Technology services have long since changed the way people engage and communicate with each other, but is internal IT communication engaging and transformative?
A recent article in CIO states that “50% of IT leaders claim that a lack of communication talent is holding them back.” Communication enables people within an organization to understand the value of IT Management capabilities. These capabilities have the potential to propel business results to the next level. However, in order to get the results from these capabilities, people have to use them. Without communication to get and keep them interested, why would they adopt? Without people adopting new capabilities like Business Service Management or Configuration Management , they’re a waste of time and money.
It’s challenging for business and many IT users to understand the value of IT Management solutions. Or as the CIO Magazine article puts it: “…the absence of effective communication between IT and non-IT employees leads to abject business outcomes, a lack of trust, and a corroded vision.” Why? Because expectations were never in sync and the value to me as an individual was never communicated. Most people do not care about SLA’s, availability metrics or ROI. They do care about how it makes their life easier, how it reduces stress for them or makes them look good.
We can list all the cool features and talk about the functions, but people need to deeply connect with the project, in order for them to be excited, engaged and become viral promoters. Is it possible to get viral promotion of new IT Management functions like a Self Service Catalog or Business Service Management dashboard? Absolutely.
If we truly want people to be motivated, communication is a MUST. Instead of focusing on the tools, we need to start focusing on lowering resistance through adoption.
Adoption is a very personal decision. It requires people to change their behaviors and thoughts to fully embrace new habits and patterns of working and living. In order to encourage adoption, we must first understand how people decide to adopt.
USA Today confirms that “… irrational psychology, rather than cool calculation, plays a role in..decisions.” In other words, how we decide is emotional.
Think about your own personal decision-making process, when buying a car, or choosing a laptop.
First, you show interest. The car catches your eye. It stirs something inside of you. Sometimes the emotion it stirs is so strong that a vocalization of that emotion seemingly comes from nowhere. You like what you see and are motivated to learn more about what you saw.
Then we trust, or not. We whip our heads around to catch a fleeting glimpse of the manufacturer’s emblem. If it is a brand that we do not trust, game over. If we do trust it, game on. I want it, I trust it, how do I get it? All emotion so far….
Now we pass this decision forward to our rational brain. You conduct personal research of your own to rationalize, or justify, what you want to do. Interestingly enough, while some of the rationalization is for us, a lot of it is so that I can explain to my wife and my friends the logic behind the decision that I want to make.
The final decision to buy always tips back to the emotional part of our brain, sometimes throwing all logic out of the window.
i.e. I just made a decision to buy an Apple Watch because I wanted one. There was some weak justification involved, including the fact that I was saving the money I didn’t spend on the fitbit, not wanting to have a HRM wrapped around my chest while cycling and a whole bunch of other pointless reasons that all happen to come out of my mouth when someone asks me why I bought one.
The decision to adopt is made in the same, exact fashion. If you want people to grasp your ideas and really be engaged, you must find a way to get them interested. Skipping to the step of rationalization with facts and figures is like going to the gym and skipping forward to a 9MPH sprint on the treadmill without warming up, it’s going to be painful.
The more personal the results, the more motivated people will be to adopt.