StayAhead Editorial Team
People for Innovation, Bots for Automation
According to Merriam-Webster, the term “innovation” means the introduction of something new.” While getting caught up in the routine process and target oriented environment, employees are too often focused on task completion. Subsequently, there is little scope for learning and exploring new things to potentially improve performance that could produce a change for leading growth.
The key question is: do you want more executors or innovators on your team?
Innovation requires an environment that is conducive enough to nurture creativity and freedom while allowing flexibility to experiment and take risk. Today, organizations both large and small are failing to provide such an environment. Despite introducing advanced systems and tools for various functions, 30% of tasks still take up 40% or more of the working hours within every operational department. This forces employees to complete their to-dos in the remaining time. Some of these tasks could be as simple as uploading or downloading documents from a web portal, data entry into a form, converting PDF documents to excel or word files, normalizing and cleansing the data before sending it for processing, sorting documents, redacting sensitive details, preparing reports by collating data, reconciling data between two sources, or data conversion from PDF to word or vice versa. Every day such menial tasks that take up those 40% of time.
If any of your team members is assigned to do these, they are clearly spending three hours every day, approximately sixty hours a month. Clearly, such tasks eat up valuable time and restrict one from engaging in any fun or creative activity – especially with organizations that work on time sensitive projects. There are multiple initiatives taken by companies to bring in various systems and processes, but trivial tasks are often left out of the scope and end up on everyone’s desk. Even large corporations fail to identify such gaps. Failing to address these might lead to a less creative and more stressful environment for employees.
According to Boston Consulting Group, Apple happened to be the most innovative company in the world followed by Alphabet (Google) holding the second place for almost fifteen years. The key for their ginormous growth for these companies is clearly the creative and innovative culture leading to new and innovative products that produces groundbreaking sales numbers year after year.
It is the onus of the leaders to decide how they want to lead their organization to the growth path. Companies aspiring for growth and scale clearly must go through the process of discovering tasks that are hampering the performance of their teams. There are so many tasks at every layer of the organization – from operations to strategic level – that hinder teams from delivering their fullest potential simply because they are continuing to conduct tasks which are ignored or considered “out of scope” by their enterprise level systems to automate. It may be accounting, human resource, marketing, sales, procurement, or client relations, but within each of these operations there are tasks that can be easily automated through intelligent process automation. This would bring back those precious hours for teams to focus on process improvement and innovative ideas.
By using low-code no-code platforms, most of these automation bots are delivered in a shorter span allowing teams to test and implement within weeks. Since these robotic process automation bots are rule based and defined by a workflow, there is no room for error, and it is easy to track and monitor its activities. Today, organizations deploy both attended and unattended bots depending on the type of automation. With very minimal monitoring, these digital assistants are here to assist employees, allowing them to tackle the challenging projects through creative ways. Companies who adapted automation at scale were able to bring in the innovative culture in little time, leading to explosive growth. Amazon is a notable example where innovation was at scale driving them from number 17 back in 2005 to the third rank among the most innovative companies in the world.