Third Thursday: Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa

AI in Strategic Planning: Integration and applications for strategy

About Our Third Thursday Guest: Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa

Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa

Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa, PhD, uses Strategic Doing (SD) to boost startup and innovation ecosystems for economic prosperity in Puerto Rico. He coordinated SD workshops with government agencies, academic institutions, professional organizations, and non-profits, focusing on economic development, disaster recovery, and academic transformation. He studies how distributed networks collaborate and the rise of new governance structures in higher education. Ubaldo is a chemical engineering professor at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, former Executive VP for Academic Affairs of the UPR System, and Board of Trustees member of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust.

Key Themes

1. AI in Strategic Planning: Integration and applications for strategy.

2. Collaborative Question Generation: AI-generated questions for group work.

3. Training AI Agents: Fine-tuning for accurate outputs.

4. Addressing AI Limitations: Tackling hallucinations and biases in AI.

5. Human-Technology Collaboration: Balancing AI with human input.

6. Trust-Building in Teams: Importance alongside AI tools.

7. AI for Rapid Improvement: Quick generation of strategic opportunities.


AI and Decision Making: “I think in terms of the benefits, I think it helps a lot with decision making.”— Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa 00:16:4200:16:47

**AI Accountability in Decision-Making**: “But now, if artificial AI, so artificial intelligence or artificial entity is making the decisions or taking decisions or helping out with that decision, so how we address that accountability?”— Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa 00:17:5100:18:05

The Power of Large Language Models: “What it does mostly is understand and generate human-like text-based by providing an input.”— Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa 00:19:1500:19:23

**The Potential of AI in Strategic Doing**: “So let’s imagine that we have a network or a complex system of any kind, and we somehow are able to include a chip, AI chip into the whole network.”— Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa 00:25:5300:26:06

Time Stamped Overview

00:00 Greetings on April 3, Thursday. Icebreaker activity, chat GPT usage discussion.

06:46 Chat GPT answers questions with long responses.

11:33 Ubaldo is an expert in AI collaboration.

15:03 AI contextualizes data, analyzes, automates, aids decision-making.

18:54 Technology advances enable data pattern identification and interaction.

23:06 AI processes input, generates content with training.

25:53 AI chip integrated into a network for analysis.

28:43 Retraining chat GPT for framing questions.

34:29 Leverage assets to find new opportunities collaboratively.

38:09 Excited about the workshop, and amazed by the quick results.

38:49 Workshop revealed similar options for collaborative efforts.

42:38 Using transcript to train chat for summaries.

48:53 Express gratitude, share experiences, and explore possibilities.

53:40 Agents learning about hallucinations, confirmation bias issue.

54:47 Fine tuning is crucial for effective chatbots.

58:30 Tool enables fast understanding for consultants and flexible retraining.

Discovering the Synergy of AI and Strategic Doing in Agile Strategy Labs

Embracing AI for Collaborative Strategy and Education

The Agile Strategy Lab at the University of North Alabama delves deep into the intersection of technology and strategy, providing a pivotal platform for discussions on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance collaborative efforts. During a recent session, hosted by Liz Nilsen, key experts, including Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa, shared insights into using AI tools, like chat GPT, to streamline strategic planning and foster collaboration.

Training and Bringing AI into Strategic Doing

One of the core aspects emphasized during the session was the training process of AI agents and how it aligns with the principles of strategic doing. Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa highlighted the need for effective training and fine-tuning of AI models to minimize issues like hallucinations and confirmation bias. This meticulous process ensures that AI-generated questions and suggestions are logical and contextually relevant, facilitating meaningful collaboration and strategic planning. To tackle these challenges, Ubaldo proposed leveraging the tools provided by chat GPT to add constraints and retrain the agent with proprietary data. By doing so, the AI becomes more adept at providing tailored recommendations, enhancing its utility in strategy sessions. Notably, consultant firms can harness these capabilities to create robust solutions, tapping into vast arrays of information, from documents to multimedia content, thus fostering a powerful, data-driven strategic environment.

Enhancing Workshops and Strategic Planning with AI

Ubaldo detailed the transformative role that AI can play in workshops and strategic planning sessions. By generating framing questions and identifying opportunities, AI tools expedite and enrich the collaborative process. For example, AI can quickly outline potential pathways and manage risks during workshops, thereby freeing up human participants to focus on critical thinking and decision-making. Jennifer, a participant in one of these workshops, underscored the importance of the human element in evaluating and refining AI-generated insights. Her experiences highlighted a symbiotic relationship where AI enhances efficiency, while human facilitators ensure accuracy and coherence, ultimately driving more impactful outcomes.

Addressing the Hallucination Problem and Confirmation Bias

Kai, another participant, raised concerns about the ‘hallucination problem’ characteristic of AI, where the system might generate incorrect or nonsensical outputs. Ubaldo acknowledged these challenges, reiterating the importance of rigorous training and continuous refinement of AI models. Addressing confirmation bias, Ubaldo emphasized the critical role of diverse data sets in training AI, enabling it to provide more balanced and objective insights. Furthermore, by integrating AI tools adeptly into strategy sessions, participants can address these issues head-on, ensuring that the AI remains a reliable asset for collaborative strategic doing. Ubaldo’s insights into using AI to organize and summarize meeting discussions further illustrated its potential to streamline operations and maintain focus on strategic objectives.

Balancing AI with Human Collaboration

An integral part of the discussion was the balance between utilizing AI tools and preserving the intrinsic value of human collaboration. Liz Nilsen posed a thought-provoking question concerning the trade-offs between AI automation and the trust-building processes that underpin successful collaborations. Ubaldo’s response stressed that while AI can significantly accelerate and optimize certain tasks, the nuances of human interaction, particularly non-verbal communication, remain beyond its reach. Trust-building, facilitated through transparent and consistent communication among team members, continues to be a cornerstone of effective strategy development, and AI, in its current state, serves as a complementary tool rather than a replacement.

Building a Future with AI in Strategy

The session concluded with forward-looking statements on the potential of AI in reshaping Strategic Doing practices. Ubaldo highlighted ongoing education workshops and the creation of digital resource hubs, which aim to equip communities with the knowledge and tools to harness AI effectively. For instance, AI propels advancements in the material sciences domain by simulating processes and accelerating discoveries through machine learning algorithms. Such applications underscore the broader advantages of integrating AI, from decision-making and reducing human errors to managing complex networks and identifying innovative opportunities. Overall, the Agile Strategy Lab’s exploration of AI’s role in strategic doing illustrates a dynamic and evolving landscape. By marrying the strengths of AI with the irreplaceable value of human collaboration, organizations can navigate the complexities of strategic planning and execution more effectively, paving the way for innovative and resilient futures.


The insightful discussion led by Ubaldo Córdova-Figueroa highlighted the multifaceted role of AI in strategic planning and collaboration. By exploring the benefits and challenges of AI tools like chat GPT, the conversation underscored the potential for technology to enhance critical thinking, expedite decision-making, and foster new opportunities. The emphasis on fine-tuning AI models to reduce misconceptions and integrating human facilitation to ensure meaningful interactions set a promising direction for future applications. The session ended with a reminder of the importance of human trust and collaboration in strategic endeavors.

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