Since 1997 I have been involved with dot-coms or software as a service, and now I go and create a title of a blog like this one! With the publishing of my new book, “Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE – Not Fire” my eyes have been opened (wide) to the power of the message, “keep technology in the proper perspective.” Oh, and did you like the shameless plug? If you want to buy the book – click here. Too many times folks give technology too much power. I think this comes from a lack of knowledge regarding how technology works or the mystery of technological outcomes and objectives.
Here is a story from my life. I refuse… that’s right refuse to read any book with “dummy” or “idiot” in the title. The bad thing about this is that those books have been touted as being very helpful and useful… I wonder how much learning I have missed because of my rule. Once, out of pure curiosity, I opened the cover of one of the “dummy” books. It said (paraphrasing) that people who do not know technology are afraid of it because it may break, and people who know technology are even more scared of it because they know it is going to break. Stating the obvious, technology is scary. There was a famous study done with kids and older adults and their different interactions with technology, particularly with the use of computers (PC). They studied why kids were able to use technology and adopt better and quicker than older adults (folks over 50). The conclusion was simple and obvious but powerful. The kids saw the computer as a playground and wildly clicked and had great fun with it, therefore the kids went very deep with the technology. The 50 plus group (on the other hand) didn’t go deep, there was very little use and the clicking and exploring was marginal. The conclusion was that the kids saw the computer as a toy and freely played and explored with it. The adult group saw it as $2000 investment (the study was many years ago when hardware was more expensive) and they were afraid they would break it.
Here is the point (you are welcome) being scared of technology really hurts business projects. The fear of automating a manual process has a tendency to be a very powerful (negative) motivator in the decision-making process. Here is my advice… Technology really doesn’t do anything that it’s not told to do. Moving from advice to action, there is a very simple way to make sure you keep technology in the proper perspective. Make sure you plan well enough to accommodate for all of the changes technology will bring. Being prepared for the change is one thing that will help, but take this idea one step further and your technology projects will become powerful… that’s right – truly powerful! The key is to make “The Plan” more important than the technology.
That’s the main point of my new book The Argument to Automate – How Innovation Can INSPIRE Not Fire. I innocently started the book to help people solve the number one problem in the decision-making process of automating: if you don’t have a plan to deal with the people who are going to be freed up by automation you will not automate. I ended up really stressing the point that once you have created the plan, the plan has to be more powerful and more impactful than what folks are currently doing. The plan has to justify the fact that it will require purchasing software to achieve the plan’s overall goal.
This might be the first blog I have produced that will create more questions than answers. In the next few weeks I am going to continue to expand on this idea, however if you want to know more – buy the book!
(Also) To get your copy of The 8 Pitfalls of Accounts Payable Automation – click here to buy.
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