In these early days of AI, one thing is clear: AI makes work easier.
Leaders, like anyone else, want to make their work easier. And so they will turn to AI for answers to their questions and problems.
Since AI learns from humans, it will almost surely perpetuate classical management until it can make associations to the problems caused by classical management (see list below), in which case AI might then recommend a change to a different management system.
- Suppressing wages
- Low employee engagement
- Lack of competition
- Low rate of innovation
But will AI recommend a change to a different management system? If the owners of the AI systems benefit from classical management, it seems certain that algorithms will be made or adjusted to remove progressive management responses. AI will be taught to correct its “errors” to help maintain the existence of the Institution of Leadership and System of Profound Privilege. The ancient preconceptions and biases of leaders and AI will merge into one.
What looks like incompetent leadership to followers usually looks like competent leadership to leaders. Incompetent leaders and AI might become indistinguishable.
That’s not good news for anyone who, for the last 100-plus years, has been laboring to find practical ways to improve leadership. It seems likely that human efforts to improve leadership will no longer be needed for any leader, from supervisor or CEO.
As a consequence, leadership will continue to lag the needs of times, likely even more so in the future than the past. Its evolution may slow down or get redirected even more along a technological path and less of a human path.
A constant threat to humanity is adhering to outdated traditions. AI may assure the continuation of that threat in tandem with all the good things that it will do for humanity.