Your People Strategy is Your Business Strategy: Empowering Through Technology

Understand how to empower your people with technology, who empower your business strategy.
“Perhaps now more than ever, it’s wholly evident that people are what make up the distance between business strategy and the results it yields.” – Mandy Haskett, ADVISA


So often, we focus on achieving results before we turn our attention on how to get there – through your people. Without your people, your business strategy will not be realized. And yet, when the business strategy falls short, we point our finger to other sources of blame – operations, poor communication of the strategy, lack of buy-in, the list goes on. Mandy Haskett, Leadership Consultant at ADVISA, our partner leadership consulting firm, wrote a column for the IBJ that speaks to how people can be part of your business strategy. By outlining four actionable ways to make people strategy part of your business strategy, the Workplace article shares insight on how to empower your people to achieve results. Let’s consider the ways technology can support people empowerment:

1.    Strengthening Mutual Understanding and Trust at the Leadership Level First

Leading (ourselves and others) requires skills. Historically, these skills have been labeled as “soft,” while leadership skills are ironically the hardest ones to develop.  Traits like empathy, change management, conflict resolution, and stress tolerance are essential to build connections with others. Minimizing friction through increased connection capabilities will make room for progress. At the end of the day, progress is the intent of business strategy.

Luckily, your technology can be used to support connection. Without connection, it is difficult to feel empathy for your colleagues. In our hybrid norm, this is increasingly relevant. How are you maximizing your communication tools, especially if the “water-cooler talk” is only through a screen? Utilizing integrations like the “Ice-Breaker” function on Microsoft Teams automates getting to know one another. By building this trust, you set the foundation to have productive conversations. This is essential when it’s time to sit at the strategy table.


2.    Collect Predictive People Data to Predict Job Fit Objectively

Remember what it was like to be the new person on the job? All at once, you may have been learning your new role, understanding the business, and excited by the new opportunity. Now, imagine if your leadership understood your needs as an individual from day one, and leveraged those insights to coach you. The transition becomes much smoother, and you become productive and feel cared for. Through the PredictiveIndex®, you can predict the way someone will perform in a particular job, interact with others, and be motivated before you even meet them. As a leader, this increased certainty will accelerate your people’s progress.

At Blackink IT, we take advantage of the Enneagram. While the Enneagram can’t make scientific predictions about job fit, it can provide an understanding of people’s perceptions. The key to leveraging people data of any kind is keeping the data in a central location for your office to access the information. We suggest building it into your cloud platform to ensure everyone has access anytime, anywhere. When holding a meeting with another colleague or building out strategy, this information can be a source of tremendous insight.


3.    Revisit The Players’ Positions

It’s important to understand people to know where they fall into the game plan. Mandy makes an analogy to Colts fans: “Focusing an experimental, risky growth strategy on a human that’s wired up to be methodical, stabilizing and process-oriented won’t work for long. Think: converting Carson Wentz to wide receiver.”

Your team wouldn’t win the Super Bowl without delegation. Now that you can understand how your people work, it’s time to assign their roles. Microsoft Planner is a great tool to organize who is responsible for what – and how will it get achieved. If you have a lot of tasks floating around but you’re not sure how to categorize, who is responsible, or when they are due, Microsoft Planner puts the puzzle together.


4.    Improve Your Communication Through More Meaningful Interaction

“While most executives feel they’ve communicated key objectives, only 2% of team members on average report an ability to recite the top three.”  Learning the key objectives from one email is not sustainable for moving a strategy forward. What are the ways you can integrate the message in other meaningful interactions?

With technology, it is possible to unintentionally remove the human interaction from communication. If you are hoping to convey an important message when hosting a virtual meeting, take small but significant steps to ensure cameras are turned on, for example. Now, you can connect with a human, which will impact the way communication is received.  

People are your business strategy. Taking advantage of your tools, like technology, to empower people will ultimately achieve your business strategy. For these conversations and more, join us on March 15th at Tinker House Events for the “PEST Analysis Approach: Upcoming Risks for 2022.” With a panel of experts in personnel, economics, legislation, and technology, you will learn how to stay competitive and further develop your business strategy. Register here.

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