Demystifying Technology Change, Influential Visions Series 4 Episode 1

Many people in top business positions may feel uneasy about leading or managing change in their organization, but technology change is something that cannot be avoided. This inaugural episode of “Influential Visions” series 4 takes a look at what makes up successful technology change, provides some insights from leaders who have made it happen, and offers useful takeaways for those looking to do the same. Change is hard, but when done correctly, it can be transformative. Watch or listen to this episode to learn more!

Nathaniel Schooler introduces the co-hosts Kim-Adele Randall and Nishadi Ranasinghe and the series.

Listen to this episode to learn more and do check out the new Legacy Media Hub where you can find over 450 blogs many including interviews with many of the top people in the world.

Technology change is often seen as a mysterious and intimidating process. Many people assume that it is something that is beyond their control, or that technology simply “happens” without any explanation. But in reality, technology change happens through a series of deliberate steps, based on the needs and goals of the individuals and organizations involved. At its core, technology change is about people: understanding their wants, needs, challenges, and opportunities, and working to create technology solutions that support their goals and make their lives easier. By viewing technology change as a collaborative endeavour between people and technology experts, we can demystify this process and bring transparency to the technology world. Whether you are seeking technology expertise for your organization or are simply interested in exploring new tech possibilities for yourself, remember that you come first in the technology change equation – your needs and goals should always guide the way forward. After all, technology should serve us – not the other way around!

The full transcript can be found below.

Nat

00:00:02

Well, it’s a great pleasure to be relaunching. Another episode of influential visions. We’ve been a bit quiet for a little while, and we decided that we were gonna broaden our horizons and invite some amazing co-hosts onto our show. We’ve already had some amazing guests we’re up to nearly seven episodes so far. So we’re literally just in the process of building out another 10 episodes and Nish ran is our host for these new technology series that we’re building out. And I’m privileged as well to be joined by Kim Dale Randall, who I’ve been, have been working with for the last year and a half. And we’ve been, we’ve been delving into all sorts of topics, as you probably are aware on imposter syndrome and management, leadership branding, all sorts of topics, but it’s, it’s lovely to have you both with me today. And yeah, I’m really excited about all of the interviews that we’re gonna be doing

Kim-Adele

00:01:03

Me too. It’s it is a real delight to also be working with Nish again because we worked together last year too. Didn’t we on our book, which is where we got started. And that’s where the idea came from for this series, which was really how do we start to help people understand what’s going on at the moment in the technology industry and how they can get more involved. And tell us a bit more about you and your background please.

Nish

00:01:27

Yeah, first of all, it’s really exciting to be here. I’m really looking forward to this series. So my background is in, is in technology. So I started when I’d just come out of university, started in a data company and didn’t really think that I would end up in technology, but have ended up being here for about 15 years. I’ve worked across different industries across different countries and I’m really, really passionate about not just technology, but change in technology and being, being clear about something. I’m not a technologist, I’m not a developer. I have done a little tiny bit of coding if you could call it that at university. But I’m very much, my background is in business and analysis, which is effectively the business side of technology. So my, my expertise is transitioning a piece of code into an application and then giving that to a set of users to actually use. And my passion for change in technology is really around making sure that if a piece of technology is built, it’s actually accepted by its users in. So it can flourish really wherever it is being implemented. So yeah, that’s my background.

Kim-Adele

00:02:39

I love it. And it is so true, isn’t it. It’s like, you know, we, we have so many organizations that spend a fortune aren’t implementing systems or technology, but if it’s not done properly if the change isn’t accepted by the people using it, then actually that can be an investment that’s just goes badly wrong. And it really is about how you engage with the people, isn’t it in that transformation and get them to adopt the new way forward and really embrace it. So how do you think we best go around doing some of that?

Nish

00:03:09

So there’s a few elements of this. I think from my perspective, it’s always been engaging people early on. So what you often get in organizations that I’ve worked in is, is that you’ve a CTO or somebody like that. Who’s really passionate about a new technology, really in interested in bringing that into a, into a business and they will have it developed. They’ll bring on a huge development team, they’ll hire for it, but then the users have no idea about it. So you’ve got this real disconnect between the people bringing on the project and sponsoring it and all the way down to the people who are using it. So, and often I would’ve been the person going in saying, Hey, you do you know that you actually adopting this new technology and people wouldn’t know anything about it. So it’s really bringing people along the journey who’ve who are, who are gonna end up using the platform and then, you know, really listening to what it is that their issues are, what their pain points are. So often with technologies that I work with, I’ll start with that. It’s not about what the potential for what you’re doing is it’s more to do with actually hearing what people’s issues are and really understanding those. So you can implement them correctly. So they’ll use your platform

Kim-Adele

00:04:19

Perfect. And is so almost in whatever walk of life that we, we end up in as we keep coming back to this is that it’s always, you know, we think about technology or it’s manufacturing or it’s financial services, but whichever industry we’re in, it comes down to people doesn’t it. And how we engage with people, how we listen to them to understand what’s important to them and, and what their concerns. And then we find a way away through that. And I guess that’s really why we came to this series. Isn’t it is to start to be able to break down some of the myths and some of the mystique that sits behind technology and change and help people to understand how they can really get involved in and not feel fear for, of, of what’s happening and drive that forward.

Nat

00:05:06

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I it’s a fascinating topic. Really. The amount of billions of pounds have been wasted over the last few decades by badly implemented systems court cases between vendors and companies who basically hired them to implement systems that never got delivered. And there are, you know, the internet strewed with these sorts of cases and actually the, the figures are obscene. And, you know, if you think about how many people that, that would’ve been upset about this, how their culture within the business would’ve been damaged and actually really just, just the morale and, and the staff retention that would’ve been actually affected as well, because no one got buy-in from, from the word go. Right. And you know, we’ve, we’ve, we’ve talked about this before. Both of you guys were me a little bit and it’s just absolutely shocking, really? So yeah. I mean, I think the culture piece is, is just absolutely key. Isn’t it? With within implementing all of these things and understanding each person being inclusive in within the environment is, you know, is absolutely crucial. So yeah, I’m really looking forward to kind of digging deeper into this over the next 10 episodes and beyond, you know.

Nish

00:06:30

Yeah, absolutely. And I think what you mentioned there, not on the, the, how the cultures affect did, I’ve been in organizations where you come in and I’ve been really excited to really introduce this new product. And I’m just in a sea of blank, faces just completely fatigued because this happened the same people had a different technology company come in and, you know, try and implemented their technology. And it’s just a huge amount of disillusionment really with it departments tech, new technologies, often what will happen is, is that they’ll be really excited from the start. And then it just starts to wain when delivery cycles get longer and longer or budgets get cut and cut because something hasn’t been delivered and then it, they end up using whatever they were using or, or going back to spreadsheets, anything, anything like that. So I completely that’s exactly what happens.

Nish

00:07:25

Just a cycle of terrible delivery basically. And yeah, so my intention always when I come into a new project is to really bring those people along, understand people, what makes tick, if they’re from different backgrounds, that’s part of, we’ve got a kind of episode thought process of having something about change champions and critics trying to change people’s minds, people’s attitudes. And yeah, it’s a, it’s, I’ve always thought that it’s a really interesting area to work in from even a psychology perspective, trying to get people to accept your change and influence people to really take on what it is that you are doing. And so it goes far beyond just the technology that you’re using. You can have the best product in the world, but if no one understands it and no one uses it, then you’d be kicked out of that company pretty quickly. So yeah, it’s super interesting and completely about people that’s completely right. Kim as well.

Nat

00:08:21

Absolutely And Kim, Kim kindly taught me a lot about scope creep, project scope creep in the past, in the past year and a half. I was like, what the hell is scope creep? Right. And, and she taught me all about this and, and actually what it’s like being both sides of the purchase right. So where, what it’s like to be a vendor and also what it’s like to be actually on the other side and actually working with a vendor to implement. And she shared some, some really interesting, interesting insights with me around that and how, you know, the power of the stakeholder within the relationship is, is fascinating and how that can kind of affect the, the scope creep.

Kim-Adele

00:09:04

Well, there, there is. And there’s, there’s obviously, there’s lots of different, random terminology that we throw around in projects as well. And hopefully that’s gonna be one of the things that we get to as part of this series is de defying the jargon, because do you love a bit of jargon, Don? You love to throw the old word out there that nobody has any idea what we’re talking about. And then we wonder why people don’t accept the change. Well, they’ve not understood the change and none of us want to feel stupid. So I think if we can kind of help people understand what, what we mean by some of the phrases that being said, and then that helps as well, doesn’t it? So that people can feel included and feel like they understand what’s happening to them and a part of the change rather than the change being done to them.

Nish

00:09:48

Absolutely. And even if at the end of that episode, we could get people to speak up when they’re in a meeting. And so do you know what, I, I don’t understand what that meant then I think we’ve won because you’re absolutely right. Jargon is just something that people like to throw out just to make themselves feel clever, I guess. And, and, and I think we’ve all fallen into the trap of just nodding along, but yeah, yeah, it is. It’s particularly important in technology changes and making sure that people are fully versed in what it is that they’re doing. Yeah, absolutely.

Kim-Adele

01:10:20

No, I completely agree. And I, I often share an example. I was in a board meeting a few years ago and everyone was throwing around like J and I remember sitting there and saying, John, I think we really need is a few more TLAs. And all these people nodded at me. And I was like, brilliant. Who’d like to delete the act to get us some more TLAs and, and went bit quiet. And then this one little hand eventually put, put the hand up and went, I dunno, what TLA is. I went, thank you so much for being so brave. It’s a three letter acronym, cuz none of you have got any idea what you’re talking about because just in this room, I said, we were talking about Ts and CS. I said, I, I think you two at the top of the room, you think we mean training and competence, don’t you?

Kim-Adele

01:10:58

And they were like, yes. I said, you people down here in product, you think we mean terms and conditions. Yes. I said, both are valid, both are completely different. So you don’t actually know what we’re making decisions on because you’ve not checked what term we’re actually using as, and the only reason I share that is to say, unless we can be really clear and really honest with each, we’re gonna make wrong decisions that could cost the organization for fortune because we didn’t understand what it was that we were basing our decision on and you see it all the time. Don’t you. So I think if we can use this series as well to break some of those myths and to help people to your point now to have the courage, to put the hand up and go, I don’t know what that is. It really is amazing how much impact you can have when you are brave because it opens the door for other people in the room to also share what they’re not certain of as well.

Nish

01:11:51

Mm absolutely. The other thing that you mentioned was stakeholders and the power of the stakeholder. And I think that that’s another really interesting one, to delve into because often you’ll have these have technology companies who come in and they will literally do everything that the most powerful stakeholder would want, but it takes a really brave set of people to turn around and say, actually, I don’t think that’s a very good idea. And that whole idea of pushing back is actually very much, again, another people focused element because you can only really gain the confidence to do that once you’ve gained a relationship with your stakeholder and really gained their trust. And it’s a, it’s difficult one to bus start of when you’ve got this vendor relationship or you’ve got, you know, I’m your I’m, you are my customer, that type of relationship. And it really has to be much more of a collaborative experience. So something else that we could touch on as well.

Kim-Adele

01:12:46

Absolutely.

Nat

01:12:48

Absolutely. Well, thank you. Thank you both. I’ve I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this. I’m really looking forward to digging into this series and yeah. Thanks everyone for listening. We’re we’re looking forward to bringing you some great content in the next few months.

Kim-Adele

01:13:03

Thanks so much

Nish

01:13:04

Brilliant. Thank you.

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