Technological innovation always feels like it’s happening quickly. And every time the IT industry takes a step forward, it helps every other industry make even bigger strides. Sometimes those strides necessitate even more innovation in the world of IT, amplifying the pace of innovation exponentially. So if it feels like your organization is dealing with bigger and bigger changes a lot more often than it used to, that’s because it is. This is most obvious in the field of generative AI, but the trend is much broader than that. The pace of technological advancement is rapidly increasing across the board in everything from enterprise logistics to consumer electronics to healthcare and financial services.
When the pace of change continues to increase exponentially, how do you make sure your staff is prepared and able to adapt? Nascient Client Services Executive, Gary Bell, and Client Services Manager, Cindy Kanavos, have some pertinent thoughts to share.
What is the psychological dynamic of technological advancements in the workplace?
GB: When people choose new pieces of consumer technology for themselves, they know that change is coming but it doesn’t usually bother them because they’re actively making a choice and feel a sense of control. But when new technology arrives in the workplace, people have mixed reactions. Where management sees an improvement in efficiency, employees often see a new learning curve that they have no choice but to climb. Most people instinctively dislike changes that they don’t actively choose. That’s an important thing to remember because process improvements are only as effective as the people who are implementing and using them.
“Process improvements are only as effective
as the people who are implementing
and using them.”
– Gary Bell
That’s why one of the most important values at Nascient–and this sometimes surprises people–is humility. We work hard to ensure that everyone stays mindful of how new technologies will affect everyone at all roles in all levels, and not just their own day-to-day experiences. That goes a long way because it helps everyone feel connected–it fosters a mentality of “Hey, we’re all in this together, so we can all grow together.”
How does Nascient foster that attitude of adaptability?
CK: Supporting continuous learning goes a long way. Our people are constantly growing because we offer for both full-time and contract workers financial assistance and time off for professional development courses and certifications. Team members pursuing degrees are eligible for cash bonuses upon graduation. And in addition to all that structured learning and development, we also encourage knowledge sharing through company events and “brown bag” training sessions. All those things add up to a culture that truly welcomes change.
When you look towards the future of IT, which skillsets do you prioritize?
CK: The very nature of innovation constantly introduces the need for skills that are completely new. Nascient currently supports more than 200 skillsets, and that number will continue to grow. But our ability to keep adding new skillsets is only possible because we place such a high value on the soft skills and diverse backgrounds that promote an esprit de corps and a willingness to learn and embrace change.
“We’ve found that people often have deeper skillsets
than what you see on their resumes.”
– Cindy Kanavos
We don’t have just one way of doing things, largely because we’ve found that people often have deeper skillsets than what you see on their resumes. And because our people have such diverse backgrounds, they’re also tapped into vast professional networks in all sorts of industries that continuously expand their thinking and inspire new ideas. It’s like this amazing cross-pollination of minds and skills. This approach takes more effort than the industry norm but we think of it as an investment that pays big dividends when we solve our clients’ problems in truly novel ways.
GB: I approach it from the standpoint of being a liaison between our clients and employees. So, to me, the future of IT is about much more than checking off boxes–it’s about being flexible and adaptable so that we’re not just providing tech, we’re thinking holistically and solving problems. Some clients really do need to stay on the absolute bleeding edge of technology, but that’s not always the case. If we just went through the rote exercise of updating for the sake of updating, then we would be failing our clients. True futureproofing is giving our clients the best advice possible for their unique situations, and we do that by surrounding ourselves with brilliant people and then giving them the flexibility and support they need to be creative and resourceful.
CK: It really comes down to being agile and adaptable. Everyone at Nascient is empowered to look for solutions and always be on the lookout for ways that we can improve. We don’t want people who just stay in their own lanes with blinders on, we look for people who will use everything they know to provide insights that deliver the greatest value to our clients.
“We don’t want people who just stay in their own lanes
with blinders on, we look for people who will use everything
they know to provide insights that deliver the greatest
value to our clients.”
– Cindy Kanavos
In conclusion, what is the most important factor in futureproofing Nascient?
GB: It really is a cultural thing. It’s everybody being invested in our mission and being not just willing to engage in continuous learning but being excited about it. And that stems from leadership setting the right tone for everyone in the company, so that we really live by it. You can teach skills, but you can’t teach culture; great culture is the result of having the right people with the right chemistry and setting them up for success. When you do that adaptability and an eagerness to grow are just natural byproducts.
“Great culture is the result of having the right people
with the right chemistry and setting them up for success.
When you do that adaptability and an eagerness
to grow are just natural byproducts.” – Gary Bell
CK: It takes a particular kind of personality to approach the work the way that we do. We obviously look for certain skillsets and certifications but that’s just the baseline. The big picture is about assembling a diverse team of highly adaptable people who love to be challenged.
The industry is always changing and throwing surprises at us, but we welcome that because the way we respond to those things is what makes us who we are. We love what we do, we take care of the people who are doing it, and we care about the people we’re doing it for.