Reflections on 10 years of business, people and technology – 2008 – 2018

On the 8th May we celebrated our 10th anniversary in Australia. Over the past decade, we have been part of tremendous changes. Some of these changes we couldn’t have imagined – they have been innovative and in some cases disruptive. Others have been slow moving and somewhat predictable. The commonality has been a phenomenal decade of adjustments to organisations, the nature of work and the role of technology. Over this period, we’ve partnered with more than 100 clients across a broad range of industries including government, health, law, education, financial services, construction, travel and tourism, airlines, telecommunications and technology, on their journey through these changes. There’s probably a PhD thesis that would more thoroughly uncover how these changes are reshaping our organisations, our approaches to work and technology – I’ll leave that to Natalie (our PhD sponsored candidate) to reveal.

In the meantime – this quote from Guiseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa encapsulates what we’ve experienced:

 “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” 
The Leopard, 1958.

And, in case you don’t read to the end of this blog post (common online behaviour) I’m leading with our key insights that have remained consistent:

  • Trust is cheaper than control.
  • Collaboration is not a spectator sport.
  • No one-size fits all.
  • Informed, human-centred design underpins everything.
  • Training is for dogs & babies.
  • It’s NOT about the technology – it’s about people and how we use the technology.

Expanding on some of the headline areas that have impacted our practices over the past decade:

  1. Technology – both hardware and software – has reshaped organisations in so many ways. Fundamentally, ubiquitous personal computing through devices, mainly mobiles, has created a tension and expectation of what should be possible in a workplace. Cloud based software has impacted how organisations purchase and manage enterprise solutions. While the type of software being deployed enables collaborative approaches that are resulting in redesigned corporate functionality.
  2. Terminology – buzz words and jargon have appeared and disappeared almost as quickly, meanings have shifted and adapted. And we don’t expect that to slow down anytime soon. Who remembers Web 2.0 and what that meant? While social software morphed into social media and social business became a marketing approach. Then experience became everything – 2-letter acronyms went wild: UX, CX, DX, fill-in-the-gapX.
  3. Organisations – profound changes to the structure of business, management approaches, customer and employee engagement, systems to increase productivity, automated processes, flexible working patterns have frequently been the drivers for change. Yet sustainable transformations continue to be the holy grail of digital businesses. (There are more explanations for this than can be covered in this short post).
  4.  People – and finally, the essential constituent – people! Have people changed or has technology changed people? Either way, the key to appropriate technology decisions, to adoption, to collaboration and ongoing engagement is people. First, second and last – it’s all about people.

Which leads me to the phenomenal team – past and present – at Ripple Effect Group. This team share common goals and motivations  – they share the commitment to deeply understanding client needs and providing approaches and solutions to guide them towards the best outcomes. They create meaningful options, based on thorough research and experience, that avoids a one-size fits all mentality – always with the clients needs in the foreground. If you want to find out more about the team, why not read our weekly team curated blog post, Friday Faves, where the team share their personal interests and opinions on current advances and trends in technology related articles.

What will unfold over the next 10 years? Some things are certain – more rapid change, more amazing advancements in technology. And quite possibly a few robots. How will organisations adapt? Many won’t, some will – success is going to be a hard earned aspiration, but it’s achievable. I’m excited by the future and looking forward to writing my 2028 review.


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