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A Measured Approach Rarely Works in Times of Great Change

By Hank Barnes | August 31, 2021 | 0 Comments


One of my favorite things to do is to look at the results of our various studies by Enterprise Technology Adoption (ETAs) profiles.    Since we know that ETAs tell us a lot about how, why, and when organizations buy, the insights as you explore different areas of decisions and different people within organizations is often revealing.

This weekend, I did just that.   First, I went back to the study we conducted earlier in the year, where we focused on the volume of buying activity.  In that study, we asked some questions about the impact of the pandemic on decisions and decision approaches. By a fairly large margin, our two profiles that are measured in pace of change, and a third that behaves very similarly were the most likely to say they maintained their business and technology strategy through the pandemic (remember the attributes relate to planning in regard to having a strategic technology plan that guides decisions, control, and pace of change):

  • ACR (Accommodating, Collaborative, Responsive) – 67%
  • FCM (Flexible, Collaborative, Measured) – 65%
  • ABM (Accommodating, Business-Led, Measured) – 63%

All there of these groups were also the least likely to say that the pandemic has sustainably changed their approach and behaviors with regards to technology.

Source: Pixabay on

When we saw this earlier this year, it was somewhat interesting, but when we combine it with some the results from the user study I mentioned last week, it becomes very revealing.  I’ll soon be publishing research on this specific area, but here is the high level view.  We asked users (could not be at a managerial level or higher) about whether they had the tools they needed to collaborate virtually and work effectively when remote.   Guess who has the lowest percentages?

Work remotely:

  • ACR 31%
  • FCM 36%
  • ABM 37%

Collaborate Virtually:

  • ACR 25%
  • ABM 29%
  • FCM 33%

Users in these orgs in these profile groups were also the least likely to feel that their company culture supported the idea of collaborating with technology.   We’ll have other studies later this year that should reveal how organizations performed relative to their peers in  the past year.  I’ve got a strong hypothesis that these three profile groups will have the lowest percentage of companies that are outperforming their peers.

The moral of my story are that there are times when taking a measured, methodical approach is valuable, even critical.  But in times of great change, you have to accept more risk and adapt quickly.   It is highly likely that dynamic organizations are extending their lead, giving them some space where even if they lose focus for a bit (like the hare and the tortoise), their competition is unlikely to catch up.    For example, where do you think people would rather work?  An org that gives them the tools and the cultural support for remote work and collaboration or a company that lags in those areas.

It’s time to move away from measured, by bringing some decision making discipline combined with learning decision making best practices, so that you can move faster without increasing risk significantly.   The path forward is clear for those willing to take it.

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