Is Your Company AI Resilient?

Is Your Company AI Resilient?

Understanding the ways in which AI can help companies become more effective and efficient in what they do, sell, and create is a topic that’s on nearly every marketer, business owner, and CEO’s mind—or at least it’s a topic that should be.

This is due in part to the fact that AI has emerged as the Great Leveler, doing much to democratize certain vocational and creative skills—skills like coding and writing, to name just two.

AI is not a replacement for coders and writers, at least not yet, but it’s definitely giving people a doorway into skill-dependent disciplines like coding and writing—and all sorts of other disciplines too plentiful to name— that didn’t exist before November of 2022.

People with no previous coding knowledge can now generate Python script at the push of a button.

People who historically communicated better orally and shied away from writing can now use an LLM to string together clear sentences that convey what they feel and mean with confidence.

Generally speaking, AI has been a positive development for most businesses, and is transforming a wide range of industries, too, from healthcare and finance to manufacturing and retail.

In healthcare, AI-powered tools are being used to analyze medical images, assist with diagnosis, and even help develop new drugs.

Financial institutions are leveraging AI for fraud detection, risk assessment, and algorithmic trading.

Manufacturers are using AI to optimize supply chains, improve quality control, and automate production processes.

And in retail, AI is powering personalized product recommendations, chatbots for customer service, and demand forecasting.

As AI solutions become better, safer, and more prolific, companies will continue adopting these new technologies.

The pace and scale of adoption will increase, and this will, in turn, lead to enormous competitive advantages for companies who lean all the way in.

The big companies will become bigger, to be sure, but the small companies will become much more powerful, suddenly able to punch way above their weight classes, igniting new competition across the board, which is ultimately good for both B2B customers and B2C consumers.

But, like any advantage, it comes at cost.

A double-edged sword

The flipside to all of this is that a fair number of companies will simply cease to exist.

Some will disappear overnight, and some will succumb to gradual attrition.

But I’m fairly certain that no company is immune to the seismic shift of AI’s tectonic plates.

This transformative wave is rapidly approaching and lots of people are still standing on the shore, gazing up in contemplation, wondering if they have enough time to reach higher ground—or worse, choosing to ignore the coming wave altogether.

The question this sparks for myself, and the one I have for you, is this: Is your company AI resilient?

If not, can it be?

At its core, AI resilience is about a business’s ability to adapt to and leverage AI technologies in a way that creates value and drives growth—while also protecting the organization’s future.

This requires a combination of strategic foresight, technical capabilities (though likely not as much as you think), and organizational agility.

AI-resilient companies are proactive in understanding the potential impact of AI on their industry and business model.

They invest in building the necessary skills and infrastructure to effectively deploy AI solutions.

And they foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning that allows them to quickly pivot in response to new opportunities and challenges.

Of course, this is easier said than done.

Thrive’s journey toward AI resilience

Becoming AI-resilient is as much a concern for me and for Thrive as it is for the businesses we serve.

Thrive is a brand and marketing agency.

We use a combination of design-thinking and strategic frameworks to find creative solutions to perplexing brand and marketing problems.

We’re a small group of knowledge workers who use critical thinking and research and reasoning to help our clients launch new products, transform their brands, and gain market share.

We’ve always contended that our particular brand of working and strategizing is unique to us.

After all, we’ve been solving the same problems for the same vertical for more than a decade now.

But a recently surfaced quote from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been keeping me up at night.

When asked about AI’s impact on creative agencies, and creative work in general, he had this to say.

“It will mean that 95% of what marketers use agencies, strategists, and creative professionals for today will easily, nearly instantly, and at almost no cost, be handled by the AI—and the AI will likely be able to test the creative against real or synthetic customer focus groups for predicting results and optimizing. Again, all free, instant, and nearly perfect. Images, videos, campaign ideas? No problem.”

It’s worth rereading the first part of that sentence and putting yourself in my shoes.

It will mean that 95% of what marketers use agencies, strategists, and creative professionals for today will easily, nearly instantly and at almost no cost be handled by the AI.

If 95% of our customer base no longer needs us, will we survive? Or, put another way, is Thrive AI resilient?

I don’t have an answer to that question yet.

I’m doing everything I can to either step out of the way of the coming wave, to find that proverbial higher ground, or to grab the nearest surfboard.

It’s certainly possible Thrive will fail. It’s possible that ChatGPT-5 or 6 will be so powerful that Thrive, and other agencies like us, will become obsolete overnight.

But it’s also equally possible that Thrive will, well, thrive, because deploying GenAI tools and keeping a keen eye on this ever-changing landscape makes us—and me—uniquely suited to help other businesses navigate this new complexity.

Add in our bias towards creativity, towards solving problems with the entire arsenal of weapons in the design-thinking armory, and it’s entirely possible we may enter a phase of unprecedented growth, doing millions of dollars in revenue while helping our clients do tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

The future’s uncertain. And at this point, it can go either way.

Embracing the unknown

My objective as both an individual and an agency CEO is to, as Wharton professor Ethan Mollick advises, be the “human in the loop,” and to “invite AI to the table,” to understand this new technology as completely and comprehensively as I can—and then to use that knowledge to help our clients to grow from seven-figure business to eight- or even nine-figure businesses.

As an entrepreneur with an agency that may not be AI resilient, nothing occupies more of my brain space than AI.

For Thrive, it’s either the solution we’ve been waiting for, or the obstruction that we won’t be able to navigate around.

Regardless, the way out is the way through, and forward we shall march.

You might be in the same position as we are.

You might be thinking about AI’s impact on your customers, your market, your employees, your workflows, and yourself.

On the other hand, you might not be thinking about AI at all.

If you’re in the latter group, I’m here to tell you that you should be.

As a business leader, now is the time to take a hard look at your organization and ask: Are we AI resilient?

The answer to that question may well determine your company’s fate in the years to come.

Start the conversation today and take the first steps towards building an AI-resilient future.

After all, it just might define it.

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