Connect AI to Emotional Intelligence for Growth

Connect AI to Emotional Intelligence for growth; not just growth, but exponential growth. This was the topic for the latest conference talk I did at InfiniteConf 2019, London.

The annual conference celebrates all things Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Big Data, attracting a true global audience. It is organised by Skills Matter; certainly one of the impressive and active tech communities I’ve come across recently.

If you follow my blogs on leadership and sales revenue growth, then you certainly know by now that I’m a big fan of how technology trends play into the game. You would also recall that I’ve blogged and vlogged many a time about the importance of connecting AI to Emotional Intelligence (EI) to enable exponential growth in our businesses.

In today’s blog, I share the 3 key points in the talk; including the full cast by kind courtesy @skillsmatter . Feel free to follow on Twitter.

Intelligence: Artificial and Emotional

Intelligence is attractive in its different forms. It holds a lot of value; whether we look at it from a human perspective or non-human perspective.

As leaders, intelligence is required to make decisions in most environments more effectively. This explains why organisations will continue to spend a lot on intelligence and insight driven information; including technologies.

For the purposes of this blog, let’s use these definitions by wiki:

 Artificial intelligence (also machine intelligence):

“Intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans”

Emotional Intelligence (also human intelligence):

“The capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings … to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).”

The Business Value of Artificial Intelligence

AI’s value is increasingly geared and measured under ‘new business’ (growth) rather than traditional ‘cost reduction and efficiencies’ attributed to the business value of IT.

This shift will also effect a change that dissolves our siloed business units and propel all functions to work together, with the customer as a key focus of value measurement (longer term clients, larger portfolio sizes, trusted relationships between buyers and sellers).

The shift also ensures that the wider internal and external stakeholder needs are met (investors, employees, communities, partners, customers etc.).

So how do we connect AI to Emotional Intelligence to effect this exponential growth. Humans need to share ownership of the capabilities being allocated to machines to realise better business value.

Our Role in the Future: AI, EI and Business Growth

Business and technology leaders need to develop more emotional intelligence within themselves and their organisations, to govern the appropriate use of AI platforms and systems of intelligence.

We are now moving away from the hype of AI means ‘we will lose our jobs’ to new perceived reality.

Only 38% of CEOs now expect AI to contribute to workforce reduction in future.

The rest (the majority) of CEOs are embracing and preparing for a new reality; exploring the new roles, new business models, new abilities and skills that need to be developed and recognised to accelerate growth and gain competitive advantage.

The future is about connecting AI to Emotional Intelligence for growth.

So what ? – about connecting AI to Emotional Intelligence for Growth

Let’s recap, shall we?

  • AI and Human Intelligence plays a major part in business evolution
  • How we measure business value of IT (including AI) has changed
  • So will our leadership, IT and business roles in contribution to growth


Actionable advice

What inspired action can I take today to contribute to how we connect AI to Emotional Intelligence for exponential growth?

For more information about our speaking engagement services, do get in touch here.

Access the full talk courtesy SkillsCast: Leading with AI and Emotional Intelligence for Growth

Infiniteconf 2019 – rrImages copyright


Maggie Sarfo is a passionate author, speaker, advisor and mentor for inspirational business leaders and entrepreneurs looking to explode growth revenue or access their highest potential. Her blog is her playground, where she explores the topics of business growth, personal growth and peak performance. Learn more about her programmes.


References and additional reading:

  1. S. Ransbotham, P. Gerbert, M. Reeves, D. Kiron, and M. Spira, “Artificial Intelligence in Business Gets
Real,” MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group, September 2018.
  1. GARTNER –
  2. MIT’s Centre for Collective Intelligence:
  3. MIT AI and ethics game:
  4. UK Parliamentary report on AI and ethics
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