My daughter is graduating with a master’s degree in Healthcare Informatics (a broad academic field encompassing computing technologies and development in healthcare). I asked her what here career plans were with a degree in this very hot field and her answer surprised me. She said that she wanted to lead teams of people who were responsible for designing and implementing new healthcare systems and the organizations to leverage them. I was intrigued by that answer. What title would that be, I asked. She said she didn’t believe it existed, because most organizations have different groups who are responsible for technology and organizations.
She went on to explain that today’s technology in healthcare is advancing so fast that in order to leverage those investments, hospitals needed to spend much more money on organizational design and skill development than they currently do. She explained that it isn’t enough to teach someone how to use a new technology if they aren’t capable of using it alongside all the other technologies in today’s healthcare world. The job title that is responsible for doing this right is part IT, part operations, part business process engineering and part human resources. I was really proud of her. Here is a millennial that gets it. She understands that implementing new business processes and systems requires that companies anticipate the required organizational design and the needs of the stakeholders involved (employees, temps, contractors, vendors, etc.).
I am willing to go out on a limb and suggest that technology drives organizational design because it requires significant changes in business processes and the requisite skill sets of the stakeholders. Companies need to understand the impact of new technology on how the business is going to operate and the implications of that on employees, suppliers and customers. Implementing new technologies requires change management plans, process redesign, skills development and the proper management and leadership. All too often, companies make large expenditures on technology and assume the organization will figure it out.
More often than not, the organization tries to make the new technology work in their old way of doing things, instead of figuring out how to redesign their workflows, career maps, skill sets and strategies to maximize the return on the investment. I see this lack of understanding of the relationship between technology and organizational design everywhere. I see it with companies who sell technology. I see it in companies who are led by people who don’t understand it, especially boomers. And, I see it in companies that don’t focus on the relationship between technology and organizational readiness (design and skills). Group50 focuses our consulting efforts in Strategic ExecutionTM to make sure that companies who are implementing significant change fully understand this and are prepared to leverage their technology investments.
That is why we created the Business Hierarchy of Needs™ and added an Organizational Development practice. That is why we make organizational readiness part of the discussion: No, we force it to be part of the discussion. The bottom line here is that companies who implement new technologies without all of these considerations do so at their own peril…. Or, if nothing else, waste a lot of money in the process. If you want to find out more about how we approach the relationship between technology and organizational readiness, give us a call at (909) 949-9083, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or request more information here.
About the Author: Jim Gitney is the Founder and CEO of Group50, a consulting company that works with clients to help them effectively implement strategic change and accelerate performance.
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