Status Go: Ep. 215 – Efficiency, Optimization, AND Transformation? Yes! | Charles Araujo


On this episode of Status Go, we explore the complexities of automation and digital transformation in today’s technology industry. Our guest is analyst Charlie Araujo. Charlie has written a report that delves deep into the history of problems that have hindered progress and emphasizes the importance of understanding how we got here. We discuss the shift from automation as a tool for efficiency to a platform for digital transformation and how tooling and a mindset shift are necessary for success. We also learn about Agile Point, a digital transformation platform that acts as an orchestration layer to enable collaboration and imagination. We explore the tension between driving efficiency and enabling transformation and discuss how leverage technology and automation can drive optimization, improve experiences, and achieve business outcomes. Tune in to this insightful episode to learn more about the challenges and opportunities of automation and digital transformation.

About Charles Araujo

Charles Araujo, a visionary in the realm of technology, embarked on his tech career at a tender age, armed with nothing more than a Commodore 64 and a screwdriver. From those humble beginnings, Charles’s passion for technology blossomed, leading him on an extraordinary journey of entrepreneurship, leadership, and transformation. With his diverse experiences, including running technical operations for a billion-dollar healthcare company, advising enterprise IT executives, and authoring the influential book “The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change,” Charles Araujo has become a renowned figure in the tech industry, captivating audiences worldwide with his insights into the future of IT and the profound impact of technology on businesses and society.


Episode Transcript

[00:00:38]: Introduction and Context

[00:02:09]: The Optimization Plateau

[00:04:54]: Process Owners and the Plateau

[00:08:19]: The Efficiency-Transformation Tension

[00:12:14]: The Mindset

[00:14:40]: Clarity, Accountability, and Governance

[00:18:42]: Cross-functional Tools

[00:23:33]: RPA and Cross-functional Automation

[00:26:24]: Digital Transformation Platform

[00:30:47]: What did we miss?

[00:34:23]: Call to Action

[00:36:33]: Closing



Episode Transcript

Jeff Ton [00:00:38]:

It seems like IT professionals have been focused on the same three things for 40 years or more: process optimization, driving efficiency, and cost reduction…with a heavy emphasis on cost reduction. Despite this focus, it seems like we’ve hit this plateau of sorts. The gains are minimal. At the same time, we have entered this digital era, and IT professionals are being called upon to drive digital transformation within their organizations. But these efforts have been unsuccessful many times. They seem to be diametrically opposed to what we’ve been doing for decades. Welcome to Status Go. I’m your host, Jeff Ton. Today we are going to explore this plateau we seem to have encountered and what you can do to jumpstart your efficiency gains and your transformation efforts. Our guest today is best-selling author and the founder of the Digital Experience Report, Charlie Araujo. Welcome back to Status Go, Charlie.

Charlie Araujo [00:01:46]:

Always a pleasure to be with you, Jeff. I always have so much fun at these.

Jeff Ton [00:01:53]:

I need to go back and look. This is either number three or number four for you. You may be the most prolific guest that we’ve had in our 210 episodes or so. So very excited about it.

Charlie Araujo [00:02:06]:

Or you just can’t shut me up.

Jeff Ton [00:02:09]:

No, it’s always a great organization. Great organization? It’s always a great conversation. And many of you know I’m a fan of Charlie’s work. I quote him oftentimes and used one of his books as kind of my guide to running IT departments for a number of years. And I’m sure that will come up as we’re going through this conversation today. So, Charlie, let’s start with the problem, this plateau. And I know in this work that you’re involved in right now, you’ve kind of explored this plateau. What’s causing us to feel like we’ve stagnated here?

Charlie Araujo [00:02:55]:

Well, I think you hit it right in the intro. So, this report that I’m working on, and I don’t know exactly when it will be published soon and it’s basically about this idea of transforming, no pun intended, the way we view automation and shifting it, as you said, away from this exclusive focus on efficiency and optimization and recognizing that leveraged appropriately, it becomes a transformational tool. But I think to answer your question, the plateau is because I think there’s a few reasons, but at its core, the promise of technology, the promise of automation at its core has always been that you deployed and you can drive efficiency and optimization in your organization. That’s what it was always about.


And while I will argue there is always this tinge of this transformational story, the real challenge is that the combination of organizational complexity and the lack of the technology being up to snuff in the early days meant that anyone who sort of went down that bigger picture road got stymied. And so, what we saw was that automation efforts got very narrowly focused in these sort of functional domains, right? Where we had I’m going to call it small automation because sometimes these were very big important efforts, but they tend to be aligned to these functional silos, right? That we’re automating what’s happening within this specific area of an organization and not looking at it from sort of across the organization. And I think that there was so much fertile ground for so long that that was just fine. But I think much of those gains have now been realized, and so we’re starting to run into the limits of that type of functionally driven benefit from automation. And then this myopic sort of focus on efficiency becomes sort of the second inhibitor.

Jeff Ton [00:04:54]:

I love the statement that that’s really kind of why technology was brought into the business in the first place was for process optimization, process automation, and efficiency gains. But I think the other side of that is because we hadn’t entered the digital era yet, so there wasn’t this consumerization of IT and all these things that we’re seeing driving that. And I think in some cases, and you point out, that we get stuck thinking about the problems the way we’ve always thought about the problems and even the concept, and I love your thoughts on this. This would have been, gosh probably 20 years ago, might be longer ago than that now I’ll date myself. The concept of process owners was an attempt to look across the organization, right? We had order-to-cash as a process, and we tried to do that. Was that an early attempt at trying to solve this plateau?

Charlie Araujo [00:06:03]:

Yeah, well, I don’t know that it was a plateau at that time, but it hints to what I was talking about that I think there’s always been this tinge of transformation long before we talked about digital transformation where that was sort of like some big thinkers thought wow, look at what we could do with this. I would argue it goes all the way back 30 years to the business process reengineering craze that really was this attempt to deal with these right where we’re going to look entire end-to-end order-to-cash, these big giant things.


I almost am sheepish to admit, but I was an integral part of a very large nine-digit project to try to address some of those, and they almost universally failed miserably. And part of it is when you’re talking about a multi-billion multinational organization and these big giant processes running across it, right? You’ve got just all this organizational complexity. But the reality is that it was also a technology gap because the technology that we’ve been using up until the last decade or so was highly, we’ll call it highly prescriptive, right?


It was working off this premise that I could go into an organization, I could somehow define this big giant order-to-cash process, we’ll just keep picking on it. And that, somehow that was going to be the process that everybody across the organization used every single time. Now you need to spend a whopping maybe 30 seconds inside an organization to know that is just not true. Right? And so, we have these technologies that require this high level of prescription, high level of rigidity to actually make them work. And the minute you put them into production, they started failing because that isn’t how an organization actually functions.


And so, I would argue that while there was an interest and desire from the beginning, maybe not the very beginning, but from the beginning, at some point, the technology was such that it couldn’t do that. So, we end up seeing these efforts become reduced to a scope that we could actually manage against. And so, I think that’s what sort of led us here, right? But I think there’s always been a desire for this transformative piece if we could get there.

Jeff Ton [00:08:19]:

So, talk a little bit about this tension that you describe between the two sides of that coin. And I referenced it in the opening. We’ve been doing this for 40 years, this efficiency, this automation. And now we’re talking about transformation. And I know you have been preaching and evangelizing transformation for a couple of decades, probably, through your work. How do we balance the two of those? As you know, our audience here on Status Go are IT professionals. Many of them have been doing it for as long as you and I have. How do we balance the tension between those two things?

Charlie Araujo [00:09:14]:

I don’t want to say that the tension doesn’t exist and you’re speaking from the hard reality that we’ve all gone through. But I will push back and say that the way we deal with that is to shift our view and not look at it as attention, not look at it as I can only get so much of this and so much of that to make this work and instead change the perspective and say, how can we, in fact, create opportunities where we are simultaneously driving efficiency and enabling transformation?


And I would argue that it can be a bit of your North Star or your magic truth serum. Because if you are questioning whether or not you are being effective at this, that will tell you. You will know you’re getting this right when you are somewhat effortlessly doing both at the same time. And I’ll give you a classic example. I don’t know if he gave me permission to quote him, so I’m not going to name him. But a CIO who is an executive at one of the largest health plan or health providers in the country, was telling me the story of how they had some durable medical equipment sitting in clinical care areas that was very prone to outages that it was right…so this was balancing the line between traditional IT and OT sort of functionality. But it was critical to patient care. It was also critical to billing because if the systems were down, they couldn’t provide the service, they couldn’t bill for it, so it had a revenue component.


And so, they deployed a piece of technology that was analytic-driven. So, they instrumented this technology and were able to collect data not only detect if they were down in advance but also identify if it was a high likelihood that they were going to fail and preemptively replace them or fix them. And it was this sort of miraculous thing because, on the one hand, they were delivering a much better patient experience. You showed up at the hospital, you never had to get deferred because the equipment wasn’t working. There was never a delay in delivering of care, but they also cut their costs by 40% because they didn’t have to send all these people running around to fix this stuff. Oh, and they increased their billing.


So, it’s like they managed to do all of it at once using a single automation effort to solve this problem. And so, when you’re able to do that, and there are countless examples like that, what you find is you’re able to do both. That it’s not a zero-sum game, that the answer is I can leverage technology and automation, particularly with sort of this modern incarnation of the way that technology is now enabling us to be very flexible and dynamic and that I can actually drive efficiency, drive optimization and improve the experience and create business outcomes and drive transformation. I can do all of it at once if I look at it from the right perspective.

Jeff Ton [00:12:14]:

In your paper, you start to talk about that. Well, you do talk about that. How do we begin to broaden that mindset, that approach to looking at these problems?

Charlie Araujo [00:12:27]:

I think the biggest challenge that organizations have had because of all of the history that we talked about is that they got into this very functional mindset. We came in and…Tthe very first thing we do…and I’m an old project manager, so I was just as guilty as this as anybody. But you’d go into a project, and the very first thing you would do is try to define and refine the scope to limit your exposure, right? So, I was like, how can I cut people out, to say I’m only going to focus on this narrow band so that I can ensure the success of this project?


The truth is that in order to do what I just talked about; those efficiency gains are rarely going to be found within a functional domain anymore. Those experiential domains are rarely going to live exclusively within a functional domain. So, almost by definition, to achieve what we just talked about, you are going to have to operate on a cross-functional basis on…starting to tackle these big hairy processes that we talked about, whether that’s the traditional order-to-cash or more customer experience driven type processes where I’m looking at a patient flow or a customer flow through an entire lifecycle and saying, what are they touching at every step of the way?


And, almost by definition, it’s going across multiple process areas, multiple functional domains, leverage multiple technologies. And it’s going to make it much more complex to deal with. But it’s in those gaps that you’re going to find those efficiency gains that allow you to pay for the experiential gains which will drive business outcomes and top-line revenue. Right?


Have you ever watched if you’re a fan of the Olympics during the relay races, there’s all these components, but the big, big thing is the handoff. The efficiency of the handoff, whether they drop it, whether how smooth the handoff is almost always the difference. Right. Because it is so volatile, so ripe for a gap. Well, it’s the exact same thing within our organizations. It’s those touch points between processes, between organizations, between functional domains that are the places where these gaps not only appear most significantly, but they’re also the places that we haven’t touched. Right? So that’s where you can start focusing. So, I think when you start looking at things in this cross-functional manner, it just changes the game.

Jeff Ton [00:14:40]:

Yeah. And I love that metaphor of the Olympic relay races because the critical points are those handoffs. Very rarely do you see that baton dropped when it’s not in a handoff mode. Right? They’ve got a good grip on it, and they know where they’re going.


Now, the other area that you talk about in your paper that’s leading to some of this plateau and smaller gains is clarity, accountability, and governance. Where’s that coming into play in this process?

Charlie Araujo [00:15:23]:

Sort of the side effect. Meaning that it’s sort of the metaphor for everything that’s going on within IT today is that the biggest challenges are complexity. Right? Back when you and I were in our heyday, things were just much simpler. I mean, I don’t want to minimize the job we did, but oh my gosh, it is so much harder to do the same job we did 20 years ago. Today the complexity is off the charts in terms of number of applications, number of systems, the interconnections between them, the interconnections between our systems and systems that are outside of our control, whether those are in the cloud or with partners.


And then you layer on top of that these massive, now experiential demands where I tell the old story. I worked in healthcare, that I went to this admitting department, and the downtime forms were sitting out. And the downtime form is what you use when the systems were not working. And they were out because their systems were failing all the time, and they didn’t even care. It was like just an annoyance. Today patients are going home, or they’re having a catastrophic clinical event. The stakes are so much higher now. The complexity is so much higher, the expectations are so much higher.


All of this is really challenging to deal with. Someone like me, the pundit who doesn’t have to do the job anymore, says, hey, you know, you need to go and deal with this cross-functional. The natural reaction is like, oh no, oh heck no, right? All that does is increase risk. It makes it so much harder to manage the scope. It makes it so much because what I haven’t talked about yet, but almost by definition, if I’m going to create these sort of cross functional automation that really drives transformation, I’m going to have to deeply engage the people on the front lines doing this work because they’re going to have to participate in this. And so now I’m opening up that whole can of worms. So, the question is how do you do that?


Well, the answer is you’ve got to put a ton of emphasis ton governance and controls and management to do it in a way that protects you, that minimizes and mitigates that risk without constraining. Because the challenge that we’ve historically approached, the way we’ve historically approached this is to just lock everything down. I can’t mess it up if it’s all nice and safe and secure. Like I used to tell people, if you want to not have any outages by change…easy, don’t make any changes. But that’s just not pragmatic, right? And so, the idea of using governance controls, it becomes, I would argue, a strategic asset. And this is going to tie into that means you’ve got to get it embedded into the tools you’re using because if it’s not, then the whole thing falls apart. But that’s why it’s so critical.

Jeff Ton [00:18:42]:

We’re speaking today with author Charlie Araujo, and we’re talking about the tension and the ultimate solution between hitting a plateau in trying to drive efficiency gains, process automation, and cost savings in technology. With the mandate to transform our businesses. Charlie, I want to come back to that conversation where we left off and pivot now to talk about some of the tools that are going to be needed to be able to do this kind of cross-functional process optimization and automation. So, let’s start there.


Charlie Araujo [00:19:36]:

Sure. First of all, there’s no one tool. I think there’s lots of moving parts to it. That’s why it’s a massive industry that is out there. But I think there’s a handful. I mean, clearly, things like data integration tools and platforms are critical because we need to be able to move data and connect our systems. But one of the things the terminology is changing around all this, but the idea of what have been called low code and no code platforms, they’re increasingly being called either application development platforms or automation platforms. Sometimes they’re called workflow automation. There’s a bunch of different terms, and it’s all blending together.


ServiceNow historically wouldn’t have been in this space but with some of their new releases, for instance, they’re now largely considered a workflow automation tool. So, there’s a whole bunch of bleeding together. But I actually think this broad category is critical to this for two reasons. But there’s some big, big caveats here because the real key here is going to be speed and agility. How quickly can you deploy an automation? See the problem, see the gap, and identify. And even though we’ve been talking about this big end-to-end cross-functional, sometimes the gap is a small cross-functional, right? I’ve got two departments and I’ve got an issue between these two. And so, it’s still the cross-functional, but it maybe is like I can be tactical, I can go and like hey, let’s solve this problem. I can get a massive experiential gain out of it. So, the ability to move quickly and be agile with it.


And then the second thing is, as I alluded to, is that the untapped resource in most organizations are the people on the front lines who are literally executing these processes, living them day to day. And if you go ask them, they’ll tell you exactly what’s wrong. They’ll tell exactly where those breaks are. If you can give them tools to participate in the process, to, not code, but to actually get into a tool and say this is what it should look like or this is how it should flow, then it suddenly becomes a very powerful process.


And so while in general, I think the entire low code no code space is going to help with this overall. I think there’s a set of tools out there that are a little bit more focused on what is really called either model-driven or abstraction-level approaches. And what that really means is we’re not building these sort of rigid structures, right? Because sometimes that’s what happens. You’re just creating another silo or another rigidity. What we’re really doing is creating these dynamic flows that we can rapidly pivot and adapt as we go.


And so when I’m advising people to what kind of tools they’re looking for is…you want something that first and foremost enables collaboration. It allows people across your organization. Right? The definition of cross-functional is I’ve got different stakeholders that are all looking from different perspectives, and I don’t want to do the traditional It approach of hey, you tell us what you need, and we’ll go away for six months and build it. Right? We want to have a collaborative model where we’re collectively building this thing and iterating on it as we go.


You need to have that governance that we talked about where I can create safety zones where people can go and experiment and build and test things out and I’m not worried about them blowing up our systems, right? But I still have to give access to all. None of these things are going to work well if they work in isolation. So having that element and there’s another one which I’m blanking at the moment but pulling all these pieces together and doing it from a tooling perspective or letting the tool be the enabler is, I think, really critical to that.

Jeff Ton [00:23:33]:

Where does RPA fit in all this? You mentioned low code and no code but I’m hearing a lot about RPA. Does it provide what you’re talking about in here?

Charlie Araujo [00:23:47]:

So, I’ll say it’s a part of it. Meaning that okay, so RPA, for those that have been living under a rock maybe is robotic process automation and it’s morphing as well as entire service here’s. My big frustration is that somehow you got to hand it to the RPA vendors. The RPA vendors have managed to completely co-op the term automation. If you do a search for automation on Google or whatever now almost everything that comes up is RPA. And RPA is one small sliver of the automation landscape.


It’s very effective at taking particularly those legacy processes that use legacy systems that were very difficult to automate and providing an automation layer that can sit on top of those and do these highly repetitive but also highly prescriptive tasks. Meaning I’m able to…so the big challenge with RPA historically is that it’s been very fragile and so if there was any variability or anything that could change then that might fall apart.


So, when I’m thinking about this sort of end-to-end process automation and tools that enable that, what you see is that they are able to connect. So, I may, as I look at that end-to-end process, have a component where I’m going to use RPA to automate that component, but it’s living as part of a broader process that I’m automating to do that.


I was talking to another CIO that used this exact example to help with patient inflows – another healthcare company – where they had patients that were coming in and had to fill out this form, and it was a legacy type form that was connected. So, he used RPA to digitize that. But then, once it was digitized, plugged it into a broader automation system that allowed it to flow through their environment and kind of hit the cross-functional.


So, there’s a handful of tools out there. One of my clients is Agile Point, and they’re the company that nobody’s ever heard of, but they are built specifically around this sort of layer of allowing people to do this. It’s overused ahead of their time. But, I mean, they saw this 20 years ago or about this need for getting what they call it then, right? But citizen developers or the end-user engaged in the process but to create these safety nets around them and being model-driven. But they’re not alone. There’s a bunch of vendors out there or a few, I shouldn’t say not a bunch, but a few vendors out there that sort of understand all of this and are, I think, the ones that will be the gateway ton helping organizations solve some of these sorts of problems.

Jeff Ton [00:26:24]:

Now, you were gracious enough to provide me with an advanced copy of this white paper, this guidebook that you’re writing. And I got to tell you, there’s a section in there that gave me pause. And that is “The power of a digital transformation platform.” What’s a digital transformation platform?

Charlie Araujo [00:26:47]:

So full disclaimer, I did not come up with that term. And in fact, in my research for this report, I was talking to an executive at a consulting firm that gave me this term and hey, one of the things I did is I founded the Institute for Digital Transformation. You think I would have coined the term digital transformation platform, but I didn’t. So, his terminology for it, and there’s a description in the report, but basically sort of what I described, that it is a platform whose primary purpose is to enable the transformation, to create a transformational engine. And really, by doing what I talked about, that it sits there and can ingest and connect to legacy line of business applications or all your typical ERP or maybe an HR system or whatever that is already doing some component of it. But then is the glue that allows you to create that automation because almost any process that we would talk about is going to touch multiple systems.


And I think what it touches on is that something that would certainly strike fear into me if I was a CIO today and someone said, oh, that sounds really great, but to achieve this, I have to throw everything out that’s never going to happen. And so, the whole premise here is that a digital transformation platform is something that you can stick in the middle, and it becomes this almost orchestration layer. That it allows you to A. you may build some bespoke apps ton top of it that are filling gaps that don’t exist from an automation. But then it’s also connecting the parts of your disparate pie underneath. So, it’s doing a degree of data integration, it’s doing a degree of workflow automation. It’s doing all these sort of components. And so that’s what they call them. He calls them this digital transformation platform. I think it’s a great term. It’s just not one that is actually used all that much in the industry at this point.

Jeff Ton [00:28:43]:

Yeah, because as you know, the Institute just recently put out a book called Digital Transformation Demystified. And the point of that book is there is not one process, and there’s not one tool. Right? And so I read that, and it’s like, that’s interesting. I need to ask Charlie about that. It’s really a collection. I’m not going to go out and buy the product called Digital Transformation Platform today.

Charlie Araujo [00:29:13]:

Yeah, well, I guess in full disclosure, this gentleman, and I hate to say this, I don’t remember who it was right now. I think it may have been Justin, but Justin okay. He’s calling Agile Point a digital transformation platform. But the point of it is the totality of the platform is not.  So, you know, in that case, a tool like that is at the center of it, but it’s, you know, so I guess it’s all about how you want to look at it. If there’s something in the center that’s acting as an orchestration layer. But the entire quote-unquote platform is really all of it. It’s the entire ecosystem that you have of systems that are necessary to execute and drive transformation.


And I think here’s my big take away from it. The reason he called them digital transformation platforms is that by acting as that center orchestration layer, what it does is becomes the vehicle for transformation. Right? Why do people stop? And you and I have talked a lot about this from a leadership and organizational cultural perspective, what holds people back from actually creating change for good in their organizations? It’s typically the fear of I don’t know what’s going to happen on the other side if I make this change and the rigidity of all the systems that I’m going to have to change to make to affect that. Right? So, the premise here is that by putting this tool in the middle, I can mitigate both of those. I can iterate rapidly, so I don’t have to go and dive in and risk my entire career to do this, and I don’t have to throw everything out. I can use this as a platform to connect whatever I need to connect to achieve the change I’m trying to.

Jeff Ton [00:30:47]:

Achieve becomes an enabler of the change. Yeah. So, Charlie, we’re almost out of time here, and I want to ask you, what haven’t I asked you about automation and this guidebook that you’ve written?

Charlie Araujo [00:31:04]:

Well, first of all, as always, you did a great job. I think you’ve covered the vast majority. Of all of it, I think the big takeaway so this report, I’m not sure, I guess what I’m calling it a report. It’s long. This isn’t a typical white paper. It’s almost 6000 words. It goes into a lot of depth of both plumbing…why we got here, right? The problems that we talked about that have led us here. It’s sort of uncouth anymore to kind of go deep and talk about some of the history of why we ended up in the places we end up. But I believe it’s really important, especially in this context, because if you don’t really grasp why we got stuck here or how we got stuck here, you’re going to have a really hard time breaking through it because it’s like these invisible forces that are holding you back.


And so to me, the big takeaway, so I don’t think you didn’t ask this, but just to double-click on it, is that it is completely possible to transform the way you look at applying automation in your organization. In which it becomes the simultaneous tool for the efficiency that you’ve always been leveraging automation to drive and to turn it into a digital transformation platform to create this enabler. And what I would really argue in the end is a capability, right? That’s what you should really be striving to achieve as a CIO or as an enterprise It leader is how can I build this transformational capability?


And it is going to be a combination of yes tooling but also the mindset shift. But the reason the tooling is important is it is really hard to drive that mindset shift if the tooling is going to hold them back. If the tooling is that barrier, then it’s really hard to get people out of this is how we’ve always done it.


And so, there’s a couple, I write in the report, a couple of parts of that mindset shift, like starting every process by saying who else is involved in this? Who is this going to impact? Right? Doing the opposite of what we historically have done, which is narrow our scope and instead immediately expand it. Go, how can I look at the big picture here to make sure I’m identifying those opportunities? Breaking through the functional silos, all the cultural and corporate dynamics that exist, right? That’s a cultural element. But it’s really hard to break through that if I’ve got ownership at these application silo levels that people don’t want to share and are afraid you’re going to mess up my process. Right?


And so, one of the things that one of the execs I was talking to said when you do this right, everyone can work however they want to work. You can work in your functional area exactly how is best for you. I can work exactly how is best for me. And then we can create this layer on top that allows us to work together without either of us being hampered by that, right? That’s when this starts to really become transformational. And so, I think the trick is that this is really a cultural abstraction layer. It’s using sort of this next generation of tools to step back and see that bigger picture and imagine what those possibilities are. That imagination gap closing, changing some mindsets, I think, is the big, big thing that has to happen. In addition to leveraging, say, a tool that makes it possible to actually achieve this.

Jeff Ton [00:34:23]:

Yeah, I love the digital transformation capability. Having that added to your toolbox of capabilities in IT, I think that makes a tremendous amount of sense because transformation isn’t a one-and-done. You need to be able to keep using that tool. Charlie, here on Status Go, we love to leave our listeners with a very strong call to action. So, what are one or two things that you would suggest our listeners do tomorrow because they listen to our conversation today?

Charlie Araujo [00:35:00]:

So if there’s one challenge with what this report is talking about and everything we’ve covered today is that this is big, right? This isn’t the, hey, tactical, I can go make this one little change. And so, this is a journey. But as the old saying goes, right, a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. And so, the question is, what is that single step? To me, I think a thought exercise is actually really powerful here is go identify a business process that is truly critical to the organization and say, what would happen if I changed my perspective and looked at this holistically on an end-to-end basis? Or where is there a functional gap that everybody knows about and everyone’s afraid to talk about? Right?


And that happens routinely. Right. We all know that this process really sucks at this handoff point, at that baton pass, but no one is willing to go and address that because it’s so rife with issues. And then once you’ve identified it, go through the straw exercise of saying, if I threw away all the rigidity that I sort of have baked in of my traditional tooling and approaches and could truly reimagine this, what would it look like? And then use that as the vehicle to begin the mindset shift. And then how you might reimagine how you’re leveraging the tooling to actually achieve that. And I think it’s just starting to open. I don’t want to open your eyes, but just changing the way you look at things and being open to some new ideas,

Jeff Ton [00:36:33]:

I love that. To identify a critical business process and look at it from a different perspective, because you’re right, we end up looking at them the same way all the time. Change your perspective and see if you see an opportunity there. Charlie, thank you so much for carving out time to talk with us. I know you are incredibly busy, and I appreciate the moments that we have to catch up, even if the mic is on while we’re doing it.

Charlie Araujo [00:37:04]:

Always love being in a room, virtual or otherwise, with you, Jeff, and having these conversations. They are always great, and I hope others get value from them to our listeners.

Jeff Ton [00:37:14]:

If you have a question or want to learn more, visit The show Notes will provide links and contact information, and if possible, we will link to this report when it’s available because it is a great report, and I’d love for all of our listeners to read it. This is Jeff Ton for Charlie Araujo. Thank you very much for listening.