The AI Skills Gap: A Silent Threat to Your Business’s Future and How to Fix It 

You will lose employees and AI efficiency if you don't get this right!

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January 29, 2024

Level-Up Your Employees Before Your Competitors Do.

SAP's recent commitment to reskill 8,000 employees for an AI-centric future should serve as a screaming smoke alarm for every business leader. A whopping 76% of employees have not received training in the use of AI, despite a 49% increase in its presence in organizations. 

SAP’s move serves as a warning for businesses everywhere

This isn't just about keeping up with tech trends; it's a shot across the bow. You need to upskill your team or risk losing them.

The world of AI isn't just expanding; it's evolving at a breakneck speed. 

In the rapidly evolving world of AI applications, what was considered advanced a year ago is now table stakes. This lightning-fast evolution is reshaping job roles and skills requirements, leading to a significant impact on the workforce. 

The big question is… are you positioning your company to disrupt or be disrupted?

The AI skills gap is a clear and present danger that your business must address immediately, or you risk falling too far behind to catch up. 

If you’re like every other business owner or leader, you probably have high hopes for AI and its impact on efficiency. 

But there’s a massive friction point that is rapidly putting the breaks on productivity gains, innovation, and profits... and it’s your self-trained labor force.

The figures speak for themselves: only 14% of employees are very confident they’ve received the right training on AI

This startling statistic calls for an immediate and strategic rethinking of workforce development.

The AI Skills Gap

The AI skills gap is not just an IT problem; it's a leadership crisis. 

It's a wake-up call that demands a response not just from your IT department, but from the highest levels of your organizational leadership. 

A recent study revealed that 90% of leaders are merely dabbling in AI technologies or simply waiting for the hype to settle. That’s an alarmingly clear disconnect between potential and action.

Consider this: BCG reports that nearly half of the workforce will require GenAI reskilling within the next three years. That's a staggering number, reflecting an urgent need for a paradigm shift in how you approach employee skill development. 

SAP's Bold Move: A Lesson for All

SAP's decision to reskill 8,000 employees is not just a strategic pivot; it's a template for what proactive leadership looks like in the AI era. 

It's an acknowledgment that to harness the full potential of AI, your business must have a workforce that's equipped and ready. 

This isn't just about your keeping pace; it's about you setting the pace.

It's not just about being ready for the future; it's about reaping the present benefits. 

Approximately 54% of C-suite executives believe AI and GenAI will bring significant cost savings in 2024, with about half expecting savings over 10%. 

This is a clear indicator that investing in AI training isn't just a defensive move against skills obsolescence; it's an offensive strategy for your financial efficiency and competitive advantage.

The Need for AI Training

AI training is not just beneficial; it's critical if you want to future-proof your business. Right now 69% of CEOs admit their workforce isn't ready to fully leverage AI. That's a startling admission and one that should kick you into high gear. 

The gap between AI's potential and the current state of workforce readiness isn't just a gap; it's a chasm that needs to be bridged—and quickly.

The Eager Majority: A Workforce Ready to Learn

Interestingly enough, this isn't a case of reluctant learners. A solid 52% of employees are more than just open to learning new skills—they're hungry for knowledge. They understand that AI isn't a fleeting trend but a fundamental change in how work gets done. 

Their eagerness alone, however, isn't enough. It needs to be met with robust and comprehensive training programs.

Here's a fact that should make you sit up and take notice: hiring a new worker can be up to seven times more expensive than upskilling an existing employee

Virtually all experts agree the best thing you can do for your business right now is invest heavily into upskilling your team with AI expertise.

In a world where more than 94% of companies have left three out of four workers untrained in GenAI tools, the message is clear… there is a massive day of reconning coming.

That means you need to develop and implement comprehensive AI training programs. You need to tap into the inherent eagerness of employees ready enhance their skill sets. 

This approach not only builds a stronger, more adaptable workforce, but it also creates a culture of continuous learning and innovation.

Implementing an AI Framework

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when rolling out an AI training program is not starting with a strategic framework for AI integration and execution. 

Many organizations rapidly enroll employees in external AI training, but without a strategic approach and a uniform framework getting everyone operating from the same page, the end results are redundant efforts, subpar outputs, and frustrated employees. 

A proven framework is critical not just for the simplification of education, but for the efficient and effective execution, as well. 

The right framework will encompass everything from establishing standards to structuring prompts. 

It should synchronize prompt engineering efforts for both front-end users and developers working on back-end AI integrations.

The AI Strategy Canvas™: A Tailored Solution

Recognizing this critical gap, Bizzuka designed the AI Strategy Canvas™ with a holistic approach. It's not just about training; it's about integrating a fundamental understanding of AI into the operational fabric of your business. 

It serves as a comprehensive guide, ensuring that AI training is aligned with business objectives and that its application is structured and standardized across various facets of your organization.

The AI Strategy Canvas™ is more than just a framework; it's the strategic answer to the widespread skills gap that looms over your business, potentially hindering profits and innovation.

This blueprint is what shifts your workforce from a constant state of trial and error to a structured approach for sharing and scaling AI implementation.

David Lewis, a Marketing Manager at innoviHealth, echoes the sentiment of many professionals when he reflects on his initial thoughts on AI: "I'm fascinated by it but just don't understand it very well." 

Despite his fascination, Lewis admits to a significant knowledge gap—a gap that the AI Strategy Canvas™ quickly filled in for him.

David’s experience, from confused to empowered, underscores the canvas's ability to simplify AI. 

"Yesterday's meeting was very, very eye-opening for me. Inspiring," he shares, recalling his second AI Mastery training session. "I had no idea that you could put variables in there like that. So powerful and yet not so obvious."

John Thompson, COO of Exepron, offers a similar perspective, highlighting the organizational impact of the AI Strategy Canvas™. "The moment I used the Strategy Canvas to start writing a prompt, it structured everything," Thompson remarks. 

John’s testimony speaks to the power of the canvas to bring order to the chaos of AI's possibilities, serving as a "roadmap of what's first, second, third, fourth" for both individuals and teams. It's a testament to the canvas's role not just in individual upskilling but in fostering collective AI fluency within a team or organization.

The AI Strategy Canvas™ tackles head-on the challenges of integration and implementation of AI within all departments and divisions of your businesses. 

Sadly enough, in today’s world, only 6% of companies have trained more than a quarter of their workforce in GenAI tools.

This highlights a significant gap in AI training, which the AI Strategy Canvas™ aims to quickly bridge. It provides clear, actionable steps for AI adoption and skill development, ensuring that employees are not only trained in AI but are also confident in applying these skills effectively within their roles.

Considering that 32% of employees consider leaving their jobs due to a lack of career development opportunities, by aligning AI training with career development and organizational goals, the Canvas becomes more than just a strategic tool—it becomes a catalyst for employee retention and satisfaction.

The Risks of Inaction

Those of us who live in the hurricane zone know that you get out of the way fast when a Category 5 approaches. Similarly, in your business, ignoring the early signals that your competitors are in a rush to upskill their employees is akin to standing on Biloxi beach in 2005 hoping Hurricane Katrina takes a hard right. 

The risks of inaction in AI training and strategy are not just potential losses; they're a guarantee of falling behind in this rapidly advancing market.

A startling statistic comes into play here: nearly half of recent job seekers exaggerated their AI skills, and yet the majority were still hired

So, if you’re planning on hiring your way into a skills upgrade, think again. 

On the other hand, employers known for providing AI skills training have a key recruitment differentiator.

Failing to address your AI skills gap and lack of career development opportunities may very well lead to a significant talent drain, with your most capable employees leaving for greener, more AI-savvy pastures.

Ponder this: 67% of job seekers in the US have encountered AI technology in recruitment efforts. 

That should underscore the growing importance of AI in not just operational roles but in talent acquisition and retention as well. 

Slack off now in providing AI education to your employees, and you may very well find yourself losing good employees to companies that offer AI upskilling. 

At the same time you’ll find it really difficult to attract quality replacements.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to provide AI training to your staff is the fact that 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development

In an era where AI is reshaping industries, investing in employee AI training is going to be a key factor in employee retention. It’s about showing a commitment to your workforce’s future, aligning their growth with that of the company.

Inaction in developing an AI strategy and upskilling program isn't only about losing employees. It’s also about the inefficiencies that you’re creating as workers struggle to figure things out on their own. 

The more people you have learning things on their own, the more redundant work, inefficient prompting, and poor AI output you’ll experience. 

The Fast Track to Upskilling: Fractional Leadership and AI Masterminds

In the journey to bridge the AI skills gap, one innovative approach is to hire or engage a fractional head of AI strategy and implementation. This role is about bringing in seasoned expertise on a part-time basis, providing guidance and oversight on AI execution while staying abreast of the latest advancements in the field. 

The cost-effectiveness of this model is evident: you gain top-tier strategic insights and leadership without the financial commitment of a full-time executive position.

The Fractional AI Advantage

A fractional AI leader offers a blend of flexibility and specialization. They can navigate the complexities of AI integration, tailor strategies to your specific business needs, and ensure that your AI initiatives are always aligned with the latest industry standards.

This is more than just cost-saving. It's an opportunity to inject your business with cutting-edge AI acumen without the overhead of a full-time hire.

AI Mastermind Groups: Collective Wisdom and Continuous Learning

Another highly effective approach is enrolling key executives in an AI Mastermind group.

Imagine a forum where the leaders are dedicated to keeping up with AI advancements, and all members benefit from this collective research. Such a mastermind group typically meets a couple of times a month, but it’s not just about these meetings.

There's a huge advantage to being part of an ongoing, engaged online community that keeps members informed, connected, and ahead of the curve.

The right AI Mastermind group serves as a brain trust for your business's AI initiatives. By pooling the insights and experiences of diverse industry leaders, these groups provide a rich source of knowledge and a sounding board for ideas and strategies. They offer a low-overhead way to gain extreme value and stay informed on AI trends and techniques without the time investment of doing all the research individually.

Tailoring Upskilling to Your Business Needs

Both fractional leadership and participation in AI Mastermind groups represent innovative, cost-effective solutions to the AI skills gap. They allow businesses to tap into high-level expertise and collective intelligence, ensuring that their AI strategies are not just current but cutting-edge. 

In the fast-paced world of AI, staying updated and adaptable isn’t just an advantage—it’s a necessity.

Stop Waiting, Start Leading

At this moment, the future of your business rests on this one question: will you lead with AI or be left behind? 

This isn't hyperbolic; it's a reality of the world we’re now living in. 

Artificial Intelligence is not a distant future—it's here, and it’s reshaping the way we work, innovate, and compete.

Addressing the AI skills gap is not optional; it's essential. 

It involves more than just introducing AI tools into your business operations. It's about structured training programs, strategic framework implementation, and, most importantly, aligning these efforts with your business goals. 

The advantages of having a workforce skilled in AI are huge. Take it seriously, and you’ll soon see substantial growth for your organization and a decided edge over your competitors.

The time for tentative steps is over. 

You need to take proactive measures in developing your workforce and establishing a comprehensive AI strategy. 

This goes beyond productivity. Think about employee satisfaction, innovation, and solidifying your position in a competitive, AI-driven marketplace.

AI Strategy Canvas™ and Louisiana State University's Accelerated AI Mastery Program

If you want to learn more about the AI Strategy Canvas™ and Louisiana State University's Accelerated AI Mastery program, schedule a call with us, today.  

The Accelerated AI Mastery program is exclusively and entirely based on the AI Strategy Canvas™. It’s a 6-week, hands-on, fully immersive training program led by John Munsell, CEO of Bizzuka and Adjunct Instructor of Artificial Intelligence at LSU. 

Together, they represent a commitment to helping you not just survive in the AI era, but thrive.

Interested in Corporate AI Training?

Our Corporate AI Training programs are tailored to give your team the framework and skills they need to manage and leverage AI to its fullest potential.

Schedule a call with us. We'll work with you to identify your team's unique needs and design a training program that aligns with your business objectives.