Monday, April 11, 2016

The Three Secret Ingredients to Successful Technology Changes

More often than not a change initiative can fail for one of two simple reasons: 1) the project team perceives the change to be so small they place little emphasis on the people implementation 2) the change solutions become overly complex and a change effort of its own.

To keep it simple, and focused, I believe that if you execute three key principles of change you will have some form of project success.

Information – The vision is relevant and value is understood.

Support – Individuals feel a part of the change and are empowered to own the solution.

Encouragement – “Walk the talk” culture is encouraged, realized and built into the environment.

In the spirit of simplicity, I want to share a story that highlights the importance of support.

“Hang on, I can’t find the information that I need. They keep changing things and not letting us know…it’s super frustrating”

Ah, the classic case of technology changing at work without employees being informed of how it impacts their jobs. I get it. There’s a lot going on. We can’t inform everyone about every little thing. And anyway, there are more changes coming.

But is that always the best way to approach change?

I observed a problem like the one above in my own home. I recently had a service provider over to install some new equipment. The technician was friendly, proud of his work and went above and beyond to help ensure that I was set-up properly. However, when I started asking him some functional questions, he got frustrated with himself. He couldn’t answer my questions right away because the company had just an experienced an upgrade to their equipment.

I can’t think of anything worse. Standing in front of a client, passionate about your work, yet unable to effectively execute your job with confidence.

How can change enablement help? In the case of the technician, I feel as if he was missing support. If only he had received a quick update in the morning about what had changed on the equipment, and been given a way to get more information if he needed it while in front of the customer.

I think it is important to look at each project and technology update and ask: do employees have information, support and encouragement? Imagine the power of an employee who is equipped properly and can confidently execute their job. There will be positive impacts on engagement, performance and customer satisfaction. And, more often than not, we can solve for these gaps with simple solutions.

“Absolutely, I have the answer for you right here. I am happy to help and look forward to working with you in the future.”

Happy, satisfied employees and customers. That’s what a successful change is all about.