Nobody likes

There’s quite a lot of time wasted in organizations doing repetitive stuff that a computer would do best. The technology is already available, yet this change is strongly resisted. For two very human reasons.

First, when you cut on repetitive tasks consistently and over time you get to a point at which you have to start letting people go. Nobody likes to do that. Of course, an alternative would be to retrain the people freed of the burden of manual tasks, but that would be two additional problems: finding a good retraining programme that is useful for the organisation, and convincing the employee who has been in the same field for thirty years that’s the right thing to do. Nobody likes to tackle more problems. And so the problems (all three of them) stay.

Then, implementing automation to cut on unprofitable tasks means taking a step back, possibly slowing down for a certain period, until the benefits of having more time starts to kick in. Nobody likes to slow down. With the illusion of continuos growth, we just have to keep going, no matter what. And growth also gives us the illusion that we can throw money at inefficiency, for example by hiring more, therefore further feeding the moster that is wasted time.

The problem is that sooner or later this kind of slack built around the delivery of value is going to take over, and your organisation will become obsolete and replaceable.

It’s an important conversation to have, and you can’t start having it soon enough.

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