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Will Generative AI Help You Grow in 2024? – January 9

There’s no standard way organizations first try generative AI, but it’s common for early adopters to use it, initially, on job-related tasks. One user searches for specific experience in scattered resumes. Another analyzes and formats data for a report. A third revises content for a proposal. Early adopters typically set out “to see what they can do” using tasks they know well, and then see what they learn.

Positive experience is reinforcing, and that gives generative AI the potential to spread rapidly. What starts as unplanned point improvements can quickly become planned process improvements, as early adopters see the potential for efficiency and effectiveness gains. There’s also a logic to beginning with single-task uses and advancing to uses broader in scope and impact. As the pyramid figure suggests, this progression begins with tasks before moving to parts of a process, entire processes, related processes, and then broad business functions.


This trajectory isn’t inevitable. Individuals and teams need time to gain generative AI knowledge and skill, and organizations can do many things to enable or hinder that knowledge and skill acquisition. You can expect early adopters to be motivated to do more, however, and the next adopters to observe with interest. Whether individuals and teams began using generative AI in 2023 or they start in 2024, you’ll notice they want to advance use to create more benefit. Only leadership can turn use into adoption to produce strategic gains, not just tactical.

In December 7 and December 8 ThinkSpace articles, DWPA distinguished adoption and use and explained how adoption can lead to strategic gains. Growth is a central strategic gain, so how do you harness early adopters’ experience and energy to grow in 2024? Consider the following four principles or practices.

  1. First, know your strategic intent and write it down for everyone to know. Clarifying growth goals will channel early adopters’ efforts who would use generative AI differently for different ends, such as to position in the market, enter an adjacent market, reduce costs, or create new value propositions.
  2. Second, decide how you’ll measure progress and success. This not only tells you how well efforts produce results, it helps early adopters further target generative AI use. Generative AI is a powerful, nuanced capability which requires a fair degree of trial and iteration. Working from broad objectives subject to interpretation can waste time, money, and effort. Knowing exactly what target to aim at will enable individuals and teams to make the best choices. It’ll also help with Practice 3.
  3. The third practice is to assess organizational capabilities against your strategic intent. This can be an extensive effort you might wish to undertake for many business reasons. For purposes of harnessing early adopters’ experience and energy to grow in 2024, you can chunk it down. Ask early adopters to identify capabilities needed to accomplish the growth objectives they support with generative AI. They’ll know the task, process, resource, partner, and other requirements they need to succeed[1].
  4. The fourth and final practice is to think like an entrepreneur. By adopting generative AI, you’re doing something different to create new value. This necessarily involves the discovery and validation of new business model elements, and your teams might not be familiar with ways to do this. Encourage them to identify assumptions, formulate hypotheses to test, and then review evidence they gather. Establish the practice of discovery, appraisal, and application of what is learned and you’ll increase your odds of using generative AI to grow.

As you start a new calendar year, one-third through the fiscal year, the question isn’t whether you’ll harness early adopters’ efforts to grow. Nor is the question when, because when is now. The question is how you’ll draw together the curiosity, talent, motivation, and ingenuity of individuals and teams to support growth and other business objectives. These four generative AI adoption practices will get you started.

Follow us here on ThinkSpace to learn more. For details, contact your Client Executive or Lou.Kerestesy@DWPAssociates.com.

[1] To organize what can be far-ranging discussions, DWPA recommends using the Business Model Canvas (or similar framework) for these conversations.