People Empowering People

10th December 2019
by Sara Peake

Tanya Corsie is CEO and Director at Iken, her blog “People Empowering People” was published on the Public Services People Managers Association (PPMA) site.

How can I, as the CEO of a software company, say that it’s people – not technology – which generates the empowerment of people, in both our current and our future workforce?

After years of supplying software solutions to organisations around the world I’ve learned that technology in a vacuum is not going to change the world. Indeed, it is people empowering people within their teams and organisations who are the real drivers of change. Invariably it is people who look to improve and refine processes, who develop cross-team working, who support one another when colleagues are away, who improve working conditions for staff with accessibility challenges and who increase the overall effectiveness of an organisation by driving change and championing the empowerment of people.

Yes, technology plays a crucial role in achieving these objectives but the successful organisations we work with at Iken have managed to achieve a balance between keeping both the human connections and the business objectives at the centre of their decision making – whilst allowing technology to serve and enable, not overwhelm teams and their processes.

I’ve highlighted some of the collective traits those successful companies share:

They are open to new technology: Remaining open to the potential application of technology to empower their processes. They retain and develop the human connections at the centre of their teams and organisations, harnessing human elements into processes and customer touchpoints.
By remaining open-minded to the potential application of new technology and not permitting it to dictate working practices enables organisations to get what they require from the technology whilst nurturing and empowering its people.

Continuous learning mindset: Organisations who successfully use technology to empower teams spend time thinking about the training and support needed for different staff. They plan requirements for all levels of technical competency throughout the process of embracing new technology, recognising that people learn in different ways and at differing paces. Leaders also plan on when and how to make ongoing incremental improvements ensuring that their technology and their processes adapt to the ever-changing demands of their organisations.
Organisations need agreed policies and expectations around the use of new technology: Particularly systems which support home working, whilst the benefits of well-planned and managed flexi-working are well understood there is the risk of an ‘always on’ culture being developed which is so negative to family life and mental health.
Organisational leaders need to create policies which support this flexibility but which also factor in a duty of care, respecting personal/professional boundaries.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, I believe when it comes to using new technology to support the current and future workforce, we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that we keep people, their values, aspirations and requirements central utilising technology to support their objectives when required. At Iken we enter into a partnership with our clients – our service is about helping teams through transformational change, helping to establish & improve processes and bringing people and data together. The Iken Support Commitment is a fine example of how we keep people and their requirements central.

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