The Ironman Triathlon was conceived in 1978 by a group of endurance athletes who wanted to settle a debate about which athletes were the fittest: swimmers, runners or cyclists. In the time since the first Ironman Triathlon was held over 45 years ago, the brand has evolved and spread across the globe, with thousands of people participating in these endurance-testing events each year. Clearly, triathlons are feats of physical and mental strength that require rigorous training and discipline to undertake and finish successfully. However, it’s also incredibly common for people to attempt such events completely on a whim, fancying that a couple of months of long-distance running should “do the trick” in terms of prepping for the race. Social media has added a layer of glamor to athleticism that can hide the painstaking groundwork and sacrifice required of athletes behind the scenes. In a similar way, recent strides in technology can make it seem like it’s a cinch to digitize a business and become a highly efficient, seamlessly integrated organization that towers over its competition. The truth is, it’s not so simple. In the case of automation, for example, the solution will only be as effective as the foundation beneath it. Absent the proper groundwork and foundational processes, it won’t be a sustainable solution, similar to the way crash dieting and ultra-intense workout regimens often end up weakening a body rather than strengthening it long-term.
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