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Strategies for embracing technology implementation driven by people

Systems for equipping teams to overcome barriers to adoption will be essential in protein agriculture.

August 12, 2020

4 Min Read
Handheld thermal imaging device being used on a pig farm
iStock/Getty Images Plus/Suljo

Technology is so common that it almost goes unnoticed how deeply we depend on it. In today's society, it is merely a way of life, which has evolved drastically over the last 200 years. Who would have thought that you could access your daily to-do list from your phone, talk to your relatives and friends who live across the country, or know your heart rate at any given time? 

Systems for equipping teams to overcome the barriers to adoption will be essential in protein agriculture. These barriers can stem from different personalities, differences in generations, and even company leaders. Below we have outlined three strategies to begin to embrace technology in your business. 

Creating a vision 
Change is necessary, and while it is not always easy, it helps give companies a competitive edge. Not every generation is pro-technology. Older generations, such as the boomers, can be particular about their interest in various forms of technology. They are naturally more cautious in adopting new technologies, particularly those that have a significant impact on traditional approaches.  

Gen X's most likely have a strong interest in technology that will enhance their daily life and tend to be more accepting than the boomers. They may not be strongly proficient unless they have been trained or sought out further education. They will be open to learning new tasks when required but may not be the quickest at learning. 

The millennial generation has respect for technology, and they rely on that to make their daily decisions. One of the most adaptable generations they will support and promote technology advances within the workplace. 

Then there are the Gen Z's, this generation has an enormous appetite for technology, and they truly do not know a life without it. A workplace will not be as intriguing to them if technology is not present or growing. As a leader, you must cast the vision for what technology can do for your team and company.

Embrace solutions that equip labor and optimize performance 
In a commodity industry, margins are often tight. When companies are put on a tight budget, it shifts the priorities. If technology advancement or implementation is not a priority, it will quickly get pushed to the side and forgotten. 

Many companies are paralyzed by the thought of a technology change or implementation because they focus on the "system," rather than how people will be using the system and new processes in their jobs. What benefits can new technology bring to your company? It could give you a competitive edge when recruiting for positions. Could it maximize the ability to equip people to do their job more effectively? These are all factors that seem to be overlooked in an economic context. Anything that will maximize your company's efficiency and equip your employees with the tools that they need to thrive is worth additional consideration.

Embrace technology as a disruption
Truthfully, it is disruptive in a positive way. This is viewed as a disruptive technology, which is the innovation that alters the way consumers, industries or businesses operate. Disruption brings change within a company, and that change can be to increase performance and maximize efficiencies and profits. 

It is hard to motivate people to leave their current state of comfort to do something much different. They tend to prefer doing things as they have been done in the past, simply because it is comfortable, it feels safe, and it's faster (or so it seems). When new technology implementation is dictated to team members, it is not effective in motivating them to give the new technology a chance. Instead, leaders should begin to communicate the proper message, using the right delivery vehicles, and always including a feedback loop to gather reactions from the team. These methods of communication should never oversell the benefits of the new technology to be implemented. Still, they should not undersell the challenges that users will face. 

Companies set themselves up for success when they can become flexible and implement change. George Bernard Shaw said, "Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." Disruptors like technology are considerable changes to the workplace that are setting a precedence of a new normal. Leaders need to endorse the technologies that they wish to implement within their companies. This means that they need to consistently demonstrate their commitment to the new system by what they say, what they do and how they emphasize adoption with their direct reports. Companies that proactively adopt new technology are equipping their teams to win while ensuring their compelling future.

Summit SmartFarms is devoted to creating irresistible places to work in agriculture by simplifying the complex for labor and technology. If you would like to learn more about how Summit SmartFarms can help your organization, email Kasey Sheldon or Valerie Duttlinger.

Sources: Valerie Duttlinger and Kasey Sheldon, who are solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly own the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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