By Joanna Howes, Leadership and Performance Coach and Founder and CEO of The Change Creators.

Shot of a group of young business professionals having a meeting. Diverse group of young designers smiling during a meeting at the office.What would we do if we didn’t have technology in our businesses?

How would we have managed over the last year with the pandemic? Of course, we would have found a way, but technology has ensured businesses could adapt to working from home with ease and helped us all to stay connected and keep up with the current pace we now all work at.

Companies adopted technology quickly when the pandemic hit, as there was a purpose and a need to survive. I was impressed with the speed of commitment from companies who could see how they could actually introduce something new and make it work very quickly.

Now when that core need and immediacy isn’t there the behaviours are very different.

I have witnessed companies taking 12 months to decide and embed a new system to improve efficiencies and then after 3 months of trying to get it to work, give up and go back to the manual ways of habitual behaviours.

This is not acceptable anymore. The world is going to keep changing faster than we have ever seen. The findings below only go to enforce this belief:

  • 85% of roles in 2030 haven’t been invented yet – statistic from Dell in partnership with the institute for the future.
  • Adapting to technology was the 3rd biggest concern from 140 CEO’s interviewed by Jacob Morgan.

The barriers I see the most to introducing new technology into the company are:

  1. Budgets – Not investing in the technology that is really needed and then if the company does invest they only buy limited licences so it doesn’t become part of the company’s standards and best practices.
  2. Implementation without alignment – Too many leaders say this is the tool we need without getting alignment from the full team and then they don’t build a plan to achieve success. They just get the tool, go straight into action and wonder why the problem hasn’t been solved.
  3. Commitment – I see a wave of excitement to drive implementation at the beginning of a new tech install, but then leaders get distracted with the next thing and leave it to more junior members to make it work. Without the leadership team demonstrating they see the value; the uptake won’t be successful.
  4. IT Department – The introduction is left to the IT department who do not always speak the language of the people, so the teams just do not buy into it, or pay attention to the emails that get sent, or turn up for the training.  It must be led by a respected leader who knows how to make things happen with the support of IT.
  5. Leadership not adopting the tech – you can’t expect your company to use the tech if you do not use it yourself. You are not an exception.
  6. Lack of clarity and purpose – Not communicating to the team why this tech is important and the benefits of how it will help them.
  7. Patience – understanding that the transition to a tech platform takes quite a bit of work and giving your team the time and understanding to navigate through this for them to then see the efficiency and time it will save.

Technology is now a given in how we do business and if you want to stay at the cutting edge, be competitive and future-fit you must be looking at what is coming down the line and getting ready to introduce it into your business.

The steps to ensure success: 

The model I use for all my work is the Critical Alignment Model (below) created by Sharon Pearson, Founder of The Coaching Institute, and my mentor. This model ensures the four dimensions of thinking that needs to be applied for all successful change to take place.

CAM model

Some of the key areas to focus on based on the CAM model above:

  1. Identity why you need it – be clear on your purpose.
  2. Create alignment between your leaders on the vision, beliefs, attitudes and goals for the tech.
  3. Nominate a leader who will sponsor the project and create the strategies to meet the goals and owns the project from start to finish.
  4. Bring people in who will be using the tech to support to ideate what you need, and project manage the embedding.
  5. Be clear on your KPI’s and benchmarks of excellence.
  6. Test the tech with a small team first to get first fast followers and evidence it works.
  7. Then roll it out into the company and you will already have people they can go to for questions.
  8. Create ‘how to’ guides and videos so people know how to use the tech.
  9. Track the progress and benefits to share with the team how it is making a difference and bring results to the company.

One way to undertake introducing a new tool to a company is to roll it out in sprints, following the agile process.  Start with getting the team familiar with the first part and comfortable with the tool and then move to working on phase two of how the tool can help them. So it’s bitesize, manageable and the team get to learn as they go, highlighting what is and isn’t working while adapting in the moment.

So, my advice is to look at your business, perform a gap analysis and identify those gaps where technology can support your growth and success. Understand the environment, in terms of what the attitude, beliefs and expectations are from your leaders towards technology to devise the plan you need for successful implementation. Once you have your leadership team aligned and in full support the ‘how’ is then looked after.

Joanna HowesAbout the author

Joanna Howes is an award-winning international Leadership and Performance Coach. Combining 20 years of operational experience with her behavioural expertise and leadership coaching, Joanna has worked with leading companies like Getty Images and the BBC to increase performance and results. Joanna is also co-author of international selling book ‘The Law of Brand Attraction’ and has been featured in ABC, FOX and The London Daily Post.

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