Culture, commitment and leadership: there is no app for it

by bold-lichterman

The visit to the “startups” area in UNLEASH Conference & Expo is still an excellent barometer of HR innovation and of subjects that concern HRDs. Indeed these young shoots often address real subjects, ahead of phase of the major market publishers and the fact that they are specialized on one and only one subject allows them to hope to address it better than a generalist. and thus retain their customers when they have integrated what they offer into their own product.

The Startup zone of UNLEASH: an HR innovation barometer

During the last edition of UNLEASH in London, I saw the confirmation of a trend already identified in the last editions: apps intended to disseminate / strengthen company culture and commitment and develop leadership are on the rise in the stern. This is attractive and, I remind you, corresponds to a real concern of companies.

The promise, often kept, of these applications is clear. A simple, pleasant, efficient and “experiential” way of addressing human issues, quickly and on a large scale. Attractive.

Yes, but…

As Jason Averbook said in his closing keynote, too often we cast shame on publishers when the expected profit is not there. Oracle, SAP and others make software, but if you use old processes implemented in new solutions you won’t get any good. Even a disaster.

No tool owns your culture. You do.

If digital brings speed and scale, digitizing an old process that is no longer relevant only allows you to do anything faster and on a larger scale than before. No tool owns a process, you do.

Here we are not talking about process but the subject is the same. Essentially human problems are not solved by technology and the great evil of many organizations is to constantly postpone the day when they will really tackle sensitive, even angry, subjects. hoping that one day technology will solve the problem on its own. Which never happens. We may criticize him, the technological solutionism and the “click here to solve everything” myth is dead. We know his false promise, but the illusion of ease reassures and seduces.

Let us be clear: no app will disseminate or strengthen your culture or stimulate employee engagement any more than it will develop each other’s leadership. And besides, no publisher will make this promise to you even if you would be happy to believe you have heard it. An app facilitates, supports, adds speed and scale, creates a positive experiential context. Is. But you still have to have something to facilitate and support.

An app supports a program and does not solve anything by itself

An app is useless if it does not support a program, something which has a concrete existence outside the app, a device which has an online component and an online component.

I will even go further. Launching such a program and putting the app in the hands of employees can and should be an opportunity to question the values, culture and style of leadership in the company. In these hours when we realize that we have to “reboot” a lot of things in the company, it would be good to ask ourselves if it is relevant to put old values ​​in a new device or if it is time. to update everything. Let’s add the image of modernity conveyed by the app which would send a dissembling message if it were used to convey something that is no longer in the era of time.

Today we have simple, effective, engaging tools to drive change and engage employees. On condition that we remember that these are only tools and do not exempt people from doing their part of the work and if necessary questioning themselves.

The expert:

bertrand-duperrinBertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.