Today we recorded an interview with James Taylor, co-author of Smart (Enough) Systems, How To Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions. This book, written by James Taylor with Neil Raden comes out on Jun 29th (2007), and is available for pre-order from Amazon today. Our interview covers many of the topics in their book, with a focus on the ideas inside and the benefits you can get from applying them, in just under an hour.
Smart (Enough) Systems
James and Neil introduce a pretty compelling concept – that paying attention to small decisions can have as large an impact for companies as paying attention to large decisions. All successful companies invest in strategic decision making – the big impact, infrequent decisions. But most companies overlook the benefits of investing cost-effectively in the small decisions that happen thousands or millions or even billions of times a day.
In our interview, James gives us some insight into exactly how that can happen, how to approach these small decisions, and how to manage them.
Interview With James Taylor
You can download our interview with James Taylor in mp3 format (18 MB, 52 minutes) and listen at any time. As this is my first recorded interview, please accept my apologies for the “ums and ahs.” James does 99% of the speaking, so it still turned out ok – he did a fantastic job.
James’ book is an excellent read, and eye-opening, revealing what should be obvious but remains hidden about improving our businesses. Every action and interaction a company makes is the result of a decision. Making those decisions accurately, quickly, and cost-effectively is critical to every business. Being able to adapt those decisions (and their resulting processes and customer-interactions) rapidly is the key to success in a world that is changing faster than ever. The flow of ideas is straightforward, and each new idea builds upon the previous ones, allowing readers to quickly conceptualize a better way to run their business. The anecdotes and real-world examples also solidify the concepts, and almost force the reader to think about how to apply it to their own business.
I personally recommend the book, and thank James for the opportunity to read it and speak with him about it.
More Resources on Smart (Enough) Systems
Near the end of our interview, James mentions the web site for the book. The book is available from Amazon now, and can be ordered through the link on the main page. They also have an RSS feed with news on the book, and will be launching a wiki for the book very soon as well.
This approach to integrating business and IT systems is also known as enterprise decision management, or EDM. You can read more about EDM at James’ EDM Blog.