Driving technology adoption

Written by Danielle Owen Whitford

With 82% of companies having either already rolled out AI or experimenting with AI and 59% of those companies reporting that AI has accelerated investments in technology * , it has never been more important to make sure your technology rollout is successful.

All the plans and frameworks and best intent are not enough. This is because we often forget that technology is about people. People build the technology and they use the technology! Usage will be the key success criteria in your rollout. No usage, no value and no benefits. 

To make this easier for you, we've gathered the ways high-performing organisations engage their people to embrace new technology and achieve the benefits projected in the business case.

1. The WIIFM factor

Answer the question “what’s in it for me?” for each team member and discuss with them 1:1.

Use phrases like Some of the benefits for your role are… or I see this change being very useful for you because…

Every team member should be invested and understand how the change will make their day to day working practices better.

2. Use Empathy

It takes time for people to accept and adapt to change. In a 1:1 situation, ask open ended questions to encourage sharing:

How are you feeling about the change? Or What’s on your mind about the new ways of working?

Say Thank you for sharing with me and refrain from using dismissive phrases like “I understand” or “It will be OK”.

3. Check Understanding

Everyone copes with change differently. Create psychosocial safety by asking for feedback and ensuring you understand other perspectives.

Ask How comfortable are you with using this new tech? or What’s working well for your team today?

Seeking feedback is a way of modeling vulnerability. It also helps you understand ways you can improve your process or communication.

4. Frame adoption issues as a learning problem

Framing a failure to adopt new technology as an execution problem means it falls on the person who didn’t manage and becomes a personal failure.

Ask Do you need any training to make this work? or Are you interested in getting more training & resources?

Framing low use of new technology as a learning problem acknowledges that sometimes solving problems requires new competencies that can be learned.

5. Be a good leader

Your team needs your guidance to embrace new systems confidently.

In team meetings or 1:1s, ask Why do you think we've implemented this new system? Or How could this technology help you in your role? 

People naturally resist change. Encouraging personal reflection drives engagement and an understanding of how the change will improve work practices for all.

6. Create tech ambassadors

Identify the people your team already trusts for guidance. Empowering existing influencers fosters a collaborative environment and accelerates tech adoption. 

Ask yourself How can I empower these team members to help their colleagues?  What tools or resources do they need?

People are more comfortable asking a trusted colleague for help, and not their manager, because they fear being seen as inadequate. 

7. Lead by example

Actively use and promote the new system yourself. Choose words carefully.

In team meetings, say I’m finding the new system enables me to … or I love how I can now…

Tone is set at the top. A leader who uses positive language and champions new technology fosters a culture of continuous learning and adaptation. 

8. Change work practices

Identify changes needed to seamlessly integrate the system into current work practices by brainstorming with your team.

In team meetings, ask What work practices need updating for us to use this new technology?  

Encouraging your team to think through how the system can be embedded in workflows demonstrates its value and relevance.


Don't expect your company's employees will love and embrace the new tech as much as you do. Take the time to ensure people understand the why, how and what and you'll be on your way to a tech success story.

Exclusive access to a transformation expert

To support your journey towards operational excellence, for a limited time, we're offering a free Pulse Check with Pioneera Founder & CEO Danielle Owen Whitford. With 20+ years of transformation experience, Danielle can discuss your current change initiative with you and identify potential areas for improvement. 

Accelerate your tech adoption and book a time with Danielle today to get this exclusive access.


* Adoption of AI, IBM, Jan 2024

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