There was a time when technology improvements on the horizon promised a future of increased efficiencies and improved productivity.
Well, times have changed. We are no longer waiting on technology; it is waiting on us. Of course, some may argue that the learning curve is steep or that “ease of use” is lacking but I disagree! People and organizations adopt and adapt to new challenges all of the time.
So why was adoption of technology based solutions so difficult? Why was it that my team and I kept hearing from clients, “That’s really interesting but I/we are not interested.”?
One day, it hit me: I knew what was missing!
The Ah-Ha moment!
It’s that moment when the light goes on in your head and the concept you were struggling with becomes so obviously clear you cannot imagine why you did not see it much earlier.
That’s what was missing, so I set out to accelerate the Ah-Ha moment for our clients.
The first thing I had to do was accept responsibility for not having the experience and vocabulary to communicate in industry specific terms with all of the various industries with which I interact. I knew what audiovisual and collaboration solutions could do in general business terms but could not speak to the specifics of how the solution would impact an individual industry and situation. Moreover, I certainly could not engage with them using industry specific jargon.
How did I solve that problem? I called a Consultant!
No one knows an industry better than that industry’s consultants. Most have many years of industry experience, specialized training, etc. They have enough expertise to support intuitive and valuable advice and counsel.
My strategy seemed so simple; I simply needed to reach out to a couple of industry consultants I knew and ask them to help me and my team translate our transformative ideas into a targeted industry-specific message.
- The Chariot Group would benefit by increased sales and improved client satisfaction.
- The Consultant would win by being of greater service and delivering more value to his/her client.
- The Client would win by lowering its cost of operations, increasing its workforce engagement and collaboration, and thus improving its competitive advantage.
Great idea right?
As it turns out, I had just as much difficulty, if not more, influencing the Consultants.
Consultants are very bright people; they are often thought leaders in their field and their focus on things like improving quality, increasing productivity, measuring results, etc. is impressive.
However, I still had the same problem; I could not get them to the Ah-Ha Moment. In many ways the consultant community was more deeply entrenched than the industry leaders. Consultants focus and expertise was an inch-wide and a mile deep. I found many of the Consultants I met with initially had a specific area of expertise and, hence, invested their energies in those areas only. The result of our conversations with them ended the same way; they often said, “That’s really interesting but I/we are not interested.”
But then I met a different kind of consultant, and my idea took on a different trajectory. The relationship with this particular consultant highlighted what had been missing all along:
- The biggest obstacle to implementing innovative technology was the individual’s inability to envision the change and comprehend its impact and its possibilities.
- The next obstacle was the lack of patience. Learning something new takes time. Furthermore, if an individual does not clearly see the intended benefit, he/she is likely not going to take the time to learn it.
The effort to accelerate the Ah-Ha Moment is an ongoing project so I will end my part of the story here for now. However, if you are interested in a consultant’s perspective, may I suggest you read Heather Kinzie’s recent corresponding post in “The Ah-Ha Moment Accelerated”.