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Four Ways GenAI Can Give You a Competitive Edge

Four Ways GenAI Can Give You a Competitive Edge

How to put generative AI to work for your business.

The path to success with generative AI (GenAI) isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy. In this INSEAD Explains video series, INSEAD professors reveal four ways GenAI can be leveraged to gain a significant edge.

They unpack how the technology can help businesses scale decision-making power, learn from the past, unlock new possibilities and amplify existing strengths. 

1. Scale intelligence: Free up human minds
Anton S. Ovchinnikov, Visiting Professor of Decision Sciences

GenAI offers a new path to competitive advantage through intelligent decision-making at scale. Beyond cost savings and risk reduction, GenAI can tackle the vast majority of decisions that are "too small" for human analysis.

Studies show that 70 percent of decisions fall into this category, such as deciding whether to go to the gym today. These have minimal consequences but consume valuable human thinking power. GenAI can lower the cost of applying intelligence by automating these decisions. 

Essentially, GenAI can free up humans for higher-impact work. By applying intelligence to more situations, it offers a powerful new way to gain a competitive edge. 


2. Cure organisational “amnesia” and fuel learning
David Dubois, Associate Professor of Marketing

A key reason firms fail to transform and adopt technologies is that they suffer from "amnesia" – they forget learnings from past experiments. GenAI can help by building an "organisational memory”. 

For instance, a marketing department could develop a comprehensive database of past campaigns and promotions, accessible to everyone through a conversational interface. This allows for real-time process optimisation based on past learnings. 

GenAI also provides new tools to speak with real-time analytics data and zoom in or out on market trends, identifying threats and opportunities instantaneously. Ultimately, GenAI can empower companies to become the best at continuous learning and adaptation. 


3. Unleash superhuman intuition
Miguel Sousa Lobo, Associate Professor of Decision Sciences

The key promise of GenAI is to automate human intuition, similar to how procedural computation has automated tasks like complex calculations and accounting. Exceptionally advanced intuition will help firms increasingly automate tasks and discover many more applications.

The ability to employ such “superhuman” intuition and speed in generating creative outputs is a powerful tool. Just as the introduction of databases and spreadsheets opened up unforeseen business opportunities, entrepreneurs who can identify new possibilities enabled by superhuman intuition will drive value creation. 

Therefore, the question for smart leaders is: What new opportunities can we seize with these superhuman capabilities? 


4. Leverage and amplify existing advantage
Hyunjin Kim, Assistant Professor of Strategy

Challenges in GenAI adoption currently exist, and many firms have a hard time realising the gains from implementing or using such technologies. Firms that can overcome these hurdles will likely find a competitive edge.

GenAI could also transform what companies look like and how decisions are made. Firms that have better data, or are able to develop superior models, can leverage GenAI with far greater sophistication, widening the competitive advantage gap.

Ultimately, GenAI may reinforce and amplify existing sources of competitive advantage. It could strengthen economies of scale or scope, or empower organisations with strong human capital to make even better decisions.

Whether it's by handling “minimal consequence” decisions that consume valuable brainpower, empowering data-driven learning and decision-making, unlocking superhuman intuition to generate creative outputs or supercharging existing competitive edge, GenAI offers a powerful toolkit for businesses to reshape how they compete and redefine success.


To listen to more INSEAD faculty answer pressing questions around GenAI, make sure to explore the INSEAD Explains series.

Edited by:

Katy Scott

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