I first wrote about artificial intelligence (AI) for associations and how it enhances member engagement in associations in my August 24, 2018, column. The use of AI for almost anything we do now—Google search, Facebook tags, a film suggestion from Netflix, or a book recommendation from Amazon—has suddenly increased due to the pandemic.
So when the Australasian Society of Association Executives recently ran a webinar on “The AI-Powered Associations,” I attended. The Brisbane-based AuSAE has given my organization, the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE), access to its regular online sessions for association leaders.
The webinar was conducted by Paul Ramsbottom, managing director of Advanced Solutions International. Among others, what caught my attention was the 5-stage AI maturity-level chart that Paul presented. I’m sharing this with you so you can determine the level where your association currently is in.
Level 1: Chaotic—This is characterized by ad hoc efforts, poorly defined processes, and unrecognized returns or outcomes. Simply put, this is the level which you shouldn’t be in.
Level 2: Defined—This is where goals and strategies are defined, processes are documented, and there is some degree of reaction to and success in the use of AI.
Level 3: Optimized—This is when there are adopted processes, integrated systems thinking and guided behavior, auto-correction, and proactive responses.
Level 4: Agile—This is marked by a shared vision and flexible methodologies, the use of adaptable models and continuous improvement, and repeatable best practices and consistent success.
Level 5: Predictive—This is “best in class” with predictive results, complete with business intelligence and actionable analytics, early program recognition, and external benchmarks.
Ideally, the association should start its AI transformation on Level 3, getting to Level 5 where business impact is most favorable.
Paul also cited three cultural shifts needed to increase the success of an organization’s AI transformation:
1. From siloed work in different business units to interdisciplinary collaboration;
2. From experience-based, leader-driven decision making to data-driven decision making at the frontline; and
3. From rigid, risk-averse work culture to an agile, experimental and adaptable one.
Some examples that Paul mentioned on AI use are: (a) personalization in terms of AI-powered e-newsletters through content curation, including external sourcing; (b) use of chatbots serving as virtual assistants taking off workload from staff; and, (c) predictive analytics, the application of advanced statistical techniques to historical data to predict future events (e.g., forecasting who will attend your conference next year).
As in my column last year, I say again that AI isn’t a technology of the future; it’s here now and within your association’s reach!
The column contributor, Octavio “Bobby” Peralta, is concurrently the secretary-general of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific and the Founder & CEO of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives. PCAAE is holding the Associations Summit 8 on November 25 and 26, 2020 with the theme, “Leading with Agility.” The two-day virtual event is supported by Adfiap, the Tourism Promotions Board and the PICC. E-mail email@example.com for more details on AS8.