In my last post I wrote about how we started with a technology replacement project 10 years ago, and ended up with a culture and purpose conversation. The magic doesn’t happen with technology; but it can be a critical input to it.
So, let’s discuss moving along the value chain.
If you isolate technology as your sphere of influence, you can often get the space to ‘own’ something, for the simple reason that many org leaders don’t know anything about tech – it is ‘foreign’ or ‘bamboozling.’ Excellent! Be the owner of something –begin to cast your spell.
The tool is now tested and developed and ready for roll-out. Now what? Do you hand over the keys to the leadership; or the strategy / business / people team? Ok. Sure. Then get back in your place.
But what if you want make the BIGGEST difference?
Then you need to introduce different conversations into the organization. You need to imagine bigger and better outcomes – you need to make some promises, and then hold your hand up to be accountable for delivering them. Gulp.
When we talk about ‘digital’ we have to also talk about ‘transformation.’ Yes, the term digital transformation is overused and bloated already. But it joins together the pivotal components of the task at hand – digital (input) and transformation (output). If we only talk inputs, the exec team is never interested (unless their business model is under threat).
If we talk about how we work, how we add value, then the whole bureaucratic machine of your org starts sniffing around. This might be the point where a technologist shrieks ‘NOOOOO!’ and backs away into a corner. Ok, then change and culture work is not for you.
But by giving up the tech and the opportunity to others, you probably know your dream will be crushed by the imbecilic project management of those others, who don’t hold your passion of possibility. I was chatting to an IT friend last night who reeled off 4-5 major infrastructure projects in his organization that were being wasted and disabled by ownership by those who didn’t get the purpose and potential of the technology.
The challenge is this:
can you know enough about the tech and the tool and the process to command respect; and then inspire and influence the company machine to promote and sponsor the tool to get to the institutional outcomes that the vendor case studies on their website?!
The answer, btw, is yes. Yes you can.
But you have to be intentional and committed and focus your energy appropriately. We all know a random stat about technology roll-outs – is it 80% of projects fail? It might be higher. The one that works needs to imagine a full value-chain experience, and manage its stakeholders accordingly.
This Much We Know.