Business Mentoring helps your Head of Automation become a good leader

Business Mentoring helps your Head of Automation become a good leader

23 novembre 2020
Gerrit Sarens
Gerrit Sarens
  • Reply BrightKnight and Ambits aim to have people embrace automation. Appointing a Head of Automation is a good step in the right direction to make automation successful. Supporting the Head of Automation to be(come) a good leader will boost success.

    The message behind this partnership is straightforward: do not only invest in technology but also make sure you have the right leadership in place, especially for crucial functions like the Head of Automation.

  • RPA as a side project

  • There seems to be a reluctance to appoint someone to lead RPA initiatives. As if magically the RPA pilot will grow into a fully fleshed-out program, delivering automation across business lines without someone at the wheel.

    Alternatively, someone who showed interest in RPA might get pushed into the role and tasked with managing an RPA Centre of Excellence next to their current responsibilities. Surely it can’t be more than a couple of hours here and there, right? In the initial phase, when operating models and roles are being defined and approaches are being rolled out, often with the help of an external service provider, it might just be enough.

  • Recipe for failure

  • However, as RPA takes off this inevitably leads to issues. Without a full-fledged Head of Automation, things go south quickly. Departments do not communicate with each other, there is a lack of central authority and the advantages of scaling RPA do not materialize.

  • A Head of Automation

  • It’s clear that a Head of Automation needs to be appointed, and preferably from the start. What does the Head of Automation do? This person is the face and voice of RPA within the organization, collaborating with all levels and departments to optimize RPA throughout.

    A couple of responsibilities include:

    • Owning the operational model for delivery, in line with operational requirements
    • Evaluating, validating & prioritizing candidate processes
    • Accountability for delivery & service management
    • Responsibility for tracking & reporting
    • Managing relationships with IT
    • Central escalation point for operations, IT & third parties

    Having a technically competent person in this function can do wonders and allow RPA to take off. However, research has shown that technology implementations do not fail because of the wrong technology platform, vendor, or integrator. Implementations generally fail because of people-related issues.

    This means that the Head of Automation should also be a strong leader. Finding a Head of Automation with a decent technical background and strong leadership capabilities sounds like a mission impossible.

  • Enter a Business Mentor

  • Reply BrightKnight and Ambits partner up for successful RPA implementations. Once the Head of Automation is appointed, the Ambits Business Mentor supports him/her in tackling the people issues that pop-up during the RPA roll-out.

    Having stood in the same shoes and having led change in organizations as a business leader, the Business Mentor gives hands-on leadership advice to the Head of Automation but equally has affinity with the technical side of the job.

    Want to know more about the value of Business Mentoring to support your newly appointed Head of Automation? Contact us.

Les difficultés d'un manager

Les managers sont

  • pas ou mal formés à ce rôle


    • manquent de confiance en soi
    • ne savent pas comment passer du statut de collègue à celui de patron
    • doivent relâcher le style de leadership 'commander et contrôler'
    • doivent abandonner le statut d'expert (technique)
    • ne peuvent pas donner ou accepter un feedback constructif
    • se sentent sous pression en tant que manager
    • ont des difficultés à établir des relations
    • veulent être appréciés de tous ou être le 'méchant patron'
    • jouent le héros
  • en difficulté


    • restent trop impliqués dans les opérations
    • ont du mal à établir des priorités
    • ne peuvent pas déléguer
    • redoutent les situations conflictuelles
    • se déconnectent de l'équipe
    • font face à une réflexion stratégique déficiente
    • ne portent pas sur la gestion supérieure
    • manquent de compétences claires en matière de communication
    • ne sont pas conscients d'eux-mêmes
    • évitent les conversations difficiles
    • manquent des antennes politiques
    • ...
  • capables de plus


    • ont besoin d'une préparation mentale comme successeur
    • doivent être capables de conduire les grands changements à venir
    • doivent apprendre à être résilientes sur le plan émotionnel et à se maîtriser
    • doivent apprendre à prendre rapidement de grandes décisions sans avoir toutes les informations
    • doivent devenir des présentateurs convaincants
    • ont besoin d'apprendre à cultiver leur image de marque personnelle
    • doivent apprendre à montrer l'exemple
    • dirigent par la confiance, non par la peur
    • ont besoin de développer intensivement l'empathie
    • ...
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