by Chris Tacon - Executive Director, Global Office
We’re living in a particularly turbulent political environment at present. Much of this turbulence is caused not just by the decisions made by those in power, but how those decisions are made.
Businesses, like politics, are prone to this type of turbulence. We see it very clearly in the way businesses choose digital technologies. In our experience, the decision-making process is generally made within two distinct political environments:
1) ‘Software by Socialism’
This is where everyone in the company has equal input into what system is chosen. As the software will affect everyone, it makes sense, in theory, to consider everyone’s thoughts equally. But when there are too many decision makers, and too many people to try and please, it’s almost impossible to come to a consensus. You’re at risk of your project stalling, or never getting it off the ground - and potentially spending a lot more money in the process.
2) ‘The Technological Dictatorship’
In any dictatorship, this is when one person in power decides what is right for the whole company. Often the person making these decisions is someone well-established in a role – 10 years or more – generally well-paid and influential.
While this person may have a good understanding of the systems in place, they are less likely to ask the opinion of other experts – and therefore the status quo is often enforced. Companies under this type of regime will continue to miss business opportunities because of their inability to move with the times. And the more engrained these out-of-date systems become, the harder it is to trump the technological dictator.
The good news is that there is a happy medium:
‘The Benevolent Leader’
This is where the person in power looks for what is best for the people – in this case the company. They consider what others are doing, they talk to close knowledgeable advisors, and then draw on their own experience to decide on the best option. Unlike the ‘Technological Dictator’, the ‘Benevolent Leader’ thinks about the long-term benefits of implementing change. This is the type of leadership, in our opinion, that drives business success.
So, where does your organisation sit on the digital-political spectrum?