In Our Quest For Inclusion – Does Technology Help Us Or Hurt Us? – Digitalmunition




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Published on September 12th, 2020 📆 | 3887 Views ⚑

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In Our Quest For Inclusion – Does Technology Help Us Or Hurt Us?

This is Part 3 in a 6-part series.

During the Covid-19-inspired stay-at-home orders, many of us have relied on technology like never before – especially for grocery delivery. But, as many people discovered: fan-favorite Trader Joe’s won’t do delivery or curbside pickup, even in a pandemic.

Why? Because creating an online shopping system requires a massive investment in technology. As a company they made a different decision, according to the company’s podcast, as quoted here in Food & Wine: “We’ve invested those resources in our people rather than build an infrastructure that eliminates the need for people.”

Are they less inclusive because some people won’t be able to shop at their store for the foreseeable future? Or are they more inclusive because they’re being so intentional about investing resources in their people? It depends on how they’re defining inclusion and how they are identifying their own role in achieving it.

In our nation’s evolution toward inclusion, some of the questions we’ll constantly bump up against are: what is the role of technology, and how do we balance technology and humanity? Even more central: what do we mean by inclusion? 

Part 1 of this series showed that the Cultural Demographic Shift (CDS) is in full force, and how the workforce of the future (and of today) won’t stand for forced assimilation anymore. Part 2 explored what it looks like to follow up on the ambitious promises of inclusion that companies are making in the Black Lives Matter movement – to actually do the hard work to make inclusion real.

Here we explore some of the tools at our disposal today – and look at how we use both technology and humanity in our quest to empower people to influence the business in their own individual ways. Why? Because in the age of personalization, we need to stop promoting tribalism and start seeing each other as human.

First, here’s some insight into how far we’ve come (thanks to technology) in being able to know people at an individual level. Gustavo Canton was the Vice President of People Analytics at Schneider Electric when he spoke at last year’s Leadership in the Age of Personalization Summit. He shared what it means to use people analytics to understand not just segments of people but also individuals. Listen to what he says about how technology can help you predict whether individual employees are getting ready to leave your company.

How do you bridge this level of personalization with the idea of shared values? While human resources executives are looking for ways to help people wield their individual influence within their companies, marketers are often looking for ways to connect on an individual level – to as many individuals as possible.

Ronalee Zarate-Bayani is Chief Marketing Officer for the Los Angeles Rams. In this next video she talks about the challenge for the Rams as the team returned to Los Angeles – and how they sought to anchor their team and the team’s identity to the values that are shared across such a diverse city.

Then, in the same video, ADT Chief Marketing Officer Jochen Koedijk answers the question: What will influence the future more, technology or people?

You’re probably using technology to get to know people. And, it’s people who built the technology. So, which is more critical in shaping the future for our organizations?

The Trader Joe’s example helps us see that how we answer the question partly depends on how we’re defining inclusion for our organizations. Trader Joe’s made the decision to sacrifice some “inclusion” for its customers so it can give more to its own employees.

Once we determine our own role as individuals and as organizations – how we serve others, how we serve ourselves, our purpose, what we solve for – that’s when we’ll know how to define inclusion and make decisions that help us reach it.

Leaders across healthcare, corporate America and higher education will again gather this October for a virtual summit to discuss inclusion and the collapse of standardization in today’s personalized world – a collapse that has accelerated and been made even more severe by Covid-19 and social unrest.

Learn more at www.ageofpersonalization.com.

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