One of my favorite people, Bryan K. O’Rourke, often says “You can't put lipstick on a pig.” In context here, if you've got big problems in your organization, adding technology systems to solve for those problems is like adding gasoline to the fire.
With a tremendous amount of possibilities to consider and platforms to evaluate, how does one decide what technology enhancements are right for their business? I will tell you this, in many cases it doesn’t have to do with what you would think.
If you want to realize what technology to add to your business you have to start with looking at the heart of your business and evaluate your vision and what you are solving for.
A fantastic starting place is answering the following questions: “Why are we here? What are we doing? Who are we serving?” Get the business plan in place (or revised) to then provide you with the content to which you want to add technology. The goal is to use technology to enhance your purpose, not hinder your progress.
Just like in the fitness industry we are seeing clubs sell wearable devices like FitBit’s at their front desk. And while that's not a bad idea, without a plan as to why you're providing a FitBit and what part of your business objectives this fits into, the FitBit might as well just be batteries or gum. However in contrast, do you remember many years ago when 24 hour fitness launched the body bug, it was a part of their entire infrastructure, programming, and marketing strategy. It infiltrated the clubs and provided their trainers with a system to track their clients calorie burn, and food in-take. It was truly woven into the fabric of the entire operational plan; it wasn't just positioned at the front desk as a product add-on to membership. See the difference?
Creating a vision, a “why,” and a context to what it is that you want technology to accomplish for you, and then layering the system on top of that is truly the best way to garner the best results. Like Mr Einstein says, We can not create new solutions from the same perspective that helped us create the mess, paraphrasing his message, and, if we really want to create change we have to get to the root of what the new thing is we want to create.
Ultimately, technology is a tool, not a one size fits all solution. When you have a plan in place, technology can and will propel your business forward. Business leaders must demonstrate the patience required to consider what they are wanting to use the technology for to truly know what to use.
If you would like to talk on this topic, send me a note, I would be happy to go over your plan with you!
Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O