August 2013

Give Us a Technology Pill to Cure All Our Ills

Communication Issues, Leadership Development/ Executive Coaching, Project Implementation: How to Create Ownership, Work Place Articles


Technology is no substitute for effective communication, trust and leadership development:

  • Super software will not always cure your organizational ills!
  • Digital systems will not always trim the fat off your budget!
  • Strategic plan software will never help you implement your cool new plan!

I have to admit that I am just as intrigued by fun trends as the next person, but I also have an obligation to speak the truth in front of seductive technologies and their impressive draws: There simply is no substitute for rolling up your sleeves and getting to know the needs of your people and customers. Yes. Trendy software can be pretty darn cool. Yes, improved software programs can be very helpful and may even save you plenty under the right conditions. But no tool will work if you do not have successful communication, trust and professional development as the foundation for your organization.

One way to develop successful communication with your people is to recognize what stage they are in as a group. Most people have heard of Bruce Tuckman’s the four stages of group development: Forming, Storming, Norming and Perfuming.  click here to link to it:

It’s truly sad and very costly that 95% of leaders don’t truly understand how to leverage this knowledge to help themselves and their companies mature and grow through these very normal stages. As we all know, each new passing day in business, departments and organizations go through predictable stages. Having an awareness of these stages will help individuals and leaders recognize and accept these natural phases. You and your people will likely feel a heightened level of safety and security in knowing where you are on your journey and what you need to do to get to the next stage successfully. Often people and organizations get stuck in one of these stages and assume wrongly that “this is just the way it is.” I am here to assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. In this case, knowledge is power and the knowledge of social dynamics is imperative in growing a successful corporation.

Group Development Examples

Laying out the four stages of group development, the model is well-known and highly effective in helping groups and their leaders understand what to look for and then what to do to increase a group’s communication, trust and leadership effectiveness through stages of change. If your organization is facing change brought on by the introduction of a new idea, a new program or a trend, we recommend you give this model some thought. Consider sharing this information with your people to open up a dialogue and begin to build trust. All groups, regardless of their history and regardless of their level of knowledge or skills, will go through or remain stuck in these stages. As you read through these, locate where you are and decide if you want to create effective change. Then take steps toward improving your team, department or organization.

Keep in mind when you are tempted to drop a dime on any number of quick fixes: Business models may appear to be what you need. Even computer programs may seem like the “safe” bet. But they may seem safe because you are caught in the fantasy or illusion that if you buy the new “widget” then you’ll become the success.

The Tools are Only as Good as the User

Models, diagrams, computer programs, technologies and trends are just tools. That’s all they are. Tools. In the hands of the right people, they will enhance a good thing. But, on their own, they will not help us change our behaviors. Further, they alone will not help us improve our communication. They alone will not build trust or buy-in. They won’t do our work. They will only postpone the inevitable. Make no mistake about this. Businesses succeed or fail through their people. The better your people communicate with each other and your internal and external customers, the better off your business will be. If you understand this then utilize the models, the best technologies, and the motivational programs, but always with the caveat to see them for what they are: just tools to help your people grow and develop your organization and themselves.