Over the past 12 months I have worked with industry experts, listened to podcasts and read numerous blogs on how the digital evolution will change the way we behave at work.
My question isn’t about ‘if and when’ this will occur. It’s about who will lead the change in your company?
IT was once the domain (pardon the pun) of the IT department and it was manly hidden from users. If I oversimplify it, IT’s core role was twofold:
1) Keep the system running
2) Keep users on the system.
The advent of apps, tablets and a sea of emails has changed the landscape and IT teams are generally ill-equipped to keep up with the pace of change and the demands of users.
I work with senior leaders in large multinational companies every day. I ask them one simple question: “Who is helping you with your company’s individual digital footprint?”
In most cases, the answer, sadly, is no one. In defence of the poor IT department, they have the skills but not the time and resources. A lot of helpdesk support has migrated off shore and users are left to fend for themselves.
This is OK in a world where proficiency in email and the Microsoft Office suite was once acceptable. That world is fast disappearing and leaders need to open their eyes to the digital evolution, not just for themselves and their fellow workers, but for those younger generations who will pick a company to work for based on their digital footprint – hardware and software – as much as their salary.
Younger generations have come through uni at the bleeding edge and want to make quick progress through an organisation. To be quick, you need to make great decisions. To do this you need the right information at the right time. Asking people to regress is like expecting fast lap times in a 1980s car.
So what is the solution? Well like most of these complex systems, there isn’t a single magic bullet to solve it. You should start thinking about:
- Engage human resource departments to think about behaviour change through digital and how they can take greater ownership
- Increase discussion at executive team level on how you can inspire people to choose your company based on your digital footprint
- Encourage sharing of best practice
- Engage outside help to train and develop people.
We all know there are solutions out there that could make us more productive, meaning we could spend more time on decisions that matter most.
For too long we have accepted second best, in an environment where the top line ticked along OK. Those days are over and it is time to think differently.