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Necessity Breeds Innovation

Technology Adoption in Covid-19 for Member-based Organizations
Written by Al Povoledo, CEO, Bursting Silver Inc.

With remote offices across North America, Bursting Silver Inc. services the needs of well over 100 member-based organizations (i.e. regulatory bodies, unions and associations). While our clients vary in size and offering, they share a few things in common:

1. They have members that they have to engage with and communicate with regularly
2.  They tend to convene their members via in-person events, meetings and conferences
3. They are significant enough in size to warrant in excess of 10-20 employees and typically have in excess of several thousands of members
Leveraging tools such as iMIS (a member relationship management platform) and Brightspace (an learning management solution), our organization supports a) the implementation and integration of these tools and b) the transformative effects that these technologies have on business processes, communication and culture. Ultimately, we’re in the business of change management and transformative technology adoption.
In March of 2020, when Covid-19 forced the world into a state of emergency, our clients were very suddenly thrust into an extreme transformation. Not unlike most of the corporate world, some of our clients who were familiar with technology adoption were extremely efficient. Others were caught on their heels.
After 10 months, it’s been amazing to witness the transformative effect of this virus and subsequent restrictions – particularly related to the adoption of work-from-home (WFH) or “attend events from home” policies, environments and technologies. Within weeks, meeting technologies (many of which have been familiar to BSI for well over a decade given our team’s geographic distribution), like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google-Meet became household names. Everyone, regardless of their comfort level with technology, were suddenly online, connected… and at home.
Hindsight is 2020, but looking back, our clients have taken stock. Here are some of their key-learnings as it relates to technology adoption and internal change management:
1. Don’t underestimate your teams’ resistance to change… but don’t let their fears stop you from changing. It’s human nature to fear the unknown, however technology is here to stay, and innovation truly can have a transformative effect on your organization’s resilience, competitiveness and sustainability. We often neglect to adopt innovation quickly enough for fear of how people will respond.
2. You can’t over-communicate. Effective listening, dialogue, interviews and notifications will support a healthy transition. One of our clients decided to speak to her employees (via Zoom) daily during the initial transition in March 2020. She answered questions, shared updates and opened herself (and her process) up for constructive feedback.
3. Plan for the best, expect the worst. Organizations who adopt new technologies in a healthy fashion typically build a solid plan with clear expectations and milestones, and then they plan for contingencies. Creating what-if scenarios will help organizations prepare for less than ideal outcomes and hurdles. Not unlike most change, few tech-adoptions go perfectly as planned.
4. Don’t expect things to go back to the way they were. As you plan ahead, keep in-mind that some people won’t want to come back to the traditions of working at the office. Employers should plan to make investments to support remote workers…such as laptops, ergonomic peripherals, software solutions, home office furniture, and reliable internet connectivity to support their staff to be comfortable, productive and successful.
5. Champion the change… Organizations who resource an internal (often full-time) champion to a) manage any third party providers or consultants, b) manage internal adoption, education and training, and c) champion the benefits and the “why” within employee groups (and/or members and constituents) – typically find themselves at a significant advantage.
6. Have some fun. Change can be a drain on employee and member morale. Leaders in change-management found ways to encourage employees and members to enjoy themselves through what was perceived to be a relatively scary and painful process. Whether it’s through Town-halls, Friday socials or and on-line games night, organizations should seek ways to enjoy the process. Especially during these times…
As your member-based organization looks into the future, we’re sure you are grappling with the unknown. Artificial Intelligence, machine-learning, cloud-based systems, online learning and leveraging “big data” are only a few of the new technologies that promise to continue to disrupt (and/or innovate) our work-places.
For a diagnostic on your current member-based technology solutions, and/or for information on how best to navigate the plethora of options available, or for best practices in technology adoption and transformation, please contact us for a free consultation… or just a chat. We’re here to help.