October 2019 Round-up

So as we move into November, what have been the key business stories in your industry in 2019?  

Without a doubt, one of the most prevalent narratives across many industries is that of automation and AI. There’s been tonnes written regarding machines taking human jobs and the resultant impact (is it good, is it bad?). We’ll take a look at this in a couple of the articles below.  

Many of you will no doubt be well into the business planning for 2020. How important are those plans for your business? There’s a great read below from the Wall Street Journal that states that most strategic plans are mostly irrelevant! That’ll cheer you up I’m sure!

Let’s get to the round-up for October.

1/ As we look on closing out the year and heading into 2020, many businesses are looking at giving thier corporate strategies a spruce up. The Wall Street Journal has a great piece on why strategic plans are rarely effective. This takes a look around the effectiveness of business strategy. There’s a telling point that “planners often set goals with an eye to making an impression, not to conditions on the ground”. Certainly I’ve come accross that, with functions setting unrealistic objectives just to grab the headlines with senior management.

2/ Automation is going to have a huge influence over our lives in the coming years as more and more jobs get “robotizied” (Yes I’ve invented a word!). Forbes has an excellent piece that starts with the startling prediction that “Over 1 million knowledge-work jobs will be replaced in 2020” with many organizations establishing “strike teams” to focus on automation (in particular those more complex tasks). The Forbes piece is here…https://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2019/10/30/2020-predictions-about-automation-and-the-future-of-work-from-forrester/#22ba5ee51318. It goes without saying that automation is not going away and businesses will clearly look to squeeze costs through implementation. Understanding how it can be applied and run harmoniously in parrallel with human run tasks will be a key enabler in the years to come.

3/ If you’re looking for examples of automation, look no further than Healthcare. In England, “the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the UK healthcare industry has revealed that 46% of NHS leaders reported that their trust utilised the technology in some respect” . Healthcare is always going to come under the spotlight for effective cost management and AI offers key advantages. I was particularly interested by the use of voice technology which within the NHS grew by 9%. We forget that automation and AI does not have to be implemented at the fancy end of the scale and that simple methods to automate mandrolic processes through simple tools like voice technology can be just as effective.

4/ QualityDigest.com has a timely reminder of hte importance of process mapping techiques (in particular Value Stream Mapping) in the workplace. As a reminder, “Value stream mapping’s purpose is to eliminate waste in production workflows and processes that do not add value.” We think that alongside problem solving, process knowledge through process mapping is a critically important business enabler.

5/ Finally, we had a busy October, and we posted six new articles, we’d love for you to check them out and let us know what you think!