Unboxing Technology (Part 5)

by | Sep 18, 2018 | PACE approach

Part 1. What If

Part 2. Magic and Modernisation

Part 3. People and Technology

Part 4. Unpacking People

Part 5. Unboxing Technology


The planning board meeting had been torturous, as usual. Anyone would think that a regular meeting like that would have a rhythm to it – key topics to consider, key issues to debate, and a clear sense of what to do next by the time the meeting concluded. Instead they dragged on, were poorly facilitated, and generally just concluded that another meeting – in a month – was in order. Jon found the meetings ineffective, a waste of time, and stuck on merry-go-round mode. But it was fascinating to watch in some ways; Jon just couldn’t fathom that things could have become so bad. For all that they promised in bringing people together, meetings at the firm seemed to undermine the already fragile willingness to work together. Oh well … soon it would be time to embark on a “fixing meetings around here” crusade, but not today.

Jon looked back over the earlier mindmap on people. Those words and phrases had been useful in unpacking what the word “people” meant. Now it was time to do the same with the next big word – “technology.” Drawing several lines on a page out from the new word, Jon started to brainstorm again:

Technology. Who the vendor is, and what their products can do. And can’t do.

Technology. What is made available – or turned on – out of the set of capabilities in the underlying product. Not everything is necessarily of value, so perhaps not everything should be released. Or released at once? Or at all? Or ever?

Technology. How is the category of technology trending in the wider market? Who is doing interesting things? Is the category growing, at a plateau, or in decline? Any major concerns being raised?

Technology. 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?

Technology. 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?

Technology. What types of firms, teams, groups and people are making effective use of the technology? Who is struggling with it?

Technology. How are others describing the benefits that accrue from using the new technology in an effective way? Are there any significant costs to be aware of? Major drawbacks or downsides?

Much more than what’s in the box – “technology” is all about how what’s in the box is used to create an effect.

See Part 6. Beyond People and Technology