Innovate, Not Just Automate

Innovation-Not-AutomateA recent article in The Economist’s Schumpeter column said, “(for) consumers, the digital age is often exhilarating. For companies, it is often frightening… In practice, many (IT) departments fear being overwhelmed.” This focus of the article is right in-line with an article I wrote for the Star Tribune this October “Cost-center thinking hobbles IT power

In summary:

  • “Enterprises are going to have to shift from where IT was really just about automating undifferentiated back-office functions to using IT as the fundamental product of what they do.” To move forward, for all organizations, IT needs to move from automating to innovating.
  • The combination of mobile and the cloud creates a platform for creating solutions where IT can be a fundamental product of what an organization does
  • As I shared in an interview this year with Twin Cities Business magazine, consumerization is here… when it comes to the ideas for products and services that allow IT to be the fundamental product of an organization, everyone can innovate!

My Interview in The Business Journal “1,000 tasks…just one you — Personal productivity tips from Fast 50 companies”


From the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

“Just about every entrepreneur, business owner and executive is constantly trying to figure out how to do more in less time.

There is, after all, just 24 hours in a day and a gazillion things to do, including managing employees; perfecting products; interacting with customers; finding more money to keep the business growing; and meeting with the CPA, the lawyer and the benefits broker. All that’s just before lunch, and it doesn’t even touch on Little League games, date nights and a bit of exercise here and there.

Business executives often turn to technology for help, and they read time-management books such as David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” or tip blogs such as “Lifehacker.” Sometimes they hire assistants.

This month, we asked the members of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Fast 50 class of the fastest-growing private companies in the Twin Cities what they do to make their days more productive.”

Intertech Inc.

Headquarters: Eagan

Business: IT training and consulting services

Answering: Tom Salonek, CEO

“Evernote. With its ability to take voice recordings, written notes and photos as memos, Evernote makes it easy to remember everything from anniversary gifts to business items.

RoboForm. For myself, I have hundreds of sites with log-in credentials. RoboForm makes password management a cinch.

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” delivers solid principles for management of self and others. Also, Napoleon Hill’s work, “Think and Grow Rich,” is the foundation for many of today’s self-help gurus.

I start every day running with my Doberman, Alexander the Great, and whatever toddlers are awake in our house. For me, the trancelike state of running results in some solid new ideas or solutions to antagonizing problems.

In “City Slickers,” the Billy Crystal movie, he talks about the “one thing.” It’s the one thing that if a person gets right, the rest of life falls into place. As I think through my workday, I look for the one thing — the key conversation, the strategic hire or the key decision I need to make to allow others to proceed in execution. After that is finished, the rest of the day falls into place.”