Business and the Bard

In Scotland, January 25 is Burns Night, an annual celebration of Robert Burns’ birthday, or Rabbie Burns as he’s more commonly known north of the border.

Burns’ Night generally involves consumption of haggis and neeps and tatties – turnips and potatoes for those not in the know – often preceded by Burns’ famous ‘Address to the Haggis’ and followed by copious amount of whisky.

A man’s a man for a’that

Robert Burns, also known as The Bard, remains Scotland’s most famous poet, beloved for centuries and – due to his early demise – pictured forever in his prime. Tragically, Burns died young at the age of 37 in 1796 from what was described as a ‘rheumatic heart condition’. His undoubted skill as a poet and lyricist was enhanced by his legendary womanising and his unorthodox disdain for traditional morality and religion. A stance that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in the 21st century but one which was almost unheard of in the 18th.

Every country has its own traditions which are part of its unique history and closely bound up with its identity and culture. For that very reason, traditions are mostly inviolate – unchanged, unchallenged and something that citizens of a nation return to again and again – for meaning, solace and shared understanding that transcends the passage of time. For the very reason that they bring people together – to celebrate and share stories, food and good times – they can often (mostly?) be regarded in a positive light.

Testing traditions

Businesses have their own traditions too. And many working practices have also stood the test of time. For example, even though our working patterns have changed in recent years due to the impact of the COVID19 pandemic, it’s clear that most businesses are seeking a return to the status quo, to on-site office life – even if it’s still about a 50/50 mix between water cooler conversations and WFH zoom calls.

Yet traditions themselves – or traditions for tradition’s sake – should probably be challenged. And that’s definitely true for working practices. Just because something’s always been done in a certain way doesn’t mean it should stay unchanged. With access to a myriad of new technologies as we embrace Industry 4.0, it would be poor business practice not to examine the new technology on offer and consider how it might be leveraged to streamline operations, realise cost savings, and make our working lives easier.

There’s a lot of talk just now about the encroaching influence of AI, not all of it good. When global tech leaders come together to warn of what could happen, it’s certainly a time for caution. Although we’re right to be wary of the relentless advance of some technologies, the progress made along the way can absolutely make our lives easier.

Adopting automation

Let’s talk automation. Automation can take the menial and the manual out of the daily grind. This is a common theme for Four Business Solutions but that’s because it works. We offer Contract Insightcontract management software – for businesses across the globe, enabling the automation of manual practices, stripping out human error and freeing personnel up to focus on high value tasks. In an increasingly litigious and regulated world, contracts are the lifeblood of business and any tools which keep them updated, reviewed, renewed, or terminated – according to the best interests of the business – are to be celebrated.

Contract Insight puts automation to work for you, enabling contract management with a few clicks of the mouse – from the initial supplier or customer onboarding, verification and due diligence through to the contract preparation and negotiation to the signed document.

If you’d like to find out more about how our software solutions can help your business, we’d be delighted to talk to you. Why not get in touch? Contact John O’Brien, CEO.

And if you’re celebrating Burns’ Night tonight have fun and remember – drink responsibly!

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