Tech ownership in business
Managers have to wear many hats, requiring a multi-disciplinary knowledge base. Tech ownership in business means the amount of stuff we’re required to remember is starting to stack up.
As it turns out, I’m one of those guys from IT, asking you to remember stuff.
I commonly bring up ‘strong password’ rules and guidelines for keeping safe in an internet-connected world but, all too often, I get the same reaction from many of the users I’m speaking with.
Even in non-technical conversations, if by proximity to the ‘tech guy’ alone, I’m met with a physical display that needs some attention.
It starts like this – there’s a recoil. The body moves backward or the rolling office chair inches back, pushed from nervous feet alongside a deep inhale. More often than not, hands are raised up to chest height, palms out, defeated and captive to the following statement;
“I’m not a techy person.”
In computer security workshops and hallway conversations, my response has been finely tuned to counter this argument. If you can look up a recipe for chicken parm on your cell phone, you are, in fact, a techy person.
Sure, you might not have a strong handle on how every blinky-light box in your office runs, and you might not know exactly where Instagram pictures go before your friends can comment on them, but your technological prowess is deep and layered – you might just need to shift your perspective to think about it differently. Here’s an example; the cell phone in your pocket is a wireless, instant connection to the entire collected knowledge of our species. It’s a catalyst to countless hours of Words With Friends, but it’s also an incredibly powerful computer.
Imagining yourself as anything but the master of your tech-filled daily domain leaves you open to a few truths that, written out, are worth thinking about.
If you become actively engaged in the processes of adapting new technologies to your personal workflow, your organization will better maximize its impact on the clients you’re serving. If you submit to the fallacy of not being a ‘techy person’, you would be removing opportunities to help the very people you’ve signed up to get behind. Voluntarily staying behind the curve keeps you (and therefore, regardless of your position, the entire organization) vulnerable to attacks.
Internet security doesn’t have to be so focused on the technical element. I believe fully that before we discuss the threats, we should arrive at a mutual agreement; the users in your organization should have some baseline responsibilities when it comes to tech ownership in business. You can begin where most good causes do; awareness. When you’re about to share a TED Talk at your next staff meeting, pick one that focuses on internet privacy issues. Print and display some free cyber security posters (below) around the office to as both reminder and conversation starter. Host a team-building event like a hackathon to shuffle some tech-focused activities into your organization to promote a more ‘ownership’ focused office culture.
[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”2″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails” override_thumbnail_settings=”0″ thumbnail_width=”240″ thumbnail_height=”160″ thumbnail_crop=”1″ images_per_page=”20″ number_of_columns=”0″ ajax_pagination=”0″ show_all_in_lightbox=”0″ use_imagebrowser_effect=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”1″ slideshow_link_text=”[Show slideshow]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]Recognizing the efforts of your staff through a simple technical project is an easy way to generate a culture of ownership as well. A manager could start a free blog on services like Blogger or WordPress to highlight staff achievements – and it could be a great thing to share on social media, too!
Taking ownership of your tech requires the same degree of effort as, say, trying to improve your diet or learning a new skill. With an open mindset, you can use our greatest technological achievements to empower your staff, bolster your organization and ultimately, do better for your clients. The first step is usually as simple (read: not easy) as opening yourself to the avenues of new knowledge and experiences.
As a manager, you will be faced with IT-focused decisions. it’s perfectly acceptable to ask how these devices, policies or procedures might impact your organization. Anything less is accepting the above and removing the agency you have over an arguably massive driver of change.