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Courtesy of OPEN BDA's Larry Boyer, below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Leading Business Transformation In Times of Disruption: From Covid-19 to The Fourth Industrial Revolution' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at Digital Process Automation Live.
Leading Business Transformation In Times of Disruption: From Covid-19 to The Fourth Industrial Revolution
The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us that the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are not the only source of disruption in business and life. The suddenness with which the pandemic struck has magnified for us to see the effects of disruption and the effectiveness of our responses as leaders, businesses, governments, and individuals.
The pandemic has also exposed both strengths and weakness of business continuity plans, change management and business transformation efforts and the leadership behind them. As we emerge from the pandemic what have we learned that will enable us to harness the power of disruption – whether we create the disruption or not. How do you successfully implement business transformation efforts when everything is not only changing fast but shifting?
Business transformation must be about more than just targeted efforts. The enterprise itself must be included. Organizations must be not only agile the must be anticipatory. In this presentation we will discuss:
Scanning should they directly from Hartford, Connecticut, to share his expertise with our global community, and I am talking about Larry Boyer Ladies and Gentlemen, Larry is going to discuss leading business transformation in times of disruption from covert nineties to the fourth Industrial Revolution.
Larry is the author of the Robot in the Next Cubicle, What You Need to Know to adapt and Succeed in the Automation Age, as a business leader, an advisor, to connect technology, analytics, and economics to business operations and the strategies to lead digital transformation and increase sales and profitability.
He has been on the Board of Advisors for The Rutgers Big Data Program.
Pakistan and Open, BGA, Larry, we're all thrilled, so how are you sharing your expertise with us today? Thank you, so much, for taking the time.
Thank you very much. I'm very happy to be here.
Let's get started.
So, today, I'm going to talk about really, you know, digital process automation and how it interacts with disruptions. And, you know, we've where we've been experiencing for the last year we're still experiencing disruptions from the covert 19 pandemic and more broadly, you know, we have been in the early stages of the fourth Industrial Revolution.
Where there's lots of more disruption happening ends still to come.
So I want to help everybody understand a little bit about those kinds of disruptions so that we are ready and prepared for, for future disruption.
Even though it might be different in nature, then koven 19, in fact, that it's disruptive to business processes, to the way we live our lives.
The way we work, that's all, what's, what's in common to it?
What is the role that, that digital process automation, business process automation, robotic process automation, as well?
So I'd like to talk a little bit about, is just to set some of the context about that, too.
Help understand, what about exponential change, tipping points and disruptions, the natures of evolution, and revolution, and then looking at kind of the strategies and change management business transformations. And what are some of the lessons that we've learned from the pandemic, especially for leaders, you know, as we go into future disruptions.
And I'll just add, you know, even if you just turn on the news today, right there is disruption happening around the, around the world.
And there's disruption that we can see that it may not be happening or impacting us today, but it's going to be impacting us long into the future, right?
So we can see things from, you know, here in the United States, we've got disruptions to a gas pipeline due to a cyber attack.
We've got coven, 19.
Hitting in India, and getting worse.
And how that's going to impact supply chains around the world, you know, and many, many others, OK? There's just disruption all all around us.
So, what do we do with that?
OK, so, first, let's just take a look at automation. Just understand the different types.
Now, we've been talking about that a lot, This, this week. So just a quick review, right? Business process, automation. We're looking at using technologies too.
Just refine how our business process works.
Lot of that has to do with changing how people in the human, in the system operate.
We move into digital process automation where we're using automation to improve the workflows using both software and human.
Then the robotic process, automation where we're using kind of intelligence, computer software, right, the artificial intelligence, machine, learning others, to automate repetitive processes and to, um, gain additional insights.
Oftentimes, right, the robotic process automation, the objective there is to place a lot of what the human tasks are in the business process.
First of all, what we want to do is just think about it a little bit.
But how future proof are your automated processes, regardless of what type they are, right. So we've talked about, again, we've seen disruptions all around us.
So, or your business processes able to handle any of these kinds of disruptions.
You know, how long will your process be irrelevant? So, technology is changing.
Customer preferences are changing.
The way we do business, right we see that with Kobe, how we even do business is changing.
So are our processes that we have and that we have invested in? Are they still relevant today?
Do we need to re-imagine them, right?
We've been re-imagining them a lot over the last year and much of that is enough.
A crisis mode.
At some point, we need to sit down and just think, OK, well we've made a lot of changes.
How relevant arsenal and what ones do we want to keep?
Which ones do we need to go back in and fix and make more?
Efficient and more effective?
How can we look forward to the future and think about this in better ways?
Are you likely to receive your projected return on investment for some of these?
Right, lot of times, you know, process automation is an expensive process.
Again, the world has changed.
Is it time to decide, OK, do we keep going on with the project we've got? Do we pause it?
Assess where we are and move forward.
Or do we know that enough already, that now we just have to scrap what we've been working on build something new.
How important is that?
How will our processes withstand different types of disruption.
So, we should be thinking about what are all the different types of disruptions that are going on when we talk about Covert 19.
Another one that's been in the news lately is the Microchip Shortage but how is that going to affect you?
And even if you're not a direct user of microchips, like a computer manufacturer, an automobile company, right?
Look further down the supply chain to where it impacts you, right?
So are you going to be able to buy computers for your staff?
How long will it take?
Yeah, You might be accustomed to being able to order a computer and having it the next day.
Maybe it will take months now.
You have to start thinking about these things because it takes time for the disruptions to work their way through the entire system.
And then thinking about that, we've talked about adaptability, and agility, especially in people, and the business.
Right, but when you're looking at the process itself, whatever it is that you've automated, how adaptable is that process?
Some of that is about coding. There are best practices about making coding much more flexible.
That's sometimes what people do.
We want to make sure that it is flexible in the maximum possible way, so that when there is a shift, you can take your process, your automation, and adapt it to a new new circumstance.
It's a lot easier to go in, change a set of code that has been set up to be changed than it is to go back and try to rework something right from the beginning because the code itself is if adaptable.
So we want to be thinking about something like that as well.
Right, So with that, I want to make sure that when you start out on your process automation journey, you want it to be future looking and strategic.
Oftentimes, what we're looking at is we just look at a process and say, we want to automate this in some way.
So how far can we automate, looking just at some digital automation? Are we going to try to automate the human interaction away from it and to RPA?
Whatever is right, but we are looking at the existing process, it exists today, Right.
What we need to do before investing in such a project, is to think about the future, right. And how can this process change?
How is it likely to change moving forward?
What disruptions can happen to the business that will make this process need to change and adapt that when you're designing the process, you can have, have that already incorporated.
So you want to think about the sources of disruption in that design process and say, how can how is our business going to be affected by what kinds of with automated processes.
Oftentimes what has happened is, especially in larger companies where they have disaster recovery teams, but this is just left in a silo and said, OK.
No we can't do our work in our office. We have a disaster recovery area.
Disaster recovery team comes in, they sets up the area and you go to work.
Obviously that didn't happen with the pandemic, right? Everybody's disaster recovery plan was to end up going and working from home.
So, but, we need to be thinking about these things ahead of time, designing them into the process.
So, let's just take a moment And look at three of these change concepts.
These can be inter-related, and, you know, these aren't mutually exclusive.
We often talk and hear a lot about exponential change, and people are looking for things that are exponential change and we live in exponential times, and you hear about just that a lot in terms of technology.
Looking for people or companies are trying to be disruptive, griping, got to look at unicorn companies that come in and disrupt the status quo, right?
And so that, that's all very important and real, right?
Have to understand that, right?
The whole point of exponential change is that it starts out slow, and it may look like nothing for a long time before there is a sudden increase in it.
Well, there was a lot of talk at the beginning of the pandemic, right?
Because we know from science that the ways that diseases spread and become a pandemic.
It follows an exponential growth path, unless there is something that can stop it.
And, in fact, with cope at 19, right, our immune systems weren't adapted to it, so it was able to spread rapidly and grow exponentially.
We can think about that in other terms. Right? So you ever look at, you know, think about Amazon, and how its growth has happened over the great.
four even most of its existence to this point. Right.
Amazon wasn't profitable.
People never thought it would take off.
They thought, oh, it's just a little online bookstore, you know, somebody else will come on and, and take care of it.
You know, an Amazon will be relegated to the Dustbin of the dotcom businesses.
That never happened right now. It is one of the most valuable companies in the world.
It's seen as both beneficial for helping us get through the Kogod 19 crisis. But it's also seen as a threat to a lot of businesses, small and even larger ones, right.
So, even companies like Wal-Mart, which would have ignored Amazon years and years ago, yes, see, and understand it as a competitive threat, because it went through this exponential head of growth path, then we have tipping points, know where, again, that decision, right, something's going to happen. Disruption, right?
So we're in some sort of balance, and then eventually, something happens.
Then it can happen quickly or slowly.
But inevitably, the scale is going to tip, OK, And so, And there's little Or nothing that you're going to do about that.
So sometimes we hear about that and in terms of climate change is an example of that. Right, when you're looking at a tipping point, what's happening in the Earth's atmosphere, the Earth's ecosystems.
Do we know that there's a point where, no, there's no point of no return when you're not going to be able to fix what's happening.
So people are very interested in answering that question, and how do we manage that? But that happens with the businesses as well.
It happened again with the pandemic right?
There was a tipping point where, you know, if it didn't get under control, it was just going to spread like wildfire, right? And that's ultimately what happened, right?
It wasn't controled fast enough.
And so cogan 19 rapidly spread around the world. And they're always going to be nothing that is going to be able to stop it.
And then we can look at disruptions, which can be an event that moves us suddenly from what exists today.
Something OK. And so a lot of times, we'll see, again, that the use of technology is right.
So with the advent of Cloud computing, right?
We move suddenly from mainframes and a lot of on premise computing missions to the cloud, right?
Once it was there, the rapid shifts to it.
Then suddenly you're there. You see that a lot.
I'm talking about in terms of the Industrial Revolution, Major shifts that that happened, and there, do, they happen quickly, maybe not instantly, but fairly quickly.
And so it's important to understand the nature of that, as opposed to something that is new, state type of change.
Which brings us to understanding the difference in between evolution and revolution, right? Because there's always change happening, right?
We always hear people saying, Well, you know, changes, the only counts and these days.
We hear that over and over again, right.
But so, evolution is just about the incremental change, whereas Revolution is really about the creation of something new.
With evolution, you're usually talking about focusing on a single system, a single process, single product, a similar technology, right? So, an example there is the evolution of different smartphones, right?
So, no, i-phone six, the i-phone seven, i-phone 8, 5, 9. Those are just all evolutions of the same.
Revolution comes from the creation and convergence.
I think that's that's that's important, right?
Bringing together of technologies and systems and processes from across industries to create something that's that's brand new.
Again, the smartphone can be a good example of that, right?
So we used to have telephones, we had cameras.
We had computers bring in the smart phone, it combines all of those, and it becomes disruptive.
And you can look at that, like, how many people these days have line line 12 from it does something that is disappearing because we all have a smartphone and a small computer, right, just sitting right in our hand all the time.
Evolution is something that changes the way that we live and work, Our business functions operate revolution, results in a fundamental disruption in the way that we do this.
And in a very fundamental way that's different, What we usually see with a revolution is a change.
And what we call the social contract, We've seen that in all of the past industrial revolutions.
Where we've decided that the way that we work, the way that we interact with each other in society, has to change.
So we can think about the effects of that password.
The 40 hour Workweek comes from the elimination of Child Labor, Social Security systems.
These are all examples.
How the social contract has changed the result?
Something that's been a revolution.
one there is a revolution.
Because of that these kinds of changes that happen, there's often a lot of political turmoil, political turmoil.
Because of all of those changes also impacts business and also impacts which are your processes.
Think about this today, you know, yeah, I'm here in the United States.
The magic that there's some of these issues in other places around the world to talking about use of unemployment and the Safety net whether or not that discourages people from working because there are jobs that are going unfilled.
is that up problem?
On the flip side of that, people are losing their jobs.
Employers also weren't necessarily hiring everybody back, You know, And how do we manage through that?
What happens with people who are near the end of their careers, where it's more difficult for them to move back into workforce, especially at the same level?
Lots of changes, right?
And so, societies around the world are starting to grapple with these things. We're meaning to grapple with them.
We're also seeing the code with 19, right?
Know, masks, do not wear masks, when you open up business, are we ready to go back to normal?
This is happening, right? So this is all part of the social contract with each other.
Black swans and paradigm shifts, right?
So term Black Swan isn't optimized probably about 20 years ago now, as being a rare event. Right?
You see it as a one-time occurrence.
They're statistically possible, but, you know, unlikely.
There are those once-in-a-lifetime events and when you hear about them, you know the stock market crash.
You know, the big hurricane that comes through: the Thai food, no pandemic, black swan event paradigm shifts. These are also rare.
Their impacts are sudden, right? But we see move from way of thinking to a different way of thinking the Black Swan event.
We just pretty much, you know, there's disruption. We deal with the mess that it creates, and then we go back to doing that.
But here's the thing was, with Black Swan events, I just want you to take a moment and pause and reflect on how many once-in-a-lifetime event you experienced or heard about, Take some time. You have it now, or later today, and think about that.
OK, I've heard you throughout my life. Oh, This is a once in a lifetime, and once in a lifetime event.
So just examples here.
Here's the Stock Market crash last year Flooding in Houston, the Collapse of Lehman Brothers, which happened literally overnight.
Enron, the financial crisis.
The pandemic here you see no splaying disinfectants and China terrorism hurricanes, right?
The point here is that there are lots of, once in a lifetime events that happen would probably happen much more frequently than we'd like to think about, OK.
The specific event or specific source of the disruption may not be predictable.
Know that there is disruption and is happening, and it's happening all around us literally all the time.
So where does does disruption come from the needs, right.
Obviously, we think about technology that now, and especially where I'm talking about business process automation, and DPA and RPA.
Technology is the first place that we look at, but it's not the only source, right.
And the technologies that we use would, DPA and RPA need to be able to adapt to the political changes in the United States. We just had an election and change. Presidents.
Policy directions, Big shifts, big changes in priorities.
People who were winners under the previous administration now lose out new waters come. And they switch back and forth, right.
That affects business.
You see that when economic shocks not economic cycles.
Demographics are another one, and this is an important one, I don't think enough, people are paying attention to changes in demographics around the world.
And how they are different from country to country, Right, where we have, in some countries, like Japan, where there are low birth rates, and the aging population is growing.
When we look at other countries, especially in the developing world, where there is a very small aging population, but an exploding population of youth, what does that mean?
Lots of implications for that, both in terms of business and in opportunities, but also politically and geopolitically.
What happens when, you know, a lot of these youth can't get jobs. You know, youth unemployment is a big issue in many places around the world.
Let me see.
So we have, disruption is coming from health.
Mother nature, competitors, we've seen the criminals with cyber attacks.
Governments attacking each other in different ways.
We also need to look not outside of our own little bubble, two adjacent markets were, disruption can come that come from other areas.
We can see disruption coming from individuals' creativity, People have necessity, they need to create something new.
So, shrink from come to Sometimes we can think through something and make it disruptive.
Um another source where we tend to get disrupted is if we become complacent overconfident then that sets us up for failure or sets us up to to be disrupted.
Let me see that happen all the time as well.
So we have to stay on top of potential disruptors. We can't just sit still.
You have to, change is happening all the time, or processes have to be updating all the time.
You have to be looking, want to the future.
So, I'm hoping to do here, now, is having laid out, all of that.
Ways to help get you to be thinking about what you need to be doing, is constantly thinking about connecting the dots, right?
So think about the sources of disruption, from the macro sources, looking at our industries, adjacent industries, looking within our own firm, competitive funding, and the individuals, where are the disruptions? That can happen?
And we need to start looking at the convergences and connections, right?
Because, want to see how things are connected. And, again, supply chains are the easy way to think about that, right? They are naturally about connections.
But also looking at how, how these technologies can combine how some of these sources of disruption can combine, and then what they mean for us.
And, you know, how can we take advantage of them, or how can they be a threat to us?
But we have to understand that, and how do we adapt to those?
Lastly, we need to also be taking a look at what we kind of think about in terms of alerts.
Are sacred cows, Um, what do we need to do?
These are kind of our operating principles that we have, right?
Short-term, profit versus long term sustainability.
When we're talking about disruption, this becomes a real important topic.
So process automation, a lot of times, it's about switching up the short-term, making, increasing profit, increasing efficiency, and we've seen that in some of the presentations.
But if you're not looking at where are the businesses going, where the threats are coming from, you're going to miss out on some of that. You're going to be building processes that may not be relevant in the future or may not be adaptable.
It's in the future environment, so you need to combine them.
As leaders, we also need to be thinking about, you know, things that are clear, defining decisions and taking risks.
Again, let's just look back at 19 and, the decisions that leaders in, governments at all levels, corporations, again, at all levels, at any kind of institutions.
The decisions that are being made about, do you tell people to go home and start working from home? Do you tell people to stay in?
Are you worried about people panicking? How do you manage your business? How do you meet your customers' needs?
Yeah, especially at that beginning.
And as a leader, you have to be able to make those, those tough decisions, and you might be wrong, and in be ready to live with that, and move forward.
Let's just take an example for a moment and take back about what's happening with the newspaper industry.
Just as an example about how disruptions and technologies all come together, what we see here in the newspaper industry is, ultimately, you know, they didn't really put all of these pieces together.
So, you had television, radio, and newspapers as a means of communicating information.
That evolved a little bit into cable TV, satellite TVs, and then eventually, Internet, social media.
We also have the means of delivery, changing land lines.
We had film, record players, that the newspapers themselves physically moving those over to the cell phones, and digital cameras might be the immediate players.
All of those got combined them into the smartphone, right, to the point we are today, Right, you just largely use our smartphone.
In some cases, just fill our laptops PCs to interact on the Internet and social media.
And this is where people get most of their information these days, rather than the way it used to be in the newspapers.
And we see that you look at the paid circulation of daily newspapers in the United States.
This is from 19 85 to 20 18 right? It is just plummeting.
So You wanna think about here is how can this happen to me.
Whatever business you're in, technology is disrupting the business.
What can you do in order to avoid this from happening?
People will say, well, you know, why becoming the next Blockbuster, right. Because they missed the opportunity to go digital.
Um, that's true of a lot of companies, right?
So how do you do that?
It's all about connecting all the dots.
Just wanted to take a moment here. And also just to reflect again talking about the pandemic disruptions.
Just think back to early, a little over a year ago.
And the decision making that has to go on.
And then what processes were in place at the time to deal with what was happening?
What can we do differently?
Right? The China lockdowns happen relatively quickly, with relatively low numbers, right? When you look at China, lockdowns person can barely see the number of cases.
Um, the lockdowns started in Europe. Soon after that, didn't take too long, that was in February.
Look here, you know, the number of confirmed cases, just going up and up and up.
Knowing what you know now, what do you wish you had in place to handle it?
This is a good time to think about that.
There was a major disruption.
We've spent the last year just trying to catch up and adapt.
But now, let's think about that, right?
The next disruption is going to come. We don't know what it's going to be.
It's going to be different for everybody here.
regardless of what your industry is companies something is going to disrupt you.
And what that is, you know, it's going to be very specific to you.
What would have happened you know, think about this.
You know, a pandemic can happen five years ago where we didn't have the state of technology that we have today.
Like the State of Business Process Automation.
So, think about that, right? So, where are the wins?
So that as much as there were struggles, a lot of things that were happening, right?
There are a lot of companies as well, What worked well?
So, after disruption, what looks next, right?
Coburn 19 is a great example here, right?
Disrupted the way that we work live.
And now some of us are looking at how do we get back to normal?
Let us start asking what does normal even mean now, Right. So, we all have to define that.
Think about that for all of your business processes. What is normal now?
Do you really want to go back to the way things were before?
Or is there a better way of doing things with them?
How we learn things that make us better and smarter, more effective.
What can we do to move those for lots of stories about people, and the work from home movement may be one of them, where for a lot of people, they're able to work from home even more than ever before. Because a lot of places, this worked out very well.
Someplace is not an individual decision based on the company's needs processes.
Then, let's think about this split.
Do the automations that we have now in place still make sense? Do they need to be fixed to be made more adaptable?
Usually anything that's done, they need some fixing at the very least, right?
Like we mentioned earlier, let's think about, know, the future disruptions. Let's be strategic about it now, so, don't just jump in and automate something.
Don't just jump in and say, OK, let's just start fixing what we did.
take a moment and think about what makes sense for the future. What is the future process we want to build?
OK, so I think the role of automation in navigating disruption, one of the important things that we've learned is to thinking in terms of the augmented workforce as a strategy.
Not just simply focusing on the process.
It's very easy to say, OK, let's map out the process to do thing.
Let's think about a little bit more than just that, Right?
How do we augmented people, right, rather than just the process?
What else can we incorporate into it, that maybe we're not thinking about literal sense, that can help make people more effective, reduce repetition?
It helped enable the workforce to actually be more productive and more engaged in what they're doing, More involved in higher level tasks.
Automation, as we can see, it can mitigate disruptions from it because it can help maintain operations and profitability.
Especially the short-term due to some of these external shocks.
Automations can also be reconfigured. nice things about.
Then, if they're done well, you can go in and you can change them and adapt them to whatever the new paradigm, right. And so that can make you very agile and adaptable.
On the flip side of it is, if you're looking at this, you've spent a lot of money building this process, automation, I'm not sure, know, you're really going to need it in the future. But you're not going to let it go because you've spent and invested a lot of money and so forth.
So, you're going to keep it, keep it going.
OK, so one of the things we ask you to think about is: do you really need this, and are you ready to let it go, to move on to the next one?
And one other key point on this, right, is using automation, data gathering and analytics to understand the changing environment.
Certain whose consumers want, what their buying patterns are, what they're looking for.
So, you see a lot of that in consumer goods for certain, What is it that people suddenly want, understanding the nature of that and how that comes back into your business.
How do you relate communicate to your customers?
How do you change your business processes? How do you change your supply chain?
And we saw all of that disruption happening, so, use automation as an intelligence-gathering mechanism, as well.
As leaders, what is pandemic types?
I think one of the inquiry the Chairman, is in anticipatory leadership. Right.
As a leader, you want to be thinking about anticipating and responding rapidly to whatever changes happen, unless you want to.
You want to know, you may not know what exactly is going to happen in the future. But, think about, you know, here's 2 or 3 things that might be happening.
What is my plan for acting in the case of Action A, B, or C, so that we can move forward, I guess, A? And, that turns out to be, how do we move over and switch?
There's also been, right?
Bringing people together, right?
Understanding that we're all in this together, understanding that this is something that's new.
Whenever there's a disruption that's new, we don't have crystal balls. We don't know what's going to work out perfectly.
We just move forward, understand that, Something that we might call a mistake.
We made learn from it, adapt, and move forward.
Understood: Taking leadership of all of your stakeholders must be adaptable and flexible, to the business and human needs, of all of your stakeholders.
Whether they are: shareholders, customers, employees, business partners.
I think we've seen a lot of that, you know, especially with Zoom meetings, where we have family members coming in, and lobbying accidental glazes, and people have been very understanding about that.
So I think being understanding, and adaptive, and flexible to that, right?
So, at the end of the day, as a leader, decisiveness, agility, and creating shared vision are necessary.
So, you have to, as a leader, get out, communicate with everybody. Where are we going?
And then how are we going to do it right in an Agile way? And just be decisive about indecisive?
This leads to not fractured responses that usually don't work well.
I'll just close here with this quote from Wayne Gretzky.
A lot of this, right.
So, you know, setting up the skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been, right. So that as a business leader is where you want to be, right.
You want to be looking forward, moving forward in that direction, and looking at how to do all of your automation to help create that future, not just really around today.
Yeah, the questions are, people have lessons that they want to share, love to hear those as well.
Tastic, Larry, very, very good coverage. We appreciate that number of questions, comments had to have happened that has taken place while you're presenting. I'm going to bring several of those two in the time that we have available here.
First one is, Is it related to strategic planning, is strategic planning, dad, as as we have understood it, for the last few decades, or what is the role of strategic planning in a world that's changing at a rapid pace?
Strategic planning is needed more than ever.
Um, right, because you need to anticipate what is going to happen.
It will change. The nature of strategic planning may change because you may need to plan for more events, or more possibilities.
Than you have in the, in the past, right?
So, we're in a period of stability, uh, no, say, between industrial revolutions, Right?
We kind of know where things are, And our strategy is based on how do we maneuver within the system, too, produce the best outcomes that we can.
But now, when we're at a time of rapid change and disruption, our strategic planning, it should become a little bit more broad.
And thinking about where are the disruptions possibly coming from?
We should be thinking about how components can come together.
I think, you know, like the newspaper example, what pieces of technology are out there that can be put together to create a threat, or an opportunity for you? Right? So, some companies are very good at doing that.
Others, less so.
Usually, it's a matter of effort and timing, right?
So if you spend time, and it doesn't have to be a lot, just think about all of these possibilities, You can then incorporate that into your strategic planning process.
Then you can be adaptable to it, right?
But until you understand what the universe of possibilities is that's out there, you're not going to be ready for it, right? It's going to be always reacting.
Rather than responding, right?
You want to be, as a leader, the position where I've thought about that already. I may not know all the answers to apply, but at least thought about it, and I know I want to go in this direction.
It'll figure out all the details there. So, I hope that answered the question.
Yeah. No, Absolutely. That's. Although, I must say that I work with a lot of organizations and I can I think one of the one that had a pandemic in 20 20 as part of their sophisticated scenario, planning exercises. So, it's very hard to predict the future, right? And that's, that's, that's the big, big job. I remember being back in grad school on, on that, on a modeling class, which I really enjoy, and I had a professor, that was fast, very inspiring. And one of the things I used to say, and I love his quote, is that there are only two types of people who predict the future.
Those who don't know, and those who don't know that, they don't know, and, in the context of a modeling class, right? So, you can say that context. So, very true, but it's so hard to predict this. You know, this, this rare events, as you mention.
Yeah. I think the important takeaway is, you know, specifically, what it is. You may not know.
But, we should all know and understand that there are disruptive forces around us all the time and we need to be ready for and adapt them.
And, you know, what, You may not know what they are, but, you know, what some of them are.
We may not know what the timing is.
But we know what will happen.
So, I think, think about like hurricanes. Yeah, when you think about what Hurricane Katrina did to lunch, Right.
We know that that's possible, but we didn't think it was highly likely, Right, and we respond that way, right from that statistical standpoint.
Frankly, we need to understand that. Well, that is possible, and maybe it's going to be more possible in the future.
You know, as dilemmas become more intense, we can think about some of these things, right?
I will say no to your comment about the pandemic.
I do know.
When I used to work at Freddie Mac years ago, at least part of their, their business continuity plan, they did have a pandemic scenario and they're, they're planning.
Of course, we never never used it with us until now.
But they didn't have something for me when I worked there. In the 9 11 attacks happened, right?
Nobody was imagining a terrorist attack.
And your point is very well taken. Absolutely. The directional guidance, that's, that's, that.
You can sell off as as some strategic planning, us, an airplane. are all absolutely. Very helpful.
Is still let me shift to two other comments that are happening here from the audience and it has to do about, know, navigating this times of uncertainty and rapid change. Unlikely that the future is going to be any slower changing than we have right now.
There are many potential reasons for that but that so, so how, what type of organism two levels, what type of organizational capabilities and also professional skills are necessary to navigate uncertainty like that.
What do you think that what muscles, organizations and professions professionals need to exercise should be better prepared for the rough waters I had?
So I think one thing I think that would be helpful for organizations to develop is have essentially listening posts.
There are people, most organizations are large, they have people who are seen interacting with the world in different ways, but the information that they are gathering is not being funneled into a centralized place, right, even if you have a competitive intelligence.
Group that focuses on, what are my competitors doing today? What's been, you know, a lot of times, it's just simply about gathering news articles and posting it. Right.
But, what other things, ways are there to funnel information that people are seeing develop. Right, so, new technologies.
When you have people in the IT areas, but you have people in business areas, and other areas who are interacting with other other technologies that, you know, the IT department is, not, what are they saying?
How can that be used and adapt, adapted, and funnel that through and up for ideas about the, about the business, so I think some way of gathering information and funneling it to a central political leaders can be more aware of what's happening in Parliament.
That would be one of the things, I think, that would be fantastic for companies, too.
Another is around empowering.
People are gonna hear a lot about, you know, empowering people from everything from just being in charge of your career to empowering employees in the way of improving engagement, reducing bureaucracy. But still, a lot of, there's still a lot of that has to be done in that area.
Because when we see disruption happening, people have to be able to respond to it and respond to it immediately. Need.
Leaders also need to understand and appreciate, get people when they do that, and they take a risk, but they're doing the best they could, whatever the circumstances, right?
So rather than penalize people, then you need to start understanding and rewarding behaviors where people take risks.
When they believe that they are doing something responsible to help the organization, Let me see, that, know, that has to just be part of an ongoing leadership development from top to bottom right.
Everybody is leaders. Let's develop everybody as a leader to be able to be more adaptable to these kinds of situations.
I guess my first point really is around centralization and creating a hub and the other point really is around decentralization and empowering people, right?
So you need a little bit of both.
Love to see over the relations, you know, and enhance both of those, those areas.
It's all about thinking strategically about the future.
That is, That is fantastic! That's well said, Larry.
Larry, on behalf of our global community today, thank you so much for taking the time to share your expertise, your insights, a fascinating journey on that, on that, on a very important topic for all of us. So thank you for your generosity time and the insights.
Thank you very much, My pleasure.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, that was Larry Boyer sharing. the insights on transformation on from incremental changes to large disruptions and fascinating reveal of the components of those changes, and how we can better prepare for, for those changes, and that are going to continue to occur in the future.
And we are going to take a break now. We're going to wrap up this segment.
I will be back with you at the top of the hour. We're going to shift from Hartford, Connecticut to Toronto, Canada. And we're going to have with us Steve ..., who is the senior leader for capital projects. At natural links, natural links is, at transit, is a transit and transportation organization in the city of Toronto in Canada.
And that, Steve is going to be talking about implementing change and digital process automation. And in an environment where, where you have to overcome many challenges, much resistance, and how do you go beyond spreadsheets and automate, from forms to dashboard?
And the system where it's difficult to change. It's a, it's a, it's a very traditional system where the openness to change may not be there right away. And how do you overcome those challenges?
And how do you implement value creating change in the organization and how you create intelligent automation. And you inform processes in an organization like that. And the has, of course, great results that he'll share with us.
So, we'll meet Steve back at the top of the hour. Take a break now, and I'll see you back soon.
Advisory Board Member,
Larry Boyer is the author of The Robot In the Next Cubicle: What You Need to Know to Adapt and Succeed in the Automation Age. As a business leader and advisor he connects technology, analytics and economics to business operations & strategy to lead digital transformation and increased sales and profitability.
Larry is expert at working across disciplines and organizational boundaries to bring together information and people to foster innovation. He has worked as such notable companies as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Freddie Mac, IHS Markit and Aetna. Larry holds degrees in physics, economics, and public administration.
Larry is both Certified Business Economist® and certified coach. He has beenon the board of advisors for the Rutgers Big Data program, TECH Pakistan, and OPEN BDA and is amember of the Forbes Coaches Council. Connect with Larry to position yourself or your business forsuccess through disruption.
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