Thought Leadership

Great Things Happen at the Intersection of Culture, Technology and People

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The migration to 5G, the evolving technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the industrial internet of things are rapidly transforming the way technology and people live, work, and play.

We see that 5G’s speed alone will go a long way when it comes to the growing percentage of employees working from home. This workforce change has demanded a smoother and more reliable connection to keep operations running full steam ahead, resulting in significantly improved employee collaboration and customer collaboration experience. Leveraging 5G, we can marry remote expertise with virtual collaboration in a single place (an XR canvas) to expand your teamwork capabilities.

The evolving technologies: transforming the way technology and people work

In the Office

Office work is getting a lot smarter. Advances in AI, ML, and RPA are made possible by evolving technologies like 5G. This will mean smaller employee involvement in repetitive tasks; cognitive examples such as accounting and data processing create new opportunities for employees to work on innovation and value creation.

For office transformations to be successful you need to be sure that people are engaged in new ways of working in a collaborative environment. To do that you need to come up with a new Management Operating System (MOS) and new tools and technologies to support the changes. To realize the transformation, people need to understand processes, know how to use the technologies available and have access to those technologies. It’s essential to have an access plan, a process plan and communication plan in place.

In the Factory

The future factory will also rely on 5G to enable augmented reality, autonomous mobility, sensor networks, and machine learning. The result will be “extreme automation” and dramatic advances in productivity.

To reap the benefits and create a 5G factory, you must assess your current state and develop a plan to become a digital site by implementing sensors in your plants, allowing your machines to speak directly to you, allowing the data provided to help make real-time decisions, on-site or at remote centers,

Security and War

5G also has implications for public and national security. In today’s complex arena of digital, the extreme interconnectedness poses risks, making everything from individual households to energy grids more vulnerable to hackers.

Because of new vulnerably, processes need to change for the implementation of things such as autonomous vehicles, trains, airplanes alongside real-time facial recognition technology for weapons. The process change must include a thorough risk assessment as part of the MOS and must be constantly reacting to new data to discover threats. This can be accomplished by the analysis of the data provided by the 5G wave, all of which is powered by people.

Humans design technology and people culture. So, in that regard, every piece of workplace technology today reflects the biases of the teams that developed them and the historical trajectories behind different cultures. Software, applications, and hardware all exist at the union of technology and people.

Shape the Connection of Technology and People

We are constantly thinking about “human-machine relationships” — or how culture, technology and people intersect. Understanding that human factors shape technology is key to successful, potentially disruptive innovation. Even the code that powers software isn’t just code. It’s a product of organizational, national, geographical, and other human factors.

Executive leadership will want to make sure that technology and do intersect in a way that makes work more predictable and allows humans to have smart Management Operating Systems – remembering that nothing moves until people do.

Culture, Beliefs, and Values Influence Technology

Today, humans interact daily with relatively intelligent technology. Algorithms are a widely adopted business tool to categorize information based on what the consumer is likely to purchase, read, watch or click. However, the idea of “worthwhile,” “authoritative,” or “useful” is highly subjective and deeply cultural. The relationship between culture, beliefs, and values is essential to reflect on as technology and people’s intersections shapes our research, purchases, and entertainment.

Technology doesn’t create a culture, but it can help to shape the culture and values that you want to create. If your culture is one of looking at safety, you can use it to create safer systems and processes to minimize risk.

Reflect on the Past to Understand Patterns

Workplace technologies support a flexible, global workplace without hierarchy or a centralized office location; however, most organizations aren’t ready to adopt a fully remote operations model. While it is tempting to speculate about the future, it may be more effective for leadership to reflect on the past. Understanding patterns can help you identify how existing technologies are impacting the workplace today.

The knowledge that technology is shaped by more than just lines of code should also shape how an organization considers human interactions with technology and policies. Technology should not be the cursor of your operations, it’s only an enabling force for your Target Operating Model (TOM) – one that you need to define before you select any kind of technology. It should only be used to ensure the TOM is being delivered effectively or more effectively than you can without it.

The cultural aspects of technology and people can help executive leadership build diverse teams and encourage design thinking with the potential for true disruption. Technology can make work more manageable and more efficient for people. The future workplace will continue to adapt as technologies evolve but the future of business is not technology: the future of business is (still) people. Focus on people to humanize your operations and create the culture you need. Then focus on processes to optimize and create your optimal TOM. Finally, look at technology to digitize and achieve your best-in-class state.

What if you could… build an agile organization where technology and people come together?

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Posted on July 14, 2021

By Lee Cocis, Executive Vice President

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