I was recently interviewed on the HumanCurrent Podcast. Over the next few blog posts, I will summarize some of my thoughts from that podcast. In one part of the interview, I had a chance to reflect on how to humanize the automation process and why oh why I started the Thriving at the Crossroads podcast.
For many years, I have been passionate about how to use technology to optimize business processes. There’s a balance to this work, not necessarily automating everything. We need to decide that optimal level for automation. I work to optimize the business process and yet still have a human aspect to that. We can’t forget people are involved here!
I see planning through a complexity lens because issues can be so challenging. Complexity thinking is my default mechanism for how to manage through various situations where I don’t have all the information. This way of thinking is necessary for me to break down challenges into what information I have and what I don’t. I see it as a great way to allow me to collaborate with other people. I can identify what I know and what I don’t so that we can create a better picture together. And most of all, it lets we me work with people, and not just the technology. I like people.
For me, envisioning visually what is happening is very important. Creating processes and pictures is one way to see through all the chaos automation can cause. And yes, our automated processes can absolutely create chaos when run amok.
In terms of consulting work, I like to believe I have the heart of a teacher on projects and allow people to become more self-sufficient as they grow. The end goal needs to be to work myself out of a job. It’s not often enough that it happens- I wish it was more. A lot of times, it can be tempting as consultants to protect what you know. But I have a high need for challenge and change and so I’ve learned for myself there’s a shelf life on how long you want to have me around and how long some of the projects should be. I want to teach you as much as possible for that time that I’m with you. And, most importantly, to leave you in a position to be able to take the ball and run with it when we’re done.
I’m also an engineer. I look for what are the practical steps to help me get from A to Z. As part of Thriving at the Crossroads, I mix exposing people to ideas, new companies and new solves for solutions in the ERP space as well as new ideas on how to be more innovative. So the ideal listener is looking for any of the above – someone who needs some introspection and some fresh ideas on how to re-approach and re-look at things from a systems perspective.
Check out the Human Current Podcast for more of my interview.