While owners and managers have always heard the adage ‘you need to work on your business, not in your business’, the strains of managing staff and putting out fires have meant they spend most time of their time doing the latter.
Technology, automation and big data are finally promising to take care of routine managerial tasks so that leaders in an organisation can focus on strategy, innovation and taking creative leaps forward. It’s the approach you need to do to take market share off your competitors rather than just stay afloat.
And that kind of leadership is sorely needed now. Technology is rapidly changing and in some cases decimating industries. A rising Asia is pulling many routine white and blue collar jobs out of the West. Although we’ve experienced two decades of uninterrupted growth, a slowing China and sluggish global economy may bring recession to us in the not too distant future. Leadership teams are going to have to be smart and visionary to thrive in this turbulence.
So what can your business do with technology to set your leaders free to lead?
Firstly, work with an IT specialist to implement systems that will automate routine management as much as possible. Next-gen CRM systems (such as Microsoft Dynamics 365) allow your teams to collaborate and share more closely without the need for manual human intervention and endless physical meetings. They can also provide performance management and project management support that function relatively independently of people. A good IT company can also handle routine IT support tasks for you so that your IT team can focus on projects that will grow your company: new apps, software, operational systems that will improve life for your customers and staff.
In the field of HR, profiling systems such as DISC allow you to hire the right people for particular jobs and manage them in the way that works best for them. By better matching a person’s skills, aptitude and personality to their task and preferred way of working, you will significantly reduce the number of management hours you need to spend in training, correcting and controlling them. New HR systems also allow you to induct new employees more quickly, collect feedback, build bonds between staff and give them essential information. All the things that used to happen manually in boardrooms and corridors.
Artificial intelligence is set make an even more significant impact on leadership in the coming years. Predictive analytics allows your technology to learn daily about your customers’ behaviour and respond in realtime to their demands. It can anticipate trends and decide where best to invest finances. And unlike humans, it doesn’t get tired from making dozens of decisions per day. As a leader, you can then reduce your responsibilities down to the big decisions that really matter. AI can also help reduce the burnout that comes from getting bogged down in the mundane and repetitive parts of your job. You’ll feel happier about your work and have more energy to meet the demands of being a leader. AI solutions vary from industry to industry, but it’s worth looking at what is available specifically in your sector so you make the shift from management to leadership.
To talk about which areas of your business are in most need of improvement and efficiency gains from technology and how you can finance it, contact Andrew Laing today.
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