I love words and phrases and motivations. As a young man, (not that I am all that old) I used to listen to people like Stephen Covey, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale… yep, I was one of those people. I would drive everyone crazy with all of my motivational sayings; “You need a check up from the neck up”, “Your altitude is determined by your attitude”, “In order to be terrific you must be specific”, “If the vans a-rockin’….” Wait – that last one was a different phase…. moving on -
I have chilled in my later business life. However, I was sitting at an event listening to one of the keynotes when he dropped a new motivational phrase on me that blew my mind. He said, “If you work yourself out of a job I will promote you”. Wow! What a great thing to say to someone. With the up coming release of book two, “The Argument to Automate – How Innovation can INSPIRE not Fire” the key-note put in sentence form the entire attitude I have expressed in the new book.
I was speaking on a webinar earlier today when I reached the point where I wanted to conclude with the idea that – automation is only as good as the time that can (will) be freed, and your “justification” for automation is only as good as what is done with that time that is freed up. In other words, if what you do with the time has a greater impact on what the staff is currently doing then the project to automate happens. If the plan is either not there or not as powerful, then automation will not happen.
This is the part where the keynote’s idea and the new book’s ideas become very interesting. I speak a lot with people who are in the middle. They are not decision makers or checks signers – but they own the pain that can be satisfied by automation. If they go to leadership and say, “I have an idea to automate because it is sooooooo coooooool, and there are these awesome buttons that you can push!” The first question the decision maker will ask is, “How much will it cost?” Whatever number comes out of your mouth will be completely irrelevant, because it will simply be too much and the response will be, “The old way is not that bad.”
On the other hand, if you say to the leadership, “I have an idea that will take 6 people in our organization that are doing manual tasks and move them to these tasks that will make this impact on the company.” As long as “these tasks” are more powerful and impactful than the current tasks, two things will happen (with an optional third) (1) Leadership will say, “Well done! This is a great idea that makes a needed impact on our company. I like it – let’s do it!”: (2)”You are a smart person with mad skills!” (I put that in for the cool kids) (Optional 3) “You know, (remember this is leadership talking) I was thinking about (as they wave their hand back and forth) doing the exact same thing…. thanks for reminding me.”
With change comes new stuff… with new stuff comes different exposure…. with exposure comes risk… but with a creatively powerful new plan of action that benefits the company comes a promotion!
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