Digital Leadership for Innovation and Winning Edge
The common human thought is that business or financial decisions are based on logic, such as cost-benefit analysis, business cases and ROI – especially serious business decisions. Personal decisions, however, are not so often backed up by data and hence, could well be impulsive, irrational or simply psychological. Secondly, business or financial decisions are clinical and made by the brain, while personal decisions are fuzzy and made from the heart. And yet, there are hosts of people and dozens of stories about situations where huge business decisions got taken on seemingly one’s guts and convictions or at the other extreme – mere whims and fantasy – and have come out on top. Such people have often become great inspirational leaders with foresight and have sometimes been called mavericks, as they are unorthodox in their line of thinking. These are the people who have had impossible dreams, taken irrational decisions, thrived on imperfections, and risked finances extensively by continuous innovation. One such person is Vineet Nayar.
Vineet is not just the unorthodox leader practising the ‘impossible’ dream; he is also an ardent preacher of it. Of the many life stories that Vineet is fond of addressing, the story of the ants and the butterfly is probably his favourite. Here in this edition of Process Edge, we bring to the reader this story recited by him in his inimitable style with a very lucid and ‘straight-from-the-heart’ account of what should be the true meaning of inspiring leadership and few mantras that can enable innovation and transformation.
Of late, a lot is being written about the new-age technologies such as RPA and block chain. In the past few months, the working definitions as well as common understanding of both these terms seem to be undergoing subtle changes. RPA, once thought of as mindless robotic repetition of a pre-defined process is not so any more. There is now a significant influx of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into it, making it a more integrated, intelligent product. Similarly, blockchain technologies have emerged far more valuable as the common understanding moves away from mere crypto-currency use to more wholesome corporate transactional dealings such as supply chain, contracting, banking & finance use, inventory management, and even some non corporate public transactions, such as stock exchanges, health care, and voter records. Basically, it has developed into an accurate and highly trustworthy system of records. Slowly, but surely, companies are recognizing the benefits of such systems and have begun to devote resources and finances for their implementation.
While each corporate function can and has benefitted immensely from the modern new-age applications with almost magical capabilities, clearly the most disposed to the benefits is the Finance team. This is also the function that is most often consolidated under common service centers – either in-house or outsourced. These service centers have, therefore, become hotbeds for implementing such new-age technologies within their corporate houses. It is here that corporate processes are consolidated, streamlined, transformed and otherwise experimented or researched with. Implementing such technologies is a complex task. It requires very deep level of understanding of the process, a high level of inter-unit and inter-function coordination, sponsorship from the management, sufficient finances, huge amount of patience, and dollops of trust. A well-appointed service center, even of a mid sized organization, can provide a sufficient sandbox for its implementation.
At SSF, we have tried to keep our readers abreast of some of the latest developments in the world of business transformation. True to its form, this edition too makes an interesting mix of topical issues to ponder on. We once again encourage our readers to go through the articles and share with us your thoughts. Happy reading.
Edition Publish Date: June 2019
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