I’m all for tools of automation to make doing work easier. There is serious credence which should be paid to the whole maxim “work smarter not harder” maxim.
I love the Boomerangs and Buffers of the world, and any other tool which assist in simplifying my life and help us do things more efficiently. I mean, who doesn't?
But lest we forget that it is too easy to let efficiency undermine our effectiveness.
You can’t automate authenticity
I was reminded of a story a friend told me of his favorite clothing company Mizzen + Main. He said he is a raving fan and has no issue dropping $130 on a shirt because of the quality and the authenticity of the company. It’s not uncommon for him to receive personal handwritten notes in with his orders, thanking him by name for his support and patronage. More than once the ladies and gents at Mizzen + Main have sent him personalized videos telling him about a sale or offer they’re running which he may be interested in based on his previous purchases.
It’s personal. It’s honest. It’s human. It’s authentic.
This level of authenticity, which is not automate-able, is the exact thing that has created a life-long raving fan for Mizzen + Main.
Because you cannot automate authenticity.
Doing the most human thing is, albeit paradoxically, necessary to scale and grow.
When to Automate
What and when should we automate, then?
When I asked him how he would split his time between relationship building and the digital content creation side of development and advancement of our nonprofit/ministry, my friend Zach Clark helped me clarify a subtle distinction —
Automate so that you can be authentic.
In other words, automate the tasks and responsibilities which get in the way of doing the real work of building meaningful relationships in order to grow your influence and organization.