Technology Is an Enabler, Not a Magic Wand
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.
As managers, such a saying couldn’t be truer. Scenarios often occur where a “quick fix” or “band-aid solution” is vital in times of crisis. However, a well-thought out and strategically taken action is preferable in yielding lasting results.
The same rings true regarding the use of new technology. Technology isn’t merely a “facelift” or a shiny new piece of equipment. It isn’t a cure-all.
Road Map for Success
For technology to be effective there must be a pre-designed road map for success with defined and specific goals.
- What is the motivation for change?
- What must be improved?
- How will new technology impact people, processes and internal practices?
- How will the technology benefit the customer?
Aside from purchasing or integrating new technology, several core functions require adjustment and regulation to ensure the switch is a successful one.
It’s not enough to simply introduce and offer training to employees. Employees must also recognize the value added to their workflow and responsibilities. Check out our earlier post on how to transform your employees from placeholders to dedicated stakeholders.
If the organization does not communicate the value, employees will view the technology as a distraction to current workflow.
For example, digital performance evaluations allow managers and employees alike to track and measure performance in a more reliable way.
In this scenario, the employee and manager can dedicate more time to analyzing performance trends, rather than simply calculating trends in the first place.
How will workflow be altered? Which current processes will be enhanced, eliminated or left unchanged? Managers must ask these questions before establishing a new technology, to understand their immediate impacts.
Consider the example where employees must convert all company data to the “cloud.” How will this action affect data retrieval, storage, analysis, sharing and so on?
Not just in the sense of familiarizing oneself with new processes, but also, how will technology affect the day-to-day actions and culture of an organization’s people?
- Will the added technology decrease face-to-face interactions? Analyze if the impacts will be negative or positive.
- It may mean more mobility for upper management, who can conduct virtual meetings. On the other hand, it may jeopardize the community environment. If you project negative consequences, take action to compensate for them.
Technology is not a magic wand — it is a commitment to continuous improvement. Just because a new technology is new today, does not guarantee its relevance in 6 months.
The key to adapting to our Digital Age is openness and awareness to constant evolution. Above all, managers must make informed decisions. They must determine how and if the technology will benefit an organization.
- Still struggling to understand which technologies will be effective for your organization?
- Or, are you unsure of how to efficiently implement new technologies?
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