Your multi-generational team and those new apps.
If you are like me, you deal with a diverse group of professionals that span 5 generations. Each generation has their generalized attributes and similarities. This subject has been covered by many folks much more qualified than me so I will not talk much about these. We have to keep in mind that generalizations on generations are just this…generalizations. There are those that do not exhibit the characteristics of their particular generation. This means you may have a baby boomer that operates more like a millennial or gen Y. This means you may have a generation X that operates like a Baby Boomer. You grasp my point but this discussion will be targeted about how a coach and leader can curate all the applications that the team is exposed to . My experience is that our younger team members ,those from GenY and GenZ are the ones who bring new applications (apps) up as useful for the whole team to adopt and utilize.
How do you review new apps for your team ?
Most of the time, the attributes of a new app are presented by the person introducing them during their 1:1 discussions with their coach and team leader. I always appreciate when someone can quickly explain :
1.How does the App Work? Can the person introducing this new application to you ,do so clearly so you can understand it? If not, it will probably be more difficult to introduce to the team.
2.Can it be used across all of the devices used by the team-computer, phone and tablet?
3.Is it compatible with our major software suite that is used. We use a Microsoft package but also we have embraced many Google products? Perhaps the Apple Product Package is what your company and team embrace. Just know compatibility is a key.
4. Can the app help in collaboration? I will look and consider most apps but the appeal to me as a coach and leader is how can an app improve our communication and collaboration. We have embraced cloud technology and file sharing programs which really help our team. We have worked with different web conference software packages for holding virtual team and 1:1 meetings.
5. What kind of training resources exist with an app? How difficult is it to incorporate in our daily work schedule?
6. Does it mesh well with our current CRM. In Sales and Customer Satisfaction, having an app that is operating outside of the CRM can really create silos within a company.
7. Can an app be beta tested by a couple of individuals on the team that have a passion for incorporating it so there is some usage data and information when it is decision time to go or not go to using a new app? Will these individuals who are beta testing the app be willing to help train the rest of the team on how to use the new app?
What are the critical components when a New app is being introduced?
I have found that communication and timing are critical for successful incorporation of useful apps. I typically like to allow our younger team members to present the new apps but work with them to make sure that different technical and digital skill levels are kept in consideration.
We can not expect someone in their mid 50s or 60s to grasp an explanation that is targeted to someone in their 20s, 30s or 40s. Many times, the person doing the introduction and training breezes through the presentation with quick key strokes and uses technical jargon that leave older team members in the dark. At best, these explanations need to be slowed down, dumbed down and probably repeated a couple of times so that understanding among all team members can incorporate these new tools.
Communication is a critical component. We have found certain apps used in our company that were very different than the apps the remote team was using . The remote team had no idea these apps were being used by the rest of the company and it causes some issues both in the introduction of these new apps and the remote team embracing an app that they had no input even though they were key stakeholders.
A cross function team that is formed when an company wide app or software is bring incorporated goes a long way toward its successful introduction. Empathize with team members and various operational groups to see how the introduction of the new app will be received and embraced.
Going to something new for the sake of it being new-the shiny new penny.
We need to be careful that new apps are introduced to the team that are designed to help the team fulfill their objectives and strategies.
There is always a new penny that can catch our eye. Our younger team members can and will be exposed to some new technologies. These may come from exposure to them at their universities, their previous employers or friends from within and outside of the company. One thing for sure, technology will continue to evolve so it is important the the process for new tech introductions to the team be internalized. You as the coach and leader are the one who must clarify procedures for beta testing and then incorporation.
Our team members need a clear understanding our what is important for our team, what things can really move the needle of performance and see how the new app can get the team closer to the success in moving this needle. Can it help us be more organized? Can it help us manage our projects better? Can it help the team communicate more clearly, openly and without conflict?
These are the prisms to evaluate the new apps. I am forever grateful for members of my team and company who have introduced many new applications for daily use in our company. It has made our team better. They have made our company better.
I wish you all continued success in finding and using these useful new tools. We are committed to communicate some new hacks that can help you with Coaching and Leading your team.
Good Coaching and Good Selling!
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