I am a big advocate for innovation, automation, and technology disruption in general. However, new technology can actually be an obstacle to the growth of your business.

I have seen numerous time a company look for a software or a technology to improve things, only to then find themselves with yet another thing to manage that people are reluctant to use, or don’t use properly.

It’s true that automation and Artificial Intelligence are already changing the way we work and will radically transform tens of millions of jobs in the next five years. However, to survive and remain profitable, it is essential to also leverage the strengths of people: creativity, innovation and problem-solving. All these competences are crucial, in a dynamic world that is constantly changing, to anticipate needs and adapt to change. Only then it will be ideal to leave repetitive work to machines.

Looking for new talents and new technology, believing that is the solution to make the business grow, is not enough if the day-to-day interaction is cumbersome. The key to smooth work and outstanding results is to have efficient systems where people can be integrated quickly, adapt to change and perform at their best. Not only internally, but also – and in some cases especially – with external stakeholders: clients, suppliers, groups and communities impacted.

Due to automation, people will have to upskill themselves and become more flexible: this can be seen as a challenge by some employees. However, to grow your business, it’s essential to understand the things that a human can do but a machine cannot.

Your human talent is what will differentiate you from a machine; it is your uniqueness that makes your work not repetitive, not repeatable, and thus not easy to automate.

The world will still need humans to envision the future, design and maintain machines. Stay vigilant, stay dynamic, adapt to change quickly and keep on learning.

Today, good collaboration solves the problem that is so common in scale-ups where everyone does a bit of everything.
Tomorrow, that will be the distinction between companies that will lag behind and those who thrive.

So, how does new technology impact the growth of your company?

Let’s imagine you go for a car race where the competition against highly performing vehicles is very tough and the reward is a considerable amount of money.

Would you choose a Ford Model T produced in 1908? Probably not, right?

That car was the first mass-produced automobile – that was at the beginning of last century; you would start yelling at me if I told you to compete with that car in today’s racing circuits.

It would be like trying to push the engine, the wheels, the pilots beyond their limits to work harder and faster.

In more practical words, many businesses want to compete in today’s marketplace with a company structure and Management principles used by factories more than 100 years ago.

This way of work is absolutely dysfunctional: how can companies adopt solutions that degrade their results and make the people unhappy? It’s a vicious cycle!

So, on from one side we have social pressure from people asking for purpose and motivation in the workplace. At the same time, from the other side, we have a technology revolution that is accelerating exponentially and will displace dozens of millions of jobs.

Most companies feel stuck between a rock and a hard place; some of them decide to apply some new technology – so at least it’s better than nothing.
As we have now understood, investing in technology only yields the valuable outcome you desire after working on your fundamentals (processes and systems that suit your specific case, and why you need them).

Rather than feeling squeezed between these two forces, use them as an impulse: two parallel sources of energy propelling you towards a future of work made of better productivity, more fulfilment, and higher profits.

For all this to happen, you require two main points. The first one is communication, as an essential fundament for most soft skills and interaction. The second one is to have someone whose talent is to have a horizontal and cross-cutting view of the company; someone capable of capturing both the big picture and the details that make a difference.

Any valuable technology follows your requirements and your needs: get these clear, and the implementation on top of well-oiled processes will finally allow your business to scale smoothly!