Alastair Robertson is a continuous improvement & automation leader for the insurance giant Zurich. He started his career answering customer calls in Glasgow. Over the last 14 years, he has been fortunate enough to work in four different continents and influence a wide breadth of change. When automation began to impact his workplace and the world around him, Alastair made the decision to pivot his career plans with a focus on harnessing new technology and the benefits it could bring. Since then, he has grown his automation and continuous development team by upskilling 30 colleagues from other areas of the business. More than 100 automated processes have been implemented in just 2 years/months, but more importantly he has helped turn the mindset of a century-old insurer into a company on the cutting edge of workplace automation.
Automation is a concept that can inspire change, but also provoke fear. In my role I have had to work through opposition from all sides of my organisation, which has often been rooted in the idea that automation is designed to take jobs and leave humans out of the equation. In truth, before I started this journey, I also had misgivings about how this kind of technology would be used in the workplace, which is why I now work so hard to convince people of its benefits. By taking people through my journey, I want to change perceptions of automation, dispel the myths and share my experience of how this technology can make our working lives so much better.
Favourite TED / TEDx talk
“We’re needin’ tae talk aboot wir language” – I understand him! 🙂
What does limitless mean to you?
At its core, I take the concept of Limit/less to mean that any challenge can be overcome with the right mindset and people best in class talent around you. The fact that my challenge has been focused on changing the perceptions of automation dovetails with this as well as Automation is often seen as the great limiter of jobs and careers. What I set out to prove is that this technology, far from limiting what we as people can achieve, can actually make us limitless within the workplace if we can allow ourselves to open up and embrace its potential