In addition to a very fun title, Let’s Talk About Tech, Baby! How to Talk about Technology Horizontally and Vertically in Your Organization, offered simple and practical advice for communicating about technology for audiences with different degrees of tech-literacy and comfort.
Key to their advice was their “5 C’s of Change Management:”
- Credibility: Establishing yourself as a knowledgeable and trusted source when it comes to technology which sometimes means reaching out to an already credible member of your organization to vouch for you.
- Communicating clearly: Realizing that often it’s best to ditch the tech lingo if you want to get through to people who may not be as tech literate as you are.
- Create a compelling case: What’s in it for your organization? What are the stakes?
- Connecting emotionally: Facts alone are sometimes not enough.
- Chocolate: Because who doesn’t like chocolate? And it can smooth over conversations (Yes, this was thrown in for levity).
The panelists kept to their “C’s” theme and advised session participants to think about their organization’s Climate when attempting to make the case for new technology initiatives and changes. Also important to effective Communications: consider your Core audience; Clarity in crafting your argument; Consistency in what you say to every member of your organization; and finally, Crap happens because even the best laid plans can meet with problems.
Conversations about technology should be framed properly to move the process forward, manage expectations by owning up to potential risks and prepare for and to learn from failures. Ultimately, it is important to create a learning organization. When it comes to technology, a learning organization will engage in a process of planning; data collection; analysis and reflection; and action and improvement that embraces technology as an instrumental part of its mission.