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Review Past Technology Mistakes to Guide the Path Forward

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Image: Brian Jackson -
While predicting the future is impossible, I find it helps to look at previous mistakes when attempting to forecast. If we recall the evolution of technology over the past few decades and what it means to collaborate, there’s one mistake that far too many organizations repeatedly make – implementing the wrong solution.
Choosing the wrong solution can have significant, long-term ramifications. But that’s only true if an organization fails to recover and learn from its mistakes. We’ve all been there. With that in mind, here are a few steps to help lead the way.
What strategy is currently in place, and what’s wrong with it?
The first step in evaluating solutions is to look at the tech stack currently in place. Without first taking stock of existing technology’s limitations, it’s impossible to know what you’re looking for and how to replace it. I recognize the pressure many organizations feel today to evolve and stay on top of the latest trends. Often that means making a change for the sake of transformation. People often feel the need to rush into a solution, but before making any decisions, it’s imperative to assess the situation first and take account of what’s working and what isn’t.
What is your organization trying to accomplish?
If the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated anything, it’s that we now live in the remote working era.
Given our current climate, companies must recognize that technology is a powerful complement to a team, and can help employees elevate their game while delivering more robust results. I’m amazed that even with the proliferation of technology, many organizations insist on rolling out a solution—searching for a problem. Embracing the right collaboration tools has the power to help teams connect, especially in these unprecedented times.
Understanding this can help you evaluate any technology and its potential use.
How would the appropriate solution help?
Before leaping, a strong leader should consider how their organization will implement any changes, and how their teams might interact with it. The best solution without widespread buy-in within an organization won’t solve anything. As part of this process, leaders must think through whether teams will hold a favorable or an unfavorable view. That’s because new solutions represent change, something people tend to view with skepticism.
We’ve repeatedly seen that teams are willing to embrace new technology if they know it will help them accomplish their tasks. It’s incumbent on leaders to illustrate how any solution will help.
Don’t be paralyzed by fear.
I can understand the reservations many organizations exhibit when it comes to deciding on technology. 54% of employed Americans who are working from home amid COVID-19 said they have them, according to our research, making technology that much more critical. Ultimately, fear (or pandemic uncertainty) has the power to paralyze organizations of every size.
Sometimes there isn’t a clear answer to what we are facing. But it’s important to recognize the world is changing. We must adapt to stay relevant and act on things within our control. So even when an answer or a solution seems unclear or unattainable, part of adapting to the realities of the “next normal” is to recognize that we don’t have all the answers, but that doesn’t mean we don’t remain curious. After all, that’s the key to recovering from any mistake and starting a path forward.

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