Necessity is the mother of invention, but it’s also the mother of adaptation. As we leave the ‘panic’ stage of the Covid-19 pandemic and enter the reflective ‘new normal’ phase, it’s interesting to look back and see what we we did well as an industry, and what we can learn going forward. Andrew Schurr, the Solutions Manager here at Intellective, walks us through the ups and downs of digital transformation during a major time of disruption.
Adjustments in your new role and everything that comes with it could take anywhere from three to six months, and sometimes longer depending on the role’s technicality and seniority. Social.Hays And yet we watched much of the world, including preschoolers, adapt at lightning speeds. Not only did companies take on a challenge of newly remote workers, but additional communication techniques, ways of sharing information, and different business solutions to facilitate day to day activities. This not only caused a significant learning curve in early 2020, but left a lasting impact for the rest of the year.
“If you’re throwing up a system next week because you have a dire need this week, you’re not going to spend two weeks training on it. You’re going to say, “Here’s the system. Here’s the best we have, figure it out.” -Schurr 2020
While many companies were putting together solutions at lightning speeds, ultimately, the transition’s weight fell to general workers and their managers, to implement the solution to the best of their abilities. While this ends up being a major issue for many companies, involving brand new technology with its flaws, and little to no onboarding for new technology, the solution ended up being right in front of us. Our workforce was ready to adapt and meet challenges.
“It’s amazing to hear how effective she [Schurr’s wife] is at dealing with problems in a totally different space, and in many ways dealing with them with a different toolset than I have… I’ve been working remotely with Teams for the whole time I’ve been at Intellective and before that. She’s dealing with all of that for the first time now. Her industry has some tools which allow remote usage, but Architecture is ultimately a physical profession. You’re building something in the real world, which requires a physical presence.”
What does this say for companies going forward? Perhaps a focus of being proactive vs reactive is the best approach.
“That’s an interesting question. The world that we live in is going to continue to change. Right now, because we’re in it, this pandemic is a huge, all-consuming thing. It feels like it’s an unprecedented amount of change happening in a small period of time. It is in many ways, but if you look at it on a larger scale, there is always going to be change. It’s not like this is the one point in history where change has happened, and it’s going to be smooth sailing afterward. There’s going to continue to be disruptive events that happen as we advance into the future.”
Taking a step back in the wake of a pandemic, or any other moment of seemingly quiet time is the perfect moment to take stock of what’s not working and create a plan to change it. That can be modernizing legacy systems, asking for feedback from team members, or investing in a better integration platform.
“I think we need to think about change and digital transformation not as a one and done solution, but as a process. It’s an ongoing process, and it’s an ongoing conversation between your users and your business. It’s not something that’s ever going to be done. So, if I could wave my magic wand and say, “Here’s something that every company should do,” I think that it’s to have the processes, and the partnerships, and the thought leadership in place so that you can have those conversations productively, stay further ahead of the curve as far as understanding what kind of change is coming, and have better tools in place for when change comes unexpectedly.”
While it’s easy to get caught up in the ‘doom and gloom’ of the current situation, it is essential to look at the silver lining. We were fortunate enough to face this pandemic when technology was able to rise to the challenge. Collaboration platforms such as Zoom and Teams brought together groups of people, even when separated by distance, and made the continuing business possible. However, we don’t know what the next disruptive event will be, or what digital transformation it will require of us.
The take-away? Allow for this monumental event in human history to act as a wakeup call, both in upgrading your business processes, and recognizing your workforce for what it is, a constantly adapting powerhouse that works together to keep the world working another day.