August 25

Technology and The Path of Innovation in Organizations: Get on Board or Be Left Behind!


This Week’s Focus Point
By Dr. Jason Carthen

A Very Real Dynamic Assessment Tool

During one of my training sessions helping an organization work through ”The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team” assessment tool, a very real dynamic played out right in front of my eyes. “What do you mean you did not receive the e-mail? This individual’s look was incredulous and their tone was very defensive. Their colleague shared that it never made it to their inbox and to get over it!” After walking them both through a role play scenario concerning how their responses could be damaging to each other, we found that the e-mail was still on the server and had not been received.

Dr. Jason Carthen: Technology Shows the Path of Innovation

Advent of Technological Advances

You see, technology can either showcase what is going well in an organization or can immediately show the cracks and imperfections. The advent of technological advances as it relates to innovation drastically changed the landscape of organizational culture and the subsequent opportunities for global advancement in the last ten to twenty years. For example, the basic method of information transfer in organizations 20 years ago consisted of fax, interoffice mail, or courier. Now the basic tenets of communication in an organizational context require multiple layers of learning (e-mail, Apps, Evernote, Skype, GoTo Meeting, etc.) just to carry a message that in the past (handwritten message) could be easily disseminated to a group. This form of innovation has caused both leaders and followers to keep pace with the technology that is now part of their daily lives, whereas in the past, this was not a consideration because status quo technology was the norm.

Technological Change Creates Burden upon Leaders

The lesson learned is this…innovation creates a direct burden upon leaders who are required to effectively create a funnel of information transfer that will allow their followers to glean information from the entire organizational system in order to make choices, be efficient, and remain relevant. The leaders who are able to keep pace (and not be left behind) with this new sense of urgency, create future opportunities (derived from customer relationships) for the organization while providing followers a foundation to effectively deal with innovation and thrive. Never forget, as a leader you must maintain the forward path of innovation, but you must make sure your people are keeping pace with it as well.

How do you keep pace with technology and innovation in your organization and personally?


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