March 26th we held our very first panel event “Adopting a Tech-Centric Culture” at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. If you have not been to this facility yet you are missing out; it is amazing!! We had a powerhouse business women contribute their experiences to our topic.
Our panelists included:
- Leslie Wilcott, instructor at University of Central Florida
- Heather Norton, Vice President of education at the Orlando Science Center
- Devin Dominguez, Director of development at Art & History museums-Maitland
- Ally Hinton, Digital marketing coordinator/social media manager for rethink homeless
Throughout our discussion we asked our panel three main questions.
Is the investment in technology worth the return?
Our panelists replied with an absolute consensus that technology is a must in this day and age.
“If you don’t adopt technology you might as well close your doors”-Ally
When it comes to adopting technology, where do organizations start and who needs to be involved in the process?
Devin advocates all aspects of the organization need to be involved in the decision and adoption but there needs to be e a “keeper” of the project. The keeper of the project should be someone who is open minded and passionate about the technology being adopted. Managing with empathy to foster the idea of technology growth will be instrumental in the adoption process. Understand all staff members have different day-to-day roles; they don’t walk in your shoes and you don’t walk in theirs.
“Everyone needs to be involved” – Heather
Leslie recommends sharing information with everyone so all aspects of the organization are involved in the change from the start.
Heather suggests understanding where the fear of technology and change is coming from to address it head on. Once we have an understanding of the reason behind resistance, we as leaders can make the change and adoption of technology less intimidating.
“Admit you don’t know” –Leslie
How do you make your case when investing in technology?
Leslie recommends putting yourself in the department heads shoes. Find the need and highlight the benefits of the investment for all departments to sell the idea. “There has always been a need for the technology already integrated.”
Heather urges if it doesn’t work- don’t give up! Adopting technology can be intimidating and troublesome. Many times organizations will give up too quickly because they are trying to force the technology to conform to the organization rather than embracing the technology and letting the technology complete the task. Keeping an open mind will assist with the culture and process change.
Devin recommends quantify the time savings to sell the idea. Money is the bottom line right? So, why not put the money in the forefront? Quantifying the time savings for day-to-day tasks will allow organizations to get the most out of their staff member’s time, thus creating a more functional and efficient process.
“Technology upgrades are necessary.”-Leslie
Ally advises technology is hard- use your resources! Many staff members in small nonprofits do not have IT training and lack the knowledge to understand analytics and how to reach their market with the correct content. Make the most of your efforts and learn as much as possible about the new technology being adopted from the resources at hand. Hire a consultant if need be! Just don’t make a monetary investment without a time investment.
Poll Questions & Responses
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