Your transformation journey

Pearls of wisdom from the AI & Intelligent Automation podcast episodes 56-60

Seth Adler

Simplify, standardize, centralize, automate

Ep.56: Loren Mahon, Oracle

“We're always looking at what are the next opportunities for us to scale. When I look at business transformation overall, we really have a pretty disciplined methodology that we've developed over the years that we've been doing this, and it's four steps. It's simplify, standardize, centralize and automate.”

If you can’t crystalize your transformation strategy at the moment- take this one. Loren goes on to share that “simplify” is looking for best practices and that “standardize” is adopting those best practices as appropriate. As appropriate brings you to “centralize,” which means that you want to standardize in as few places as possible and you already are most likely familiar with “automate.”

But of course once you’ve done those four steps, it’s not that you have accomplished transformation– at that point you’re simply ready for transformation.


Idiot's guide to stupid questions 

Ep.57: Chris Bevacqua, GE

“I just asked the stupid questions. 'Cause I didn't know how to set anything up, but I just also knew what didn't work for me as a sales rep.”

The only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked. Chris went into transforming shared services through operational excellence and eventually automation by starting at the beginning and asking questions through the mind of the customer. He admits he came at it from ‘just a sales guy’ point of view– but that’s how he affected wholesale change iteratively. Why do we do this that way? Why do we do that this way? And so on.


Transformation from the top, no matter where you are

Ep.58: Nadia de Villa, Manulife

“The transformation efforts itself began with an assessment of the world, our current state, at a fairly high level– with an objective of truly turning the enterprise on its head and changing. That was the starting point. There was an enterprise-wide executive mandate to transform.”

Nadia was tasked to do her job through an enterprise-wide executive mandate to transform. Jealous? If you’re lucky enough to be in an organization like this you know that the work still has to get done and it’s certainly not easy. Because. You. Have. To. Change. Everything. Then you have to find new metrics of how to measure your success. Then you have to succeed. On the other hand, if you’re not lucky enough to be in an organization that is driving transformation from the very top, start at your level– drive transformation through the ranks and then showcase success up. Also very difficult, but they’re paying you to be there, so why not.


Go find that leak

Ep.59: Jerry Wagner, Capitol One

“One of the first tasks that I had was actually this gigantic green panel. It had a bunch of little air tubes that were stuck in there. My boss at the time just said, "You hear that leak? Okay, well one of those little modules is leaking, and it's screwing up how this machine is running. Go find that leak." That was my start of my automation journey. For that particular panel– it was pneumatic controls. You think about the technology from like the ‘50s. Automation's been around for years.”

Go find that leak. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The leaks are your tired clunky processes. Once you find the leak, you’ve got to fix the leak. You either optimize the process or eliminate the process. Then go find another leak. You’ll always have leaks but they won’t always be pneumatic controls. They’ll be old bots. Like right now, some of the bots that you put into play less than a year ago have leaks. Go find that leak.


Transformation journey to ultimate customer journey

Ep.60: Moh Al Ghadban, Adidas

“Having gone through IT process automation ourselves, when we wanted to go through our robotic process automation journey, we partnered with our internal teams to actually have a framework, have the criteria about our partner selection. Selecting a partner is going through a journey. You have a vision, of where you want to go with this partner. And you identify how that partner would help you to go through this journey.”

Rather than the tail wagging the dog with the tail being business and the dog being IT, Moh’s enterprise has figured out how to have IT lead. And rather than having the tail wagging the dog with the tail being the solution provider and the dog being the enterprise, Moh’s enterprise has figured how to have the enterprise lead. And it all comes down to one word: vision. Envision the best possible scenario of what your customer’s journey could be in five years. Build your enterprise to serve that journey. Before you take one step, define your enterprise’s journey to your ultimate customer’s journey.