People have said “You can’t create your future with the tools of the past” to explain why technology is important. Unfortunately, most people can’t visualize what technology will be important for tomorrow, much less what technology might be invented to solve business problems in 10 or 20 years from now.
I have spent many years talking to non-technical business people, and they are sometimes trying to catch up with the technology of the past so they can’t be bothered to understand the latest and greatest technology of today. I find many non-technical people are still trying to figure out how to effectively use their smartphone, as an example, and can’t even begin to wrap their minds around augmented or virtual reality devices like Google Glass or HoloLens devices.
I was talking to a guy charged with understanding the technology options for his company so he could help communicate the changes to his 800 field managers, and he considered a new analysis service too complicated because it required him to access the service using his network username and password. He couldn’t jump the mental hurdle of logging into the service, something most of us have been doing for many years, to even evaluate the service to help determine if it was useful to his field managers.
Some of you might ask how this guy got into this important position if he finds logging into the network too difficult. I think you need to accept this isn’t that uncommon and then explore the not too obvious: his company is not unique or alone in this leadership problem. He was honest enough to share what he really thought, but the people you work with may not be so honest. Maybe they tell you the technology is unproven, too expensive right now, will require too much training to justify the cost, or isn’t powerful enough to meet their business needs. Are those just excuses because they can’t understand the technology?
When you go to your doctor, do you want him to use the technology and techniques he learned while in medical school, or do you want him to use the latest technology and techniques of today? You want a business to look at all the technology available today and select those items that are useful and important to make their business grow and be successful.
My point is that the people making the technology decisions for your company need to be prepared to use the technology of today to create the future of their company. Maybe you work at a company that embraces technology, but maybe your company is stuck in the past for a reason. Maybe the decision makers are unable to adopt new technology that might help their company be more successful.
What is a technology-focused person to do to solve this issue? What can you do to uncover this issue and solve the problem at your company?
- You need to identify the people standing in the way and help remove their metal barriers, educating them on why technology is important, and informing those that are reachable about what is possible with new technology.
- Target those people that you think are willing to learn about technology and then boost their access to the technology.
- Use your access to technology to get identified leaders access to the technology you think would be helpful to them and will be used to solve business problems.
- Tutor co-workers on why you think a specific new technology is important for solving the problems of today, and demonstrate there is a path to the future using a new technology.
- Be honest with yourself and the business leaders about any proposed technology.
Do you have any thoughts on solving this problem?