Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Before You Automate, Simplify Your Processes

The first week in August is national “Simplify Your Life” week, yet business today has never been more complex. Reliance on technology has caused executives to expect dazzling gains in productivity and efficiency by rolling out new software or cloud-based platforms in struggling functions or businesses units.

Once you’ve articulated the essential processes for your business, assume that your top performers will be implementing them. Technology investments are often resource intensive, so why build them around your lowest-performing percentile? Use your top performers to define the best practices and make them standard.

Without identifiable standards, you risk spending more on technology/ies than needed. The goal of standardization is to increase the efficiency of producing the best possible outcome and facilitate collaboration. Blindly applying patchwork of technology is not going to help you reach that goal.

Once you have a simplified and standardized process, apply your technology and automate. Ultimately, this can be the most challenging (or daunting) stage for an organization, because it often results in lost jobs or workforce reductions. Given the degree to which labor shortages are expected to constrain growth, being able to do more work with fewer people is becoming necessary rather than discretionary. By automating routine tasks, organizations can nurture and develop their creative knowledge workers.

Viewed from this perspective, automation augments rather than annihilates. It can expand skill sets, enhance business processes, and amplify business success. Automation can provide an opportunity for workers, teams—even executives and entire companies—to skill up.

Companies that focus on growth in both personal and professional dimensions are poised to use automation in this way. Rather than automation, focus on augmentation. Ironically, that all starts with simplification.



  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.