Where We Are Now: July 13, 2021

High Touch, Automation & AI


Dear Colleagues:

The COVID crisis accelerated many aspects of our business to digital and remote experiences. Meeting people “where they are now” which I wrote about on WFH Day 1, transitions from the emotional state during COVID, back to a physical location. We must never forget the “high touch” business we are in —relationships are our prize and trust, our currency.

Matt Faupel, my good friend and new Compass colleague in Jackson, WY, sent me this great article with a question of “What business are you in?”

For me, it means getting to see everyone in your neighborhood. For you, remember how much your clients love you and love to see your smile.

Looking to the future, I share a conversation I had two weeks ago with Brian Solis, Digital Anthropologist and Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. Brian is no stranger to us; we have enjoyed his knowledge and expertise many times.

This conversation was inspired by Courtney Smith, Head of Compass Teams Division, and was presented to ~100 Compass team leaders in the United States. Solis has several solid words of wisdom in this 50-minute conversation. The headliner for me was the perspective of thriving post-COVID, through the next five years to 2026. 

Sure, all the human, high-touch aspects of our business will be prevalent, but to dedicate more time to these high impact relationship-based activities, we will need to embrace automation and artificial intelligence (AI).

Automation will do just that to our mundane, routine business activities that don’t contribute to high-touch relationships. AI will provide decision support and proactive insights for us to act on — an “action list” of high-impact relationship-based contacts we should make. Using technology to contribute to the prioritization of our work streams and client engagement.

Take 50 minutes to listen to the conversation. There are many nuggets of wisdom here on leadership, transitions, and high-priority activities.

Compass is well on the way to meeting all these future needs for us. I see tremendous separation, in automation and AI, between Compass and the rest of the industry very soon, blazing the future and our path to 2026.

Your focus will be relationships, which are your greatest attribute!

This is Where We are Now.



Mark A. McLaughlin


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