research from Tidio.com, 83% of companies consider using AI in their strategy to be a high priority. 

Although AI is becoming increasingly accessible and affordable, investing in the right AI technology can still be significant. One function of the team is to assess the long-term ROI and determine the cost-benefit of implementing AI in your company. Additionally, I encourage clients to invest in AI talent to ensure they have the personnel to develop and execute AI initiatives.

AI has transcended beyond a buzzword circulated within tech conclaves. Today, it stands as a tangible reality every CEO needs to acknowledge and engage with as they develop and implement their personal and corporate brands in the evolving marketplace. Navigating this challenge requires more than just asking pertinent questions about AI; the natural acumen lies in wrestling with and discerning the profound answers. Only by doing so can you ensure that AI is an ally, enhancing your brand’s vitality rather than an impediment compromising its success.