Technology is a Big Part of Business; What Challenges Do Companies Face?
In a world where each of us consumes 34 gigabytes of information a day — the equivalent of 100,000 words — one of the biggest challenges confronting companies is getting and keeping their employees’ attention on what matters most. Ensuring employee engagement, focus and commitment can be very difficult when we are all bombarded on a daily bases by text, email, Facebook and Twitter, in what appears to be an endless stream of messaging and communication.
After nearly five years of cost-cutting, companies are crafting strategies and tactics intended to reenergize both the top and bottom line. However, according to a recent study by Harvard, more than 90 percent of employees don’t understand their company strategy. The result? According to a separate Harvard study, seven of out of eight companies failed to achieve profitable growth even though they had detailed plans to do so. Planning isn’t enough. To achieve results, you have to ensure the plan is understood across an organization and then executed and measured.
What is the Role of Technology in Strategic Decisions?
A big component of most plans is the use of technology. There is an innovation explosion unfolding right before our eyes that provides companies a wide choice of technologies that can help them grow their businesses. This vast array of new technologies brings with it another set of challenges that companies must overcome, or they risk losing their investment. The challenge is that many of these technologies have a steep learning curve, especially if the end user is not tech-savvy.
Technology can increase collaboration, collapse silos, accelerate communication, and increase customer focus. But technology by itself isn’t a strategy. Technology is an enabler to strategy and at the end of the day; the employees using the technology are the ultimate competitive weapon. The trick is getting the employees to use the technology in the way it was intended to support the strategy.
What Innovation Do You See Having the Greatest Impact on Learning?
Most systems training today happens in one of four ways: (1) classroom, (2) virtual classroom, (3) video recording housed in an LMS, or (4) email, PDF or Word doc descriptions.
It is a known fact that 90 percent of knowledge learned in a training event is lost within 30 days, which creates frustration both on the part of the user, the training organization, and the technology owner. The good news is that there is a better way. Performance support systems that imbed knowledge inside the systems themselves in a humanized way can rapidly increase adoption and use. Why disconnect the learner from the system itself while having to learn how to use it, which what traditional training methods actually do? Find ways to make knowledge available when it is needed and on whatever device it is needed, and you will reduce confusion, support calls and end-user dissatisfaction.
What Do You Think Companies Should Focus on to Get the Most Out of the Technology?
Technology is going to continue to enable the way companies compete and win. However, it is the organizations that find ways to shift the emphasis from the technology itself and refocus on the needs of the user — that all-so-important human part of the equation — that will reap the biggest benefits. Technology can either be a powerful enabler to your strategy or a costly diversion; it is up to you to make that choice.