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Carl Schell

Channel Strategy Session: Striving for Simplicity in 2024, with the Help of Our New Friend AI

Streamlining processes and automating workflows are as prevalent as ever

Jan 14, 2024 7:00:00 PM


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At the tail end of last year, I helped my mom take bins and boxes out of her attic and bring them to the garage for further processing. Everyone at some point in their life has had this glorious experience, no doubt. Anyway, along the way, she put an old suitcase—really old, no wheels, just a handle—in front of me and said this relic was the lone item she brought with her when she moved from Sweden to New York City in 1966. I’d never seen it before. My mind was blown. “Those were simpler times” became the cliché of the day.


The suitcase floated through my head during the ensuing meal (December 23: Little Christmas to Swedes, Festivus to Seinfeld fans). It appears to be of roughly standard size for the era, wear-and-tear has slightly darkened its light tan color, and tape is still present as well as several exhibits of tape “suntan.” The locks? Fully functional. But driving to New Jersey from Connecticut later that afternoon, I realized the marvel was just one piece of the process that my mom and I had achieved.


Things spiderwebbed from there. I thought: Here we were, hustling up and down a ladder and a flight of stairs to effectively simplify my mom’s life, which made me think how sorely life in general could use more simplicity. We have significant others, kids, houses, cars, jobs, interests, and a pile of bills bigger than the pile of money toward the end of The Dark Knight (if you recall, Joker burns it). Then, the little stuff creeps—no, stomps—in to create work on top of work. We sacrifice our far-reaching vision because surviving the day to day is, at times, all we can do.


The amazing suitcase my mom carried from Sweden to the States 58 years ago.


This is not doom and gloom. No lunatic ravings from my soapbox. People in the workplace forever say that communication needs to be improved (I can’t disagree with that). The topics of streamlining processes and automating workflows very much fall in the same boat, and both boast simplicity at their core. Now, even if the world is flooded with hardware, software, apps, and the like to the point of consumer confusion and market dilution, technology is supposed to help us get ahead of the curve with anything from an easy task to a long-term project.


We’ve been adopting new technology for decades. We’ve been adapting to change for millennia. Software solutions push us forward and help us simplify—and here’s artificial intelligence (AI), for instance, to further aid us in our quest to streamline and automate. AI has been talked about and written about and speculated about so much over the last year that some folks are already fatigued by it without their organization even reaching the assessment stage. Subsequent activities, including forming a strategy around artificial intelligence and then implementing it, will never happen unless you lean into it, drift farther away from your comfort zone, and want to learn.


I am one of those people, and Keypoint Intelligence is one of those companies. This journey of discovery and exploration with AI resonates with where I’m at as well as my mission in 2024 to simplify. The six members of the Publishing Group I have the privilege of managing are eager to play in the AI sandbox—the rest of the organization is as well, I’m sure. They want to validate that the technology can be instrumental in their day, that changes to processes and workflows can help them save time on existing work to clear time for other projects. It extends beyond artificial intelligence to software solutions that can also play a part in the streamlining, and my interest in hearing about AI challenges and successes extends past my own group to another one valued by me and Keypoint Intelligence: Dealers.


My suitcase is ready to roll. It’s not overpacked…I’m keeping it simple. Are you?


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