The below poster is from Warwick District Council's Digital Transformation Team who have been using it to start conversations at the council about digital and technology with people who perhaps wouldn't usually feel comfortable with those topics. Tass Smith at Warwick DC says:
"When I used this poster to get people talking, lots of staff still seemed a bit scared and came out with comments like “Er….I don’t do technology!”. I tried to find other, softer ways to get people to understand that they really have nothing to fear from technology. I now ask whether they drive a car, use a washing machine, have a smartphone or own a bank card. As they answer, you can almost begin to hear the cogs grinding.
Technology is only scary when you think you have to understand it. You don’t! What’s needed is people to use it.
You can illustrate this very easily:
- Ask someone to pick up a pen and paper. Ask them what they can see (at this point they look at you strangely) and they say um… a pen and a piece of paper?
- Now ask them to pick up these tools and write something (what they ask?). Just use your imagination!
- So, they start writing something and then they look back at you (slightly embarrassed).
- You ask them again – what can they see? This time they’ll read back what they’ve written (while still thinking you’re a bit crazy – but then I’m used to that!)
So, what have you just proven?
a. The pen and paper are incredibly amazing bits of technology
b. On their own, they’re just objects
c. We’re the ones who write the story
Digital Transformation needs staff/managers who can tell us their stories. We’ll then find the best technologies / tools for the job.
I tried the pen and paper exercise out on a very senior manager after she told me that the word ‘technology’ conjured up the feeling of helplessness when she’s in an Excel spreadsheet, can’t get her formulas to work and has a hard deadline to meet. No wonder we don’t get the cultural shift needed for Digital Transformation! After the exercise she ‘got it’."
My Digital Transfomation Poster PDF