Success with technology depends on so much. What the people do, the tools you give them, the direction given and taken, choices made along the way, cultural tendencies.
So many of the organizations we work with are at first apt to focus on the doing of things, the creation of the technologies. They haven’t noticed yet that support, training, conversation about the change, criteria, written standards and boundaries help to define expectations and establish engagement. Most importantly, these are the things that save you from wasting time on clean up later.
Many still believe the technology alone fixes things. But it is still how people use the technology that matters. Most need help understanding how to do this well.
Take social technologies as an example. Do you really think that most people just know intuitively know how to use a wiki? Does every enthusiastic new blogger really know what delivers value to the organization? Of course not.
Give them something to guide their strategic thinking. Help them to deliver high value, hidden capital that even they didn’t know they had. Realize the success of your users before they even see it coming.
Don’t just set the technology upon them. Give them a fighting chance to be truly great.
Here’s a classic example I talk about in some of my workshops. When I was at Sprint PCS and we were just launching network and new markets, one of the things I began to glean was how this little triad of great technologies was meant to work together: the cell phone, caller ID and voicemail. Caller ID meant Â you didn’t have to answer the phone every time it rang, because you knew who was calling. Voicemail meant you could find out what callers needed and call them back at a more appropriate time. This, coupled with the convenience of the cell phone, means greater control, efficiency and effectiveness in how I spend my time.
Fast forward more than 10 years since my dad got his first cell phone. When that thing rings, he answers â€“ no matter what. He could be standing in the mens room, but he is going to answer the phone. Why? Because it rang. Why wouldn’t you answer a ringing phone.
Why wouldn’t you use blog technology to blog? Why would I use it for something else?
It’s all the same. Training, counseling, guidance, demonstration. We must do these things whether it’s to show the value of the triad of voicemail/caller ID/cell phone, or how to best use social technologies.