Tech and Business

Aware – Learning about Technology as an Executive

After being exposed to what is below the tip of the iceberg, it is fundamental to get to know technology up close and personally. To not only understand it at a high-level intellectually but also grasp it emotionally. For the technologist, the engineer or the geek this might be a bit easier, however, for most people, it is really tough. Technology becomes obscure and shrouded with acronyms and it is difficult for executives to get an intuitive grasp of what it can do and how it can be useful for your business.

In Deloitte, we have tried many things to make it easier for both ourselves and our clients, and have found some of them to work effectively time after time:

  • Some of our partners like Singularity University have a great combination of tools to get people to understand technology viscerally. Singularity uses great speakers with shocking data and immersion into the technology “touching it” to effect a great transformation.
  • We have found that workshops with experts in which you cover a business perspective are powerful. It is critical to stay at the level of what the technology allows you to do rather than trying to go into the technical details that generally cause confusion.
  • The best way we have found overall is to identify disruptive companies that embody the impact of technology.  These examples make it very real for executives what technology can do and how it can disrupt or transform their businesses. Identifying disruptive companies and bringing them to interact with the executives can make a great difference. This can be Big Tech companies or startups.
  • Continued exposure to news and companies in a given space is a way to create awareness and knowledge over time. Several months of exposure to these types of news can have a great effect.
  • Launching initiatives with the technology that apply it to the business can be a great way to make it tangible. Small scale adoption or even just a proof of concept can have a great impact on the real understanding.
  • Finally, experimenting the technology first hand can always help understand it, even if it can be a bit gimmicky at times.

Select those technologies that are going to have a great impact and start exposing all executives. Don’t try to create a flash conversion, but rather a step by step transformation in which executives become aware and then knowledgeable on the technology. A sustained effort over months can have a much stronger effect than a one-off push.

Experience shows that the first step for transformation needs to be a broad awareness of relevant technologies and their possibilities. We have created El Observatorio, as a vehicle to help companies create awareness throughout the organization.

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