Writer William Gibson once said, “The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.”
The future does not hit pause for anyone. Businesses are in a fierce and unforgiving race to stay relevant and be hinged to the future, not the past. Companies have a myriad of choices for spending their money to solve problems and improve their future. They can sometimes forget the business relies on the human experiences of their employees and customers.
Organizations need to align themselves with what their employees and customers need, want and expect from their very human experiences. A company can either lead with their experiences or get pushed out of the way for the most profits. Digital transformation is a core contributor to more human experiences. Here’s what the Brookings Institute says about the technology impact on manufacturing:
In 1980, it took 25 jobs to generate $1 million in manufacturing output, now it takes 6.5 jobs.
For most of us, whether we are using AI, bots or digital assistants, the management of technology will be part of our jobs. History shows we will be more productive in working alongside our machines, but who’s doing what work? That will be a key question in our future job candidate’s mind.
All companies that want a future must pay attention to how technology impacts our day-to-day lives. Now is the time we accept the fact that the days of organizations using command and control to tell people how to work is in rapid decay. A new era, the digital age, is upon us. Being human means being in control of how we live, work, and play. So working through technology is at the core of our productivity. We must not forget, technology should serve the user instead of placing more demands on the user.
Evidence of this is in companies like Apple, Amazon, Airbnb, and Google. They built their business models around how human beings experience technology to get what they want. Through high-performing algorithms, these companies serve up low-friction experiences that make the human using it want to get things done. Moreover, like electricity, the daily use becomes an expectation, and the novelty is gone over time. Simply put, through transformative technology these companies provide human beings with the ability to live more satisfied and more relaxed lives. You can help the people in your organization prioritize the human experience and make the proper investments. Is your leadership ready to truly see where things are going and guide your organization there?
Watch the Crossfuze "Be Human Now” video
Video Value: This 40-second video highlights the impact technology in this digital era has on human beings. Most of us want to become valued contributors to delivering a meaningful and beneficial impact on our organization and each other. Technology should enable and empower us to move along life’s path easier and with more enjoyment. Think about some of the words you use today to describe feeling human by watching this video.
Here are the 5 Ways Technology Unlocks Our Ability to Be Human Now
Part of possessing personal dignity is to value your own work time. Time is relative, and when we lose time, it moves far too slowly for the individual and hurts our company. Inefficiencies abound when there are too many handoffs, duplication of tasks, lack of visibility in progress, action-less meetings, or clumsy interactions.
These same inefficiencies cause worker dissatisfaction and a sense of dread. We have now entered the soul-crushing portion of our jobs. The part where we want to be somewhere else doing anything else. You know the body language. Looking at the ground, shuffling of the feet, or heavy sighs.
Time is the asset we cannot get back. Digitally transforming companies refuse to waste time at the individual, team, or corporate levels while giving their best individual contributors a reason to stay.
Without incredible workflow experiences, your best talent goes somewhere else.
Technology built on user-needs and process best practices removes wasted time. Digital transformation frees up employees to focus on adding value to their role. When an individual position is improved, those benefits ripple out to other areas of the business. Soon, others are inspired to improve. When we perform well, we take pride in what we do and how we do it. A sense of pride drives quality and creative output.
Higher Value Work
Professional happiness is not about how many hours you worked today; it’s how many hours you were productive and in the flow. Prioritization challenges us to bifurcate activities into low-value work and high-value work. Digital transformation enables prioritized action to serve the team and corporate goals and objectives. Through that alignment, low-value work is automated so that high-value work can take up the majority of employees’ time and focus resulting in accelerated problem-solving and innovation.
To get ahead and stay ahead is to remove obstacles that hinder performance and the generation of new ideas that ignite innovation. High-value work cannot be put on hold if you are striving to grow as an individual or a company. Also, when we know more of our work is high-value, the entire spirit of the company is lifted and smiles abound.
Every company wants a more accurate and faster decision-making process. At times, we lack conclusive evidence that would lead us to a superior decision. Instead, decisions are made based on the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion), and leaders are prone to biases like everyone else. We mistakenly believe that when someone has achieved VP or C-level status, he or she always know the best answers. We are now guessing.
By integrating performance analytics into our digital transformation, we get to move past this very risky reliance on HiPPO.
We learn to separate the probable from the possible.
When anyone shares a story, we can make mistakes by thinking the potential is probable. With performance analytics, we learn to decide based on the likely while knowing what’s possible.
Experience counts and ideas matter, but data often surprises decision-makers and changes their assumptions. Furthermore, when we include performance analytics when educating employees on the plan, we mitigate the natural stress that comes from HiPPO-driven decisions. The power of data empowers any employee to add value to the discussion that leads to a data-driven decision. Such ability allows human beings to contribute to a bigger whole, not just their small sliver in it. When people can participate with confidence, their sense of value goes up, and they become more vested in the success of the overall company.
Communication and Collaboration
Why should workflows be stuck in silos and unfriendly systems? Additionally, why can’t more work be automated to help systems, data, workflows, and people – integrating them across the organization? It’s possible by connecting and leading a symphony of applications that accelerate and inform all user experiences across all departments.
All platforms contain core capabilities, but a robust platform ecosystem allows for the development of point solutions from any department or place of need. Using a single data model, your business can move faster with tremendous accuracy in its communications. Your organization gets the benefit of the core approach with the ability to tailor at the point of operations.
The War for Talent is Here
If you’re working for an organization and you can feel the ground move under your feet to an accelerating future, do you want to work for a company that doesn’t grasp digital transformation? There are several industries with more job openings than candidates. Many of these jobs are in digital professions. There is always a distribution curve of companies that catch the wave early and those who move later.
The Millennials (75% of the workforce in 2025) are here, and they expect a similar low-friction experience at work that they enjoy in their consumer lives.
How will you attract and retain your most valuable workers? Hint: Not by feeling like they are working in the past.
The Frame Has Moved
Many companies are not seeing, or they are ignoring, the big picture. They embrace an operational philosophy that performed well in yesterday’s frame. However, the frame has moved, and the user has redefined requirements. Company leadership remains stuck in a comfortable past and tries to improve operations in a picture that no longer exists. It is an illusion where just adding technology without addressing processes is going to make everything worse.
Those companies who have been able to focus on the high-value work, are succeeding in their digital transformation journey. They have a new frame to look through and with that, a new mindset for delivering value in the dynamic and demanding digital buyer and employee landscape. Everyone’s workflows and processes are more agile and adaptable to operational adjustments and unexpected shifts in the marketplace.
Watch Crossfuze’s CMO John Ryan report from ServiceNow’s Knowledge 18 Conference (May 2018)
Video Value: Organizations started using ServiceNow in the IT Department and quickly realized its elegance and workflow efficiencies can be leveraged across the enterprise. In this 2-minute video, John discusses what he saw at the Knowledge18 conference and ServiceNow’s goal to lift people’s lives with their platform.
Digital Transformation can bring people together or pull them apart
Many established companies are in this strange post-distributed-computing age. Distributed computing gave our management and professional workers new effectiveness while it ushered in a long and expensive list of applications. Individual applications were to enable teams and departments to “do their jobs better”. Unfortunately, silos were created where groups marched to their specific objectives rather than those of the entire organization.
When employees know how their actions impact the whole, their purpose sharpens. They have a better understanding of how the organization works and where their performance adds value. Transformative platforms bring people together and give them visibility into the greater whole while removing workflow redundancies that slow speed to market.
The fact is, most human beings prefer working together than working alone. Digital transformation feeds the ultra-social side individuals and compels them to rally together to accomplish great things. Also, people like to telecommute as part of their work schedule; that's another reason to use elegant technology. Working with others while liking to work from home demands the flexibility of a system that allows for the coordination of either work environment while tracking all efforts.
Watch Crossfuze CEO Chris Howard discuss How Companies Should Start with the End in Mind
Video Value: In this under 3-minute video, Chris talks about the digital transformation challenges for an organization that wants to be relevant. He talks about starting with the end in mind and how leveraging the power of ServiceNow and Crossfuze can get you there.
I have come to believe that change is constant in life and business.
The happiest and most successful people I know are flexible and adaptable while anchored to core principles. Companies are no different.
What always must be addressed is the company culture that either embraces change to transport itself to a superior future or sees change as a threat. Companies would serve themselves well to not see their value as having answers. Rather, be dedicated to improving all answers for a better tomorrow.
Technology for the sake of technology is a fool’s errand. All companies begin and end with the quality of its people. We should give them the best tools for the job. Companies that adapt to digital transformation and modernize the user experience will garner a disproportionate share of the profits while others struggle. If you’re a leader, be human now by insisting on superior digital experiences for all users.
John Ryan | CMO, Crossfuze