Rory Brown, Chairman of Goods & Services Partners, Shares How to Develop a Culture That Embraces Technology and Change

Rory Brown, Chairman of Goods & Services Partners, Shares How to Develop a Culture That Embraces Technology and Change

Rory Brown of Charleston, SC is a Managing Partner of NB & Co. and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ad Genius, Goods & Services, and Nearshore Technology Company. He works with management teams and experienced leaders on sales and marketing, technology, and strategic initiatives.

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Technology is developing at a rapid pace. However, employees, particularly in industries not generally associated with high tech, can be reticent to embrace change.

Often people operate under a "good enough" mentality. Unless they are suffering, status quo is the path of least resistance. They reason that if the technology and processes they've been utilizing work, why change?

But this sort of thinking is extremely limiting for the organization as a whole, as it prevents it from successfully keeping up with competitors that have created a culture that embraces technology and change. These forward-thinking companies, those that recognize technology's ability to empower employees, will almost always pass their technophobic, change-phobic peers. So in today's hypercompetitive business environment "good enough" is never good enough. But how can an organization change its culture, and go from ignoring technological innovations to embracing them?

Lead by Example

Culture can be built top down, starting with management, or bottom-up from grassroots efforts by employees. The latter is much harder to guide. So start where you can. Show your employees that management accepts new technologies and embraces change. This takes commitment on the part of your management team. They must operate as a unified front. If the employees see their managers frustrated by new business processes, they will emulate this reaction. Be certain every manager throughout your organization embraces continuous improvement.

Listen to and Empower Your Team

It's important to recognize that some employees do embrace change while others don't. It's a mistake to react negatively to the technophobic. This tends to make people entrench into their positions and resent change, which makes change far more difficult. Instead, listen openly to their concerns. Make certain they feel heard. An employee that feels included is far more likely to accept the new direction the organization is taking.

Empower those employees that do readily embrace change. Give them a voice in the organization. Publicly recognize and praise them. This creates a powerful incentive for others to emulate them. Encourage these employees to speak with their less accepting colleagues. Cultural change is driven by critical mass. Once a certain percentage of your employees embrace specific technological interventions the rest will quickly follow suit through natural peer pressure.

Make sure all of your employees recognize they are not only accountable to management, but each other as well. Employees that acknowledge their responsibilities to each other are far more likely to accept correction from their peers, and peer correction is a basic feature of the more difficult to achieve, but more lasting process of bottom-up, grassroots culture change.



Communicate the Benefits

Not all employees will "get it" quickly. Others, particularly those resistant to change, will have a much harder time learning new processes and tools. Instead of getting frustrated, keep patiently working with your team until they have a full understanding, not only of how the technology works but also how it benefits them and helps them do their jobs better. Make sure they understand how these technological interventions make the entire company more efficient, which means everyone can be more successful.

When you and your employees recognize that training isn't a "once and done" event but a process everyone will be better off. Since technology is constantly changing, it's essential for employees to receive periodic training to keep them feeling comfortable with the direction of the company and make them feel the company cares about the work that they do.

Positive Culture Creates Positive Change

If you keep your employees engaged, make certain they understand how their positions benefit the company and their coworkers, and empower them to intervene with each other when negativity creeps in you'll be well on your way to creating a workforce that readily accepts change and champions it throughout the organization.

About Rory Brown (Charleston, SC): Mr. Brown is a Certified Public Accountant and received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Charleston, SC.

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To The High School Senior, It's Not All About College Applications

Finish strong, be mindful of your needs, and live in peace.

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I wish I could have said this all last year, that you will never have it as easy as you do right now. It's the end of the road for childhood and you're wondering what else do I do with my life now that I'm going to college? It's a mix of emotions and feelings that are hard to process. My goal is telling you this is the year to do everything fun and live like you haven't before. This doesn't mean skip school on the daily and get bad grades(it matters until the end because of college).

But above all else, don't let college applications define your year. People think applying to college is the story of what happens senior year(which is mostly true but I promise that is not the only thing that matters). There is so much more to life than college applications and laughing how everyone becomes depressed their last year from being around the same people. If I could tell myself last year, it would be this:

First, it would be to not argue with people at all. This last year is simply too scared to fight and argue with people over nothing. Do your best to be kind to everyone and not cause problems for other people. Everyone deserves to have a nice senior year.

Second, enjoy being able to live in your own room and not share with anyone else. Once you get to college there's going to be a lot of unnecessary noise that you sort of get used to living with.

Next, do not take an abundance of college classes. They're only going to help you but so much and you're not going to want to do the work anyway. Don't be one of those people who does this and doesn't feel the need to have a social life. It's no joke, recognize you're human and be mindful of your needs.

In addition, there is no such thing as a perfect school. Every school has its flaws and most of the time when people say yes, they're saying yes to the marketing campaign the school has. There is a large difference between the marketing campaign for the school and actually living there. It's always good to go to your top school and tour a second time so you know what definitely fits you.

Most importantly, do not be too consumed in your cell phone and pretend that you don't care about anything. That's like a lame childish response pretending you don't have feelings. And for those that still think this is the way to go, I can't wait until you take a sociology class and learn about how humans are dependent on one another.

Appreciate everything mom and dad have done for you. Do not fuss about what is put on the dinner table, and instead be grateful that they took their time to prepare a meal for YOU. Nothing compares to mom's home-cooked meals. Because that dining hall food can really mess you up.

You will be working the 9-5 all day every day. There will be more work, you will be stressed out about reading around 300 pages of material per week, and have the stress of having two tests as the only semester grades.

Lastly, you will actually have to adult for the first time ever in college and find what keeps you motivated. It's not a hand holding game with constant support. You have the opportunity to do a lot by yourself but also with others.

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Basia Najarro Skudrzyk, International Business Professional Shares How to Increase Motivation

Your desire to get what you want isn't as powerful as the compulsion to linger in your comfort zone. If the description fits, you need more motivation.

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Do you struggle to get things done? Part of you wants tasks completed, yet, another holds you back. Perhaps you have dreams, but don't reach for them. Your desire to get what you want isn't as powerful as the compulsion to linger in your comfort zone. If the description fits, you need more motivation.

Below, Basia Najarro Skudrzyk shares how to increase your motivation. Ms. Najarro Skudrzyk has distinguished herself with her listening skills and attention to client needs.

Program your mind for success

You can think of your mind as a computer since you can program thought patterns and get rid of unwanted encoding. Perhaps, when you work toward goals, your mindset holds you back. Does fear defeat you? Then again, changing may not seem worthwhile. To be successful, you must reprogram your mind to forecast victory and enjoy variation.

Rather than anticipate failure, picture yourself succeeding. Create a movie in your head. Make it clear, bright, and colorful. See steady progress to your desired outcome. If pictures of failure appear, use your imagination to make them drab and dull, and shrink them.

Program your mind to like change using affirmations as well. Regularly repeat the phrases "I am curious about the future," and "I look forward to unexpected events," to forge dominant pathways along which helpful thoughts continue to travel.

Take small steps often

"Thinking about objectives will only get you so far. To succeed, take small steps toward achievement," stated Basia Skudrzyk Najarro. Make sure you progress regularly, and your motivation will intensify. Each little triumph will propel you on to greater enterprises and help you move forward.

Chart your advancement in visual ways so you can see you're making headway. Also, discuss your successes with friends, colleagues, and your family. Be passionate and use positive language. The way you speak will shape the new thinking patterns appearing in your brain.

Stick with your supporters

Have you noticed people react in various ways when you mention your aspirations? Some support you. Others say little or discourage you. Naysayers will decrease your motivation. Your supporters, though, will provide encouragement.

Spend time with generous, positive people who want the best for you. Make them your confidants rather than unhelpful people. If your tribe is small, widen your social circle. Network and join groups with comparable goals which assist one another.

Your motivation might be small, but don't worry. It can improve. Program your mind to meet success using visualization and affirmations. Take small, regular steps too and surround yourself with allies to increase your enthusiasm.

About Basia Najarro Skudrzyk:

Basia Najarro Skudrzyk has been working as a synergy-oriented business professional for over 15 years. With experience in the education, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality industries, she understands how building professional networks can transform the potential of any organization. Ms. Najarro Skudrzyk also manages effective communication on a local and international level, picking and managing creative teams through expansive projects.

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