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Leadership Depends on Data, and Vice VersaApril 14, 2022
By: Ralph Nikischer
A Common Challenge
At one time or another we have all believed in a premise that technology was going to revolutionize the way we operate and solve our problems. A technology’s promise of saving time drives our decisions to invest a lot of money, time, and resources. Savvy salespeople will undoubtedly cast a positive and compelling vision of the future where their solution will make staff more efficient and enhance customer service. However, new technology will not solve problems or save time if underlying processes and data are not sound. It is the responsibility of the leader to set up their teams for success, especially with decisions surrounding technology.
The Leader’s Role
We often see that after new technology has been implemented, staff is disappointed because the vision they bought into does not materialize. That compelling vision is achievable, but what often gets missed is the critical role of leadership and the commitment from the team to make it happen. The leader’s role in technology is critical and cannot be delegated. When we delegate the creation of clarity, we relinquish our ability to effectively check-in and to create accountability.
Leaders begin by casting a vision which enables the organization to be aligned in their decisions around technology. Leaders should next establish clear expectations for their team and get their commitment to those expectations. Getting a team’s commitment is best done when they are part of the decision-making process. From there leaders need to reinforce what the team has committed to and check in on progress. This is critically important when the team is faced with challenges. During check-ins, leaders should listen and help the team anticipate challenges, so they are able to remain focused and stay on track.
Technology needs to empower teams and the leader sets the stage for success. Casting a vision, setting expectations, reinforcing those expectations, and checking in with teams are the responsibility of the leader. When these things are done, it allows technology to serve. Technology alone will not solve problems. Technology when implemented through leadership and team commitment can empower local government. What leaders say and how they behave truly permeates throughout their organization and ultimately makes a community flourish.