Middle Office Transformation

Until recently, many fast growth organizations have suffered huge performance gaps in what is known as their Middle Office.  As the name implies, the Middle office is operational in nature and sits between the enterprise Front Office and Back Office. The Front Office has traditionally been supported by Sales and Marketing CRM solutions.  These solutions include Salesforce.com, Siebel, MS Dynamics and Marketo.  The Back Office has traditionally been supported by large ERP players such as Oracle, SAP and Infor.  Unfortunately, that left the “Middle Office” to fend for itself.  In order for Middle Office Organizations to gain efficiency and remain compliant, they were forced to either create customized …

The Coming AI Winter

In the not too distant future, machines will be capable of doing some amazingly human things, like showing compassion, lying, creating music, multi-modality communication, exhibiting the capability for self-reflection and recursive thinking. Or at least they will be able to simulate these human capabilities. Much of the advanced research into AI is focused on technology singularity or General Machine Intelligence, while more practical applications such as speech and vision recognition research is focusing on something known as Pragmatics.   Pragmatics is the ability to understand meaning based on context.  As an example, words or visual cues alone cannot define proper meaning, and the ability to have context awareness offers …

Complacency

“Real” Change Management – Digital Transformation

The comic strip goes something like this, “What if we don’t change at all … and something magical just happens?”.  While this humor exemplifies familiar levels of complacency, it is in reality the leading cause of organizational and digital transformation failure.  High levels of organizational complacency puts the overall organization “at risk” and has become an epitaph for many large sedentary companies. Charles Darwin summarized it best: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change” Moving the Organization Moving an organization out of their comfort zone to achieve significant operational improvement requires several things: 1) a highly …

Gorillas – No More Monkeys

As with most Executives, each day can seem like an endless stream of meetings followed by a series of pressing tasks and decisions that we inherit from our subordinates.  Some of the decision are warranted, but the vast majority come about because we accept our subordinate’s “Monkeys”.  These Monkeys prevent us from doing other high-value work (“Gorillas”) which are both important to the business and career-building.    Definitions:       A “Monkey” is defined as a task or decision that subordinates should be handling.       A “Gorilla” is a strategic endeavor that requires manager attention to dramatically improve the business.  William Oncken and Donald Wass …

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