The Imperative of Employee Technology Adoption

Chris Brandsey
5 min readOct 9, 2023

In the world of business, the importance of embracing technology becomes crystal clear as it mirrors the path of human progress. Just like Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press revolutionized communication by making knowledge more accessible, today’s businesses are riding the wave of technology’s transformative potential. Whether it’s streamlining operations, improving customer experiences, or tapping into data-driven insights, technology acts as a catalyst for innovation in our fiercely competitive business landscape. Embracing these technological advances isn’t just about working smarter; it’s about empowering organizations to unleash their creative potential, tackle complex challenges, and flourish in an increasingly interconnected global market.

Similar to how technology historically bridged geographical gaps and made information widely available, it now equips businesses with the tools they need to stay nimble, adapt to shifting markets, and envision a future where artificial intelligence amplifies human capabilities, propelling them towards success and a more prosperous business environment.

It is with this understanding that we focus on making it easier for businesses to adopt technology regardless of scale. Our own human desires to accelerate, innovate and conversely, manifest stability, create a natural friction for innovation adoption. We can do both (innovate and stabilize) by strategically planning what we ask of our workforce and ruthlessly assessing the value of the technology we intend to adopt.

The Challenges of Technology Adoption

Throughout my career I have seen innovation gain strong footholds within organizations and other times watched as global executive politics squashed key advancements. From both the wins and the losses there were significant lessons learned. Below are some organizational barriers with key examples that you may find helpful.

  1. Manage Resistance: Change can be daunting, and many people may resist it out of fear or uncertainty about how the technology will impact their roles and routines. There are a few types of Change Resistance that I have seen: (1) Resistance at the line level — unsure how the change will affect their work and effectiveness or seems like extra work (2) Resistance at the management and executive level — unsure how the change will impact their team, strategic direction, internal competitiveness and importance. All of these concerns must be addressed and proactively managed. I’ll never forget the experience of a multi-year initiative at a large global enterprise, which had me setting my alarm at 1am every morning to stop the spin and misunderstanding happening over seas.
  2. Awareness and Training: This is a very real problem but one we can manage in a straightforward manner. We all have an innate desire to do well in our work. Active internal marketing programs and building a training network not only communicates value but reassures those that might have anxiety about effectively navigating the new technology. I can’t speak highly enough of train the trainer programs and building training capability within the organization. One of the most productive ways I’ve seen this work was at a global retailer where we brought in a training expert that taught our work-stream leads how to develop materials and how to train business professionals. This wasn’t just a how to set of courses, it was a start to finish program helping our leads develop content and presentation skills. This teams effectiveness and work was eventually present to the board of directors — the chairman being a celebrity CEO. They made a HUGE impact.
  3. Value Proposition: Employees may not see the value of the technology in improving their work or may perceive it as an additional burden. The important thing to note here is that the value of the technology is different from one person to the next. Someone may latch on to the data and insights produced while another celebrates additional efficiencies in their day to day activities. When communicating value speak to the audience and what they value, which may be different than the strategic business value.
  4. Legacy Systems: Integration challenges with existing systems can hinder adoption, especially when employees are accustomed to familiar tools. These are quick wins — integration and data migration should be worked on first. The last thing you want is adding complicated interim processes to the workload of the people you’re trying to win over. Sometimes this is unavoidable but steer clear, if you can.
  5. Leadership Support: Without visible support from leadership, employees may doubt the organization’s commitment to the new technology. Ensure that your leader and your leader’s leader is communicating the initiative. Talk tracks should be prepared and strategy materials should be at their fingertips at all times. Prepping leadership is key to ensure buy-in amongst everyone else. At one point in my career I worked for a company where much of the power was held the people doing the work. In this case, leadership support was crucial to maintain focus however an intense focus was needed to win over everyone else.
  6. Organization and Feedback: Structure the organization around the initiative. This might mean that you have steering committees, work-streams along capability areas, change champions. There is no cut and dry method that works and each company culture will dictate what works and what doesn’t. Additionally, getting honest feedback should be cherished even if it’s brutal. You can’t please everyone but you can show you’re listening, which can mean a lot.

The journey of embracing technology in the business world is not just a reflection of human progress; it is a driver of progress in itself. Like the printing press that transformed communication, modern businesses are propelled by technology’s transformative potential. It’s not merely about working smarter but empowering organizations to unleash creativity, tackle challenges, and flourish in a global market. Technology bridges gaps, democratizes information, and equips businesses to adapt, evolve, and envision a future where artificial intelligence augments human capabilities.

Our focus is on simplifying technology adoption for businesses of all sizes. However, this journey is not without its challenges. Change resistance, awareness, training, and demonstrating the value of technology are crucial aspects. Moreover, integration challenges with legacy systems and the unwavering support of leadership play pivotal roles. Organizational structure and feedback mechanisms are essential in steering technology adoption in the right direction. As I’ve learned through experiences, both successful and challenging, addressing these barriers strategically and proactively is the key to achieving technology adoption with positive outcomes. It’s about striking the right balance between innovation and stability, paving the way for a brighter future in the ever-evolving landscape of technology in business.

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Chris Brandsey

Founder of Frame and Flight a growth and product accelerator