Most technology solutions are intended to be enablers: to meet an identified need or be irresistibly innovative with a promise to increase pleasure or performance. Commercial AV systems are designed to facilitate communications and collaboration. They are expected to improve performance and increase productivity.
However, although some disruptive technologies can propel organizations forward, they may also stifle innovation and growth. Take, for instance, the answering machine or typical business voicemail, which some people “hide behind.” Do not take issue with either the technology or the user. Even though voicemail was intended to help “never miss a call” and thereby improve business communications, it may result in a flood of messages, phone tag and callbacks, leaving users with even less time to get the job done.
Today, work and life seem to be moving at a faster pace than ever before, and many people are struggling to keep up with the changes, especially with new technologies. Change in any one area, especially those intended to have a measurable, positive impact, frequently require “enablers” to assist in the process of delivering expectations. Those of us who were involved in the early days of implementing technology as business drivers were referred to as “Change Agents.” We were tasked with facilitating the use of new technologies and managing the change process within the organization.
Today, intuitive user interfaces and control systems are expected to make new technologies accessible to users, regardless of their level of expertise. At the same time, rapid turnover of applications, lack of effective training and outsourced support can make “dealing with the new system” a major distraction for many workers. Where are the Change Agents? Who is managing the change process?
In order to help organizations achieve business goals, technology professionals have to become true enablers, not just by installing and integrating the requested solutions but, much like a successful point guard, by anticipating the actions and reactions of the entire “team.”
When properly deployed, innovative tech can make it easier to improve messaging and collaboration, as well as provide learning to employees for increased productivity. Well organized online training materials, social media and other resources can provide a way for employees to stay comfortably up to speed with the demands of even the most dynamic workflow.