I had the opportunity to a great panel on Thursday evening and the topic was technology.
The question I had been challenged with is how technology is affecting the workforce, As I thought about the question in preparation, I kept coming back to the napkin that Kenji and I had sketched out our business plan on.
Really there are 3 main levers to pull when facing most workforce challenges:
As we talked on Thursday night it was hard to think of any workforce issues that weren’t related to either people, process, or technology.
The fascinating thing to me right now is that it seems as though everyone is trying to solve problems with a laser focus on technology. So the lever for technology seems to be getting pulled with overwhelming force.
While that is great, the danger is that entrepreneurs forget the critical other areas people and process. It is hard not to get caught up in how cool some of the technologies are today (especially the potential of the technologies that are cutting edge), but to disregard the impact of people and process can be a huge oversight.
In fact I would argue as you pull the levers increasing the power of the technology, the people and processes you do have become even more critical to you then they were before.
Improving technology allows you to do more with less people. See the irony, each of those people gets more and more valuable as you pull the lever on technology. On the process side business rules become more critical with each technological advancement.
We see it everyday in our business – as the technology in accounting improves, we have to implement better processes for entrepreneurs and our people’s time gets reduced but each human interaction is more important. And each person on our team is more important.
So my talk about technology ended up reminding everyone not to forget about the two other things impacted by technology – people and process.