Beyond People and Technology (Part 6)
Part 6. Refining People and Technology
Jon had arranged to meet Mal to share the idea and the two mindmaps. Was the idea just what Jon could see, or could Mal see it too? Was it just the viewpoint of one person, or something larger and broader? Was the frustration that Jon felt an isolated feeling, or indicative of a wider reality?
Once their respective favourite hot beverages had been delivered to their table at the cafe, Jon turned the conversation to the idea.
“We’re too far behind the times. How we work is old and outdated. And it’s costing us in morale, in employees, and in the business opportunities we are (and are not) winning in the marketplace. I think we need to change.”
Mal nodded in agreement. “I see it too. I lost a key employee last week to a competitor because we couldn’t win the right types of business – our processes are too slow, too error-prone, and too archaic.”
“I’ve been thinking,” said Jon. “Well, dreaming really, about how we could change. And what would be involved.” Jon tabled the mindmaps for Mal to review.
“It’s a good start,” commented Mal, after reading both the people and technology mindmaps carefully. “But you have conflated too much under the people and technology words.” Mal picked up an orange pen. “May I?”
“Sure, go ahead,” Jon said
Mal started to mark up Jon’s mindmaps, beginning with the technology one.
“I see these ones as being more about how we work – let’s use the word ‘process’ here – although we could also say ‘practices’,” said Mal, drawing lines from two items on the technology mindmap:
- How can the available capabilities be used by our people to enhance / change / impact their work for the better? What’s the scope of potential? What would be realistic, reasonable? What could be awesome?
- How could we describe the available capabilities in a way that people can understand what it means for them? Not to drone on about this feature and that function, but instead to present a compelling narrative of how using it right would impact (and benefit) them?
Mal wrote the word “process” on the people mindmap as well. “Same with this one Jon. I see this as being just as much about process as people,” said Mal, drawing a line from “Locations and mobility. Where do our people work from? How frequently are people working on the move?” to the new word.
“You okay with these changes?” asked Mal.
Jon shrugged, but not in a dismissive way. “Sure. What else?”
Mal re-read the two mindmaps. “I think there’s another couple of words we should be thinking about too.”