When you think about innovation, what comes to mind? What new technology really excites you?
I’m a tech guy, so I find it hard to choose. But one favorite is artificial intelligence. When I first started talking to clients about it, I wanted to make sure I was really immersed in it. Besides hitting the books, I sat down in front of my laptop and wrote machine learning programs to predict things like college basketball tournaments – applying AI to real world examples.
But my team also includes folks who are passionate about even the more mundane developments that people aren’t talking about, like DevOps for getting value to our clients more quickly, or open APIs, which seamlessly connect applications and take the burden of integration off our clients.
If you want to capture the value of those innovations in your company, you need to nurture that excitement among your own people. There are two equally important strategies to embrace.
The first relates to your existing team. Every employee has valuable talent, and it’s important to encourage each of them to take their learning personally. We’re all our own learning champion – we hear that from our FIS learning team all the time, and it’s really true.
Just like I gravitated towards AI, encourage your team to think about which emerging technologies interest them, because you’ll naturally want to take your time and really learn about something if you’re passionate about it. In the meantime, develop internal learning programs and encourage your people to pick their favorites – there are lots to choose from.
Of course, this pays off in multiple ways – you gain expertise in key technologies, but each employee is also driving their professional learning, helping them get to the next level of their careers.
It’s also important to look at the folks who are just starting out. Many new graduates have grown up with these new innovations and technologies. Bringing in their fresh perspective and “digital native” way of thinking adds a lot of value to the whole team. They’ll help drive innovations that you may not have thought about or ones that the people in your organization today may not be as attuned to.
There is so much happening out there – from AI, cloud and big data to digital, robotics, blockchain and even open APIs. And it’s all creating value for our clients, helping them operate and compete more effectively. But no matter how advanced technology gets, you won’t be able to capture that value for your business’s benefit without the brains and passion of your people. So get those laptops out and start learning today.