Let’s call “technology innovation” the process of taking something – anything – and making it better, faster, more cost-effective, more reliable, more sustainable, or any combination of the above. Companies of all sizes and industries are investing heavily in technology innovation to keep their companies viable. But as many companies lose talent and fail to attract new innovators through “The Great Resignation, ” they quickly fall behind.
For most of these companies, the primary investment needed is talented humans. Technology innovation is a human-centered process. It takes specialized experts to create successful technology: researchers and designers, engineers and architects, data analysts, and quality testers. Innovation takes time and experience. It is a process driven by curiosity, methodologies, and exploration.
Success hinges on the people navigating the non-linear process of bringing technology to life. People are the essential investment. To innovate, you need curious and creative people who have built deep experience in their specialized skills; you need people who are lifelong learners and apply insights from other domains to solve new problems. People who immerse themselves in understanding until they find a meaningful solution.
The problem? There aren’t many people in the world with an overlap of these skills and talents. And since every company is making investments in these people right now, that pool of people runs out, leaving many companies empty-handed, unable to thrive, with their future at risk.
Unfortunately, companies failing to tap into their talent’s potential right now may not know what hit them until it is too late. There are a lot of companies that are about to join the ranks of Blockbuster Video, Kodak Cameras, and Blackberry because they can’t innovate fast enough, smart enough, or at all.
The solution? Invest in your people. Invest in your culture. Invest in inclusiveness and diversity. Invest in learning programs. And, if you can’t do this quickly and well, find a technology partner that can.
We work with companies of all sizes and have vast expertise in creating human-centered products while building from a cultural foundation of integrity and authenticity. I’m proud to say that even during the last six months, we not only retained but increased our team size by 53%, just in time to celebrate our 9th anniversary. I attribute this success to Stable Kernel’s dedication to innovation with our clients and employees. We long ago realized that the full engagement of our highly skilled colleagues is critical to the success of both our business and our clients.
We recognize that:
- People will only stay for the right reasons: Innovative, effective people are continuously energized by learning and tackling new challenges, building things that solve real problems, working in supportive environments, and getting paid well. If all of these things aren’t happening, then no amount of any one of them will make up for the lack of the others. We hear this consistently through our regular OfficeVibe employee engagement surveys, our 1:1s, and from the professionals who sign on with Stable Kernel after leaving other employers.
- People need more than just a paycheck: The type of people that like solving problems hate not solving problems. That’s a strange sentence, but they are hard-wired to be strategic, learn, and achieve. We use a Gallup Tool called Clifton Strengths to understand the strengths each of our colleagues brings to the table and ensure they are working in an environment that allows them to thrive. For a Stable Kernel employee, this looks like using the generous annual learning allowance, earning professional certifications, solving problems alongside a team of profoundly competent and curious colleagues, receiving 1:1 professional growth guidance and support from skilled managers, and more.
- People are not fungible: Information sharing is critical to innovation success, and the continuity of people on a team is critical to information sharing. Innovating in silos or swapping out people involved in the innovation process creates strategic gaps, causes redundant work, and delays innovation. Invest in your people.
If your company or technology partner is losing colleagues during “The Great Resignation,” it’s time to change course and lean into a partner thriving in “The Great Retention.” We would love to talk with you.
Written by: Joe Conway, Stable Kernel Founder and CEO
Stable Kernel is an innovative business solutions team dedicated to a human-centered approach: with our process, products, and people. We believe in creating the future through innovation by partnering with clients who want the best for their customers and the greater global community. Let’s build the future together.