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ON BASELINING...


At first it was cool. Then it was revelational.


It began seeping into industries, via functional use cases the world over. Entrepreneurs realised they could 10x their productivity with almost zero cost, and organisations zoned-in on the savings and scaling opportunities running amok. All of a sudden, adjacent moves and business model shifts became real possibilities. And, as we all know, it's still playing out, in real-time.


Generative AI. Or GenAI.


For me it's not about the tech anymore. Although, I admit I nerd-out for about 30 mins every morning around 05:30, catching up on a few quality AI newsletters that I subscribe to, just to try to keep pace. But when I'm speed-reading through the latest updates on LLMs and applications built on top of them, my brain is really wired towards how my teams and customers can capitalise on them.


For me, the curiosity is in the business utility, rather than the bling. Sometimes parsing the two can be difficult. But it's getting easier as GenAI utilities are relatively easy to, a) spot, and b) apply, regardless of the business function. The greatest challenge is hanging on to the past.


Which brings me to the point of this Sunday morning tome. As we apply more of these GenAI techniques to our existing functions, our assumptions about those very same functions and roles start to (have to) change. Often very quickly and radically.


Exhibit A: my traditional way of approaching my weeks was to apply a 30:30:30:10approach to running my business. Sales: Delivery: Operations: Strategy.


Of course it didn't always work out that way. In fact the plan often went out of the window by 11:00am on a Monday, but it gave me a North Star to reorientate back to whenever I needed a refocus on the collective challenge facing the organisation.


Now I'm finding that all of these elements are being compressed, and reconfigured, with the gap between sales, delivery, operations, and especially strategy, rapidly closing.

Meaning we can make a change in one space, and it opens up opportunites, or threats, in another. Fast.


Which means that our assumptions, and how we have traditionally baselined our business, need to keep pace. This is a good thing. It can fertilise our organisation's untapped creative powers in radically new ways. It can blow away the fog on known unknowns/unknown unknowns, and it can also shepherd in new ones.


It's not so much about the GenAI, but more how it is grasped and, dare I say, leveraged. Ah! the L-word. Once the gold standard of Management Guru-speak, but finally a reality. We literally can now lever open new business capabilities.


And the great thing is the cost of applying these new capabilities is an order of magnitude less than previous tech waves. So the CFOs and Board's, regardless of the size or type of organisations, should be embracing it. Don't pay attention to the hype-curve naysayers.


GenAI is transformational.


Those of us at the bleeding edge of a business understand that.


The first key is grounded curiosity, constantly tested, assaulting your very own traditional assumptions that have built up over time, like sediment over the organisation chart and company processes. The second (which actually should be the first!) is understanding how your customer's markets are rapidly reconfiguring. The best way to do that is to engage in more than just a transactional conversation with them. The application of GenAI capabilities actually opens doors for different types of partnerships with customers.


So it's the start of a new week, and time for a new baseline to spring from...

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