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EVOLUTION OR REVOLUTION: WHICH APPROACH IS THE BEST?

by | Jul 9, 2018

Disrupters are all around us. Uber, Space X, Deliveroo, they are all breaking with conventional thinking. In this digital age, it can sometimes feel as if another massive breakthrough is just around the corner and, that if we get caught napping, our business could be threatened.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently the hot topic and it will certainly revolutionise particular industries in the coming years. All organisations across all industries should watch this space very closely to understand what AI can do now and what it is on the cusp of achieving. Then we have Industry 4.0, which incorporates AI with other concepts, such as big data, increased automation, system integration, the Internet of Things (IoT) and so on. All of these concepts focus on making processes quicker, more reliable and cheaper than our current human processes. Elon Musk has recently admitted that he got things wrong with over-automation of his Tesla 3 production lines, and humans have been drafted back in to meet desperately needed production targets. Well done Elon for pushing the boundaries and providing everyone else with a valuable lesson.

So, the issue really comes down to humans versus machines in some form or another, and this is where we currently see a significant issue for most businesses – what is the current trade off for valuable CAPEX and internal resource right now? And what if things don’t work out as hoped? After all, despite decades of productivity improvement initiatives, including TQM, Lean, Six Sigma, and so on, wasteful and broken processes are all around us. In some cases, we see poorly thought-out and poorly executed change initiatives as a direct cause of this. Instead of reducing problems, they can be exchanged for a whole new set of problems – take TSB as a recent example. Not that major change should be avoided, that would only result in a slow death rather than a quick one, so the challenge for any organisation across any industry is in establishing these three simple things: why, what and how. All too often, we see organisations trying to change the wrong things in the wrong way and, in the wrong priority.

This article is published in full on ‘The European Digital Magazine’ – click the read more button above to continue reading.

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