in the Age of AI


The age of artificial intelligence (AI) has erupted into our world, marking its presence with striking advancements.

AI models are demonstrating new capabilities almost daily, to the point where the question is no longer what AI can do but rather what it can’t. Unlike the hype around the metaverse or blockchain technology, AI is already driving bottom-line results across multiple sectors. A multidisciplinary team of researchers at MIT Sloan has proved an unprecedented boost of up to 40% in highly skilled workers’ performance through the use of generative AI*; potentially adding trillions to the global economy. This monumental shift will change the way people work, learn, and communicate and has the potential to shake up entire industries—even society itself.

“AI has joined the list of rapid changes and challenges people are facing today. It is no surprise then that many are asking ‘How do I adapt?”

Judith Wiese, Siemens

“Disruption is inevitable in any significant technological change. It’s crucial for innovation and constant adaptation and progress.”

Patrick Trippel, Inventus Power

Despite, or perhaps because of, the endless opportunities AI promises, anxiety and excitement over the disruptive role it will play are running high. One thing is certain: ensuring that your organization is prepared for the new era of AI is no longer optional. The question now is: are leaders ready to rise to the challenge and provide the vision and adaptability to seize the opportunities?

To answer this question, Egon Zehnder and Kearney partnered to engage 100 executives in a survey across four countries and six sectors, gauging their views on how prepared their organizations, and they themselves, are for the coming AI era. We conducted over two dozen interviews with leaders to refine our findings further. We heard that leaders overwhelmingly see AI as an opportunity, more than a risk, but that leaders feel the path to success is still unclear. Harnessed for good, AI offers endless possible solutions to the many converging crises leaders navigate today.

This report provides insights into how executives anticipate AI will impact organizations, jobs, and their roles and how prepared they feel to lead through this unprecedented disruption. We will explore factors and drivers of leadership and organizational readiness that could guide leaders amidst the inevitable tech change ahead.

* Generative AI (Gen AI) refers to deep-learning AI models that can generate high-quality text, images, and other content based on the data they were trained on.