Adopting AI by Putting People First

Government red tape is notorious worldwide. That’s nothing new; it’s been that way since the Roman Empire. Cutting through that confusing web is just one way artificial intelligence can help you and your organization.

In our recent interview, David Levy highlighted that and many other benefits of AI you probably haven’t thought about. The vice president of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Worldwide Public Sector, he’s looked hard at people-first approaches to AI development. He found that receiving those benefits requires shifting your leadership approach. He offers several steps to steer yourself to the adaptable, tech-savvy, and supportive style today’s public and private sector leaders need to succeed.

First, loosen up! Those old-school stiff hierarchical leadership models tend to squelch innovation. Instead, a leader’s resilience and curiosity are key. Grow into a more dynamic, adaptive leadership style that embraces continuous learning. Help your team become constant, curious learners, too. Learning and upskilling are vital in keeping pace with AI developments (and with your competition!).

All that curiosity needs direction to be applied. As the leader, it’s squarely your responsibility to set the vision everyone is working toward. This is particularly true with AI integration; with new AI apps emerging daily, choosing (or developing) the right ones for your vision boosts the team’s work. The wrong ones, at best, become a costly distraction. Your vision makes the line between the two crystal clear.

Focus your vision squarely on your end-users. A customer-centric approach steers the straightest path to success. Your use of AI must ultimately enhance service delivery and customer satisfaction. Sometimes, the most difficult task for your team is identifying who their primary stakeholder really is!

Even with these steps, leading the adoption of AI and other tech can be complicated. Resistance to change is real, as is organizational inertia (particularly in governments). The precise solutions will vary depending on your company culture and individual team members. Generally, though, the more you foster curiosity and learning, the more likely people will embrace change.

Ensuring people-centric deployment goes a long way, too. People need to see how change will benefit them; that’s a deeply human trait. All AI solutions should be accessible, understandable, and beneficial to every stakeholder, but particularly to your team members and your customers: the alphas and omegas of your workflow.

Dave has seen these steps work effectively already. A council in the UK, for example, now uses AI for document processing—cutting through that red tape we mentioned so citizens can readily access and easily understand their government paperwork.

Imagine large corporations and governments with no red tape: that’s one dream AI might just make true!

Learn more about leading in the age of AI with our newest audiobook; get it on Audible now at


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This article was adapted by Dan Mushalko from our podcast episode Putting People First with AI.

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