July 19, 2021
You most likely have seen that Youtube video where we are taught some leadership lessons around starting a movement. The lessons are clear. I would summarize them like this.
Don’t give up if you have a rock-solid story. This dancing guy had some failures as well in making people more enthusiastic about his passion: dancing in a particular way. But his focus and joy, and even being a bit of a geek about it, did the trick.
Ok, but how to apply this to your Corporate RPA Movement, and why should you have any?
In an earlier post, I shared my opinion about Automation Anxiety. Looking at it from a more positive angle; to harness the power of RPA you need to connect your RPA Purpose to the company’s purpose to be successful. To get the proper stakeholders aligned is often a hassle. Making the potential stick at C-level is a different ballgame than showing the added value on the shop floor, or convincing IT to join the party. So connecting the company purpose to your RPA (Automation) purpose should be the foundation of your RPA movement and your storyline. To bring the story alive and aligned, to get funded, to be successful. To dance!
One of the most distinguished coaches I experienced described change as “a beautiful mess”. And it’s true, when you come up with something new you have to win a lot of battles, you experience set-backs, cry sometimes but also embrace the successes, nurture them and help grow them into something beautiful.
Same goes for your RPA ambitions. Have guts in telling and shaping your solid story even if people might say: “That does not work like that in our organisation”, while against all odds it does. Just check with research by analysts like Gartner and McKinsey. Whether it’s IT, the one you need to sponsor you, or Compliance, they all need to be faced and given the answers to their questions. Respect them, they have a job to do as well. But be bold, show guts!
So yeah … you do need to have your story straight. Visualized in a way that is understandable from every angle in the organization. From top to bottom. Define an RPA purpose that explains how it’s fulfilling a need. For the company, for the people, for the shareholders but also for you: why do you love to drive the success of this topic? Be authentic, be transparent, be clear and a bit fun so you are easy to follow. Don’t overthink, connect with your peers on topics that they are willing to share their story on, learn from them and act.
Branding RPA in a company by giving your solutions a name, a backstory and an explanation about how they are contributing to the company’s objectives is a key task. Animate your story. We as humans love to see it with our own eyes! That makes it easy to follow what’s already out there, what’s coming and how people can join.
Creating the Corporate RPA movement is not about you. It’s about the people. Educating and inspiring them by showing what’s in it for them is crucial to grow awareness. But also to increase the influx of new ideas. Things you never would have seen yourself. Embracing them with a formal role in the game could help out.
I experienced that onboarding them as Citizen Developers helped. We taught them the basics of creating their own RPA solution and we connected them to our professional RPA developers. That automatically enlarged the group of enthusiasts. Leading to our next phase in creating a corporate RPA Movement.
Now we entered the situation where employees started to encourage each other. Dancing alone is fun. But dancing with friends is even more fun. And that’s exactly what happened. Streamlining the influx of new ideas, new followers by setting up and nurturing the RPA community resulted in awesome new cases.
Feeling heard is key in staying connected. So organize that actively. People should know where the RPA party is. It must be a clear road from idea to RPA solution.
With all that in place you have yourself a Corporate RPA Movement. One that finds, advocates and uses RPA to Take the Robot out of the Human, and fuel the company’s objective and purpose.
Start your corporate RPA movement today! Be brave, be easy to follow, create a community and scale!
Column by Asher Lake