Helping People Get Better

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PACE – is about people. Real people facing real challenges and issues in their work. Not numbers. Not metrics. Not quantifiable cadence and KPI momentum. Yes, those things are by-products and it’s good to know them for planning what next. But the core of change and adoption – the core of introducing new technology to help people get better – is to help people get better. Real people like your friend Jane, neighbour Bill, and boss Judith. Like the secretary down the hall – Sarah – and the others that work on your team: Roger, Dennis, Hannah, Fredrik and Josephine.

I wrote the above during the weekend. I don’t recall exactly what I had just read or thought about – the spark of inspiration that led to such a paragraph – but something in my comings and goings over the weekend crystalised into a succinct summary of intent for the PACE methodology. And a reminder of fundamentals.

Your friend Jane, the teacher, is seeking ideas on how to take her students on a journey of discovery, to ignite their passion for learning, and to connect them to resources, experts and ideas to challenge and extend their thinking. Jane and her students have several opportunities for using new technology to both bring the outside world into the classroom, and to provide new ways of working within the classroom. In Office 365, this is likely to include OneNote (and the OneNote for Classrooms edition) and Microsoft Teams (for shared workspaces, on-demand video meetings, and access to class schedules).

Your neighbour Bill, the lawyer, is constantly working with local and remote lawyers, para-legals, legal executives, and clients to build cases, discover insights, and connect with the right people. He, too, has opportunities to use new technologies to find the right resources, identify expertise at his firm and beyond, and create documents with the input of many. Office 365 provides a foundation of search, a collection of tools for coordinating with other people, and real-time co-authoring and co-editing options in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and beyond to shape collaboration.

Judith, your boss, has a team to coordinate, milestones to track, and her own work to complete. She could make use of Microsoft Teams, Planner, and several other tools in Office 365 in doing all this work, and in doing so, could become an example to other managers and executives of what’s possible for better communication, coordination and collaboration.

Help the Person

Helping Jane get better in her classroom is going to involve sitting in on a class or three, reading up on what other teachers at other schools are doing, and bringing some small scale experiments to life for Jane and her students. Discover, implement, debrief, re-plan / adjust. Start small, experiment, get better, push broader to other teachers and classrooms.

Helping Bill get better in his practice of law will involve observing what he’s doing today – what does that actually look like – and then demonstrating several new options in Office 365 that could streamline current steps, eliminate waste from current activities, and open new possibilities that haven’t even occurred to Bill. Observe, conceptualise, implement, debrief, re-plan / adjust. Start small, experiment, get better, push broader to other lawyers and legal teams.

Helping Judith get better in managing her team requires an agreement to become a coach, a willingness on the behalf of Judith to try some new things, and an advocacy within the team to try together on new ways of working. That it’s alright to not know how to do something, but there’s a willingness to experiment, learn and get better together. Discover, implement, debrief, re-plan / adjust. Start small, experiment, get better, push broader to other managers and executives.

People and getting better first. Metrics later.

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