As organisations are faced with challenges within the current economic environment, operations managers need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices to meet the needs of their workspace.
The event will provide insights into the challenges faced by organisations in this area, future trends, and how technology can be used to deliver greater operational efficiency.
Kezia Lynch: [00:00:00] Hello, if you are new here, welcome and if you've joined us over the last few weeks, welcome back. This is webinar three of four in Parkable’s series about Driving Operational Excellence in the Workplace. I'm the host Kezia Lynch. Last week, we heard from internationally renowned author and workplace lecturer Gary Bolles, about how to lead an organization through working in a post pandemic era.
The recording has been published on the Parkable website this week. Parkable's bringing together three workplace leaders for a fireside chat about Workplace Technology. While I introduced the panelists, we'd love for you guys to tell us a little bit more about yourself. We're running a poll in the kind of function down the bottom where you can tell us what business function you represent, people and culture, property and facilities, administration, technology, or something else.
If it's something else and we've missed your business function, tell us in the chat as well. First I'll kick off with introducing Mara Fisher. Hello, Mara.
Mara Fisher: Hi Kez. How's it going?
Kezia Lynch: Good, thank you. Mara is the Chief of Staff at Tradify [00:01:00] and former Chief Operating Officer at Parkable, as well as Tax Management New Zealand.
Across these various roles, she's accumulated a wealth of experience leading businesses through transformations and rolling out process improvements in growth organizations. It's great to have Mara with us today. On to our next guest. We've got Byron Tudor. Byron is a Real Estate Consultant with 25 years of international experience.
He's currently at Deloitte where he supports large portfolio occupiers manage and optimize their workplaces. Looking forward to drawing upon your wealth of experience Byron.
Byron Tudor: Great to be here. Thank you.
Kezia Lynch: Finally, last but not least, and I'm not just saying that because he's my boss. We have Toby Littin.
Toby is an entrepreneur, investor, and business leader. Having founded and exited a number of technology and energy businesses, his drive to disrupting markets of ground-breaking technology led him to co-found Parkable back in 2015. His background in venture capital technology, commercialization, and senior management makes him an expert at leading Parkable as CEO today.[00:02:00]
Toby Littin: Hey Kez, thank you for having us.
Kezia Lynch: This webinar is presented by Parkable, funnily enough, the leader in parking management software. The app makes it easy for employees to book access and pay for parking at work, while also automating the manual tasks that are usually handled by a facilities or office manager. Companies like Meta, Workday, KPMG have chosen to implement Parkable to remove their commuting barriers.
It's critical to raising office occupancy levels, which is really hard at the moment in this hybrid workforce. If you don't already know, research found that the morning commute is actually the worst part of an employee's day. So removing those barriers is super important and Parkable can help you do that.
Today's conversation topic is centered around using tech to enhance workplace efficiency and productivity. At the end of the hour, I'm hoping you'll walk away with valuable insights and practical advice for implementing technology in your workplace to improve the place and people experience. Let's get stuck into some conversations.
Kezia Lynch: First of all, I'm gonna throw to you, Toby, to set the scene. Can you tell us why using technology is so important, particularly right now in this world?
Toby Littin: Yeah, totally. So, you know, it's an interesting environment we're in at the moment. You know, we're coming out of the pandemic. There's a lot of chatter about our economic kind of macro-economic environment.
And that leads to uncertainty, right? It's uncertainty for business leadership. It's uncertainty for employees in the business. It's uncertainty for tenants in a building, and that's leading to this big amount of change. We've got changing work patterns. You know, how many days a week are people in the office?
What a business leader setting. You know, yesterday we saw Meta, the last the most recent announcement being three days a week mandated in the office from September. So we're still seeing change in work patterns. We're seeing as a result change in office footprints, you know, downsizing of leases for, for large occupiers.
We're seeing a lot of owners scratching their heads now in this space and trying to figure out office footprint. And with that, with that economic uncertainty, what we're seeing is this drive a real need for [00:04:00] technology in the workplace because technology can do lots of things, right? One is when you've got tech implemented, you can be a way more flexible in dynamic organization.
Two is when there's uncertainty. Employees have now developed a different expectation from their workplaces and from their employers. They expect tech to plan their day, plan their week, you know, obviously Parkable close to our heart. That little bit of technology helps solve some of that uncertainty.
So right now, all of this change, all of this uncertainty is, is kind of the time is ripe for technology driving ROI and experience.
Kezia Lynch: We we've just had some responses to our poll and we've got majority of people and culture leaders here with us. I'm sure they'll be particularly interested in picking up on that, people side of technology as well for the efficiency and the productivity as we progress through the rest of the questions.
Thanks for that. Yeah.
Byron Tudor: Can I just add on to what Toby was saying? I think there's also be a commercial opportunities and threats as well. New competition to existing organizations that may not have been traditionally your [00:05:00] competition and say, expand or I unlock opportunities with a known environment as well.
So I think that's another aspect to why it's important.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah. Nobody wants to be left behind and taken over. Exactly. Sticking with you, Byron, I'd love you to tell us about some key indicators that organization leaders can look for, to tell that their organization is in a position that's ready for some technology to be introduced.
Byron Tudor: Yeah, I think areas where there's a lot of pain points there's challenges around sort of performance levels and frustrations. I know from experience when I joined an organization a few years back, I joined a team. They operating a work in progress through Excel. It was driving, invoicing is very manual static.
It wasn't really adding anything to the team account teams. So we recognized that and actually changed that around to provide a reporting dashboard that was driven from a work in progress, live tool which changed the behavior of the [00:06:00] the team. And allow them to interact with their clients in a more active way.
Reducing their time spent on reducing ad hoc reports in terms of work in progress. So definitely areas where there's sort of pain points, I think. And performance frustration I'd say is an error. I think also poor employment satisfaction and engagement I think is an absolute area that is a sure sign that there's areas of improvement that can be adopted.
Customer satisfaction. Changing customer requirements and demands clearly is an important aspect. Cost pressures and then as I mentioned in emerging trends in terms of markets but also opportunities I think as sure signs if, you sort of we've developed like in previous a portfolio dashboard.
Other competitors in market already had it in place will fall behind. It was recognized. So we built a dashboard integrating several data sets into one reporting tool, [00:07:00] which clients could interact with live. So that became a go-to-market strategy will behind the times, but by doing that, we'll hopefully at par or exceeding the competition in terms of what they're providing.
So I think they're sort of key indicators for me.
Kezia Lynch: Hmm. I'm really hearing, like listening out for feedback. So listening to your staff feedback and maybe complaints saying like, oh, this is really inefficient. Or listening to your customer's feedback and you know, their desires for something next in your product. Do your service operate?
Byron Tudor: Yeah, absolutely.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah. I'm keen to hear from each of you guys about what sorts of technology you're seeing being implemented at the moment. You know, there's so many different things coming out all the time, particularly AI tools at the moment. And if there's any particularly innovative or exciting solutions that you've kind of discovered as of late let's throw to you first Toby.
Toby Littin: I was trying to go this whole webinar avoiding AI or Chat GTP so, I'm not gonna talk about that. Yeah. But you're right, they're [00:08:00] everywhere. But in our world you know, workplace experience type tools and digital tools and things like that, what we're seeing is this continued evolution of employee experience apps and that single kind of pane of glass for an employee to be able to come and go from the workplace to be able to, you know, from the basic level of, you know, a while back you couldn't imagine a world without a workplace that didn't have a meeting room booking tool or video conferencing tool.
Now we're seeing a whole lot more amenities getting piled into these workplace experience apps and tenanted resident and you know, employee experience apps. We're seeing that a lot. But we're also seeing buildings modernize a lot. So again, this goes to the reset expectations of employees in the current world.
They have a much higher expectation of what they can do digitally, where they can work from, how they can access buildings. So some call outs for us are around the actual building technology envelope and what we're seeing and how that's driving real estate choices for workplace experience managers.
How important that a grade real estate is. So yeah, got some cool products there. There's one that I'll you know, keen to [00:09:00] reference called Openpath which is a gesture locking system. So you can wave your hand in front of the door and the door open for you. Recognizing that you're at the door. It's pretty cool.
Kezia Lynch: Fancy. What have you seen lately, Mara?
Mara Fisher: Yeah. So similar to a lot of trend in terms of people and management there, and in particular I've seen in the last few years. I've been fortunate enough in the last decade to be in growth organizations. And one of the biggest sucks on management time is just recruiting staff and getting people in and finding the right fit.
So tools to enable that. And we've got you know, obviously things like Office Five, but a cool tool that I've been in looking at recently, or used recently is Xref.com to help the recruitment process and to onboard staff to do induction after they start to do all the reference checking during the recruitment during the recruitment cycle.
And so, you know, Xref.com is one that I very highly frequented recently.
Kezia Lynch: Interesting. There's a couple different kind of pathways we're following here. I'm interested to hear what you've got up for your sleeve, [00:10:00] Byron.
Byron Tudor: Yeah. Well, a couple of things. In terms of HR space, I think, I haven't used it. I haven't seen it, but I've sort of read about it is a organize a credit from Mercer, which is an AI talent tool Unilever’s used. It identifies all the talent within your pool of talent across within the organization. Identifies what skills and works out if you how to redeploy that talent to specific jobs and roles so you can divert skills within the organization.
Thus, avoiding taking on additional resources bec and also allows the employees to develop within an organization so they don't feel like blocked by a sort of inability to move forward or, or learn new skills within an organization. So I thought that was quite a good example of using AI.
To develop to provide a sort of holistic view of your talent pool, and then redeploy those skills where necessary. Another example, [00:11:00] I was actually from UK. A lot of my history Korea has been in the UK birds. I was leaning there was a Blockchain org, an organization creating a Blockchain to manage residential sales and purchases.
Anyone who's done residential in the UK knows it's very complex and convoluted. But through Blockchain, they've pulling all the vested parties together and managing that process within the Blockchain, including the financing and the legal perspective as so I, it kind of takes. Removes a lot of pain points for people when they're acquiring properties. So I thought that was quite a cool tool or develop a technology that would I think will change the way that market will operate.
Kezia Lynch: Cool. Yeah, I feel like with Blockchain and maybe where were getting to with AI is, Blockchain was really massive a couple years ago, you know, every second word and in the technology or media space of Blockchain, that then it kind of dipped off and now it's come back with more practical applications and maybe that's what we're seeing happen [00:12:00] with the AI kind of tool world.
Byron Tudor: It's just allowed it to take the next step.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, exactly. But more developed. Mara, keen to hear from you and your roles. You've been responsible for implementing lots of different technologies to improve efficiency and productivity and a bunch of different workplaces. What sort the sorts of challenges you've encountered as you've been along those journeys?
Mara Fisher: Thanks Kez. Yeah. With technology, there's always a lot of challenges for implementation, but the key one is really, you know, buy-in and people using it and really to get a successful system in its management time and effort, which seems to be the biggest blocker there. Management of the most time constraint people in organization often.
They're spread across a whole range of activities and there's often a tendency with systems to delegate them to the project team and let me know how it goes. And really management has to be in there driving the business and driving the change and really championing the system and, you know, just a couple of other things.
Get your processes clear up front. It's really important not to try and change [00:13:00] your processes as much as possible when you're implementing a new system. Often people do it to get more efficient, but there's a lot of people change along that and there's a lot of risk on that. Don't over-engineer it.
Just do the VMVP and plan for your phase two advice.
Kezia Lynch: Totally. We definitely see that a little bit at Parkable as well, where organizations bring in Parkable and they bring in other parking changes. At the same time, it's just a bit overwhelming for everyone to understand what's going on and what they need to actually do.
And it's like, it's not that the Parkable change, it's not the other change, it's the fact that they've done a whole bunch of things together at the same time. Personally speaking on what you said at the start there's actually some research by McKenzie. They found that 70% of organizations their change management efforts fail, which results in a huge loss of investment time and also trust from those employees who are involved in that change.
I'm sure we can all think of a failed project that we've been involved in or bad witness to. So we're running a little poll in the chat below, kind of like the first one, [00:14:00] but you can tell us why you think that implementation failed. Was it a lack of executive support, like what Mara suggested? Or was it something like poor change management, a solution requirement, mismatch, insufficient resources to support the project or whole bunch of other things?
So let us know in that chat below as well. And speaking on that, I was just talking before about how Parkable ensures their rollouts are successful. But Toby, I'm sure you can tell us a bit more about how Parkable managed to get a hundred NPS for onboarding and maintain that the entire time, which is a pretty impressive feat.
Toby Littin: Yeah, it's a thing, right? And I think that it's a very deliberate thing that we overinvest like that in onboarding and change management because we have learned that for a successful deployment of technology, you've got to overinvest, you've got to really double down on it. And I think there's some, there's actually a cool blog on our website about managing change and, how it's all done.
That's a quick plug, but there's some key components that we've found are really critical to a successful [00:15:00] deployment. And some of them are really basic and often overlooked. Like, step one understand the before condition. You know, I was just watching the poll and it looks like there was a lot of solution mismatch was one of the common reasons as I just clicked it away, so I can't see it now.
But solution mismatch. And this to me, should be showing up in understanding the before condition. So do some surveying, understand the stakeholders in your organization, get a survey out to say “Hey, what is the before condition? What are you experiencing now?” And that can become a very early signal as to what are the changes I might need to make with this implementation as I go.
In order to make sure it fits the needs of the orca, it fits the needs of the people that are going to be using it. So often overlooked, but it's pretty basic stuff from there we find. There is a playbook that can be followed, get a right team around it, you know, have the right team of humans supporting the change from around the organization once you've made a decision to implement.
And then really it falls into comms, comms, comms, design the comms plan, deliver the comms plan effectively. Make sure there's some advocates in the business, a champion in the business who's going to repeat that [00:16:00] message when the vendor or the project team isn't on hand to, you know, every day to repeat the message.
And, you know, pretty basic stuff. But if you do follow the playbook, it's very easy to get a successful change program implemented across wide and varied stakeholders. That's what we find time and time again. If you follow the process, it works.
Kezia Lynch: Hmm. I think also a note on measuring the kind of before condition as well is that it now enables you to measure the change.
Yeah. You can look at your eyes and go, this is what it was before and this is what it is now. When you ask the questions later and that shows the impact you've made and as a great kind of statement to the possibly higher up, look at all the things I achieved,
Toby Littin: Creates heroes. It makes heroes in the office, right?
Like say, look at before and after that. One of the things in that too is by measuring the before and after. You can also look out for highlights that you can reward and reinforce publicly across the org, you know, like across the organization. So reward people for the right behavior and that kind of thing.
But yeah, it's cool. We love making heroes. [00:17:00] It's a good time, right? But you need that before condition to be able to do it.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah. Not all heroes wear capes. I'm thinking to hear from you, Byron and Mara, although maybe Mara can guess yours based on your prior comments, but what do you guys think is the biggest contributing factor to the successful implementation of a product?
Byron, let's go with you first.
Byron Tudor: Okay, cool. I think just understanding your base skillset and knowledge of technology. I've had experience where I assume that the base knowledge around a sort of a vendor management governance program and the knowledge around why, what it is had, we did some workshops and learnings, but I underestimated where we were starting from which is surprising, but equally so that I think, let's don't assume what the knowledge base is when you are introducing the technology.
And you may need to put that, build that into a program, a change management program to enhance those skillsets to make sure that there's an inclusive environment for [00:18:00] everyone to succeed.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, we do that at Parkable we kind of quiz a workplace first about how tech savvy do you think your people are, because if they are, you know, super young millennials and they're using their phones all the time, or it's a technology organization, then sometimes it's really easy.
But then there's a lot of other organizations where people don't maybe even have phones. Or using an app for, for work stuff is quite a foreign concept. So it's all about catering, I guess, that process to the audience. For sure. And Mara, you touched on before that you thought that the most important factor was having kind of the right resource from leadership behind a project.
But are there any other kind of critical success factors possibly that you'd reckon?
Mara Fisher: Yeah. I would also say what is really key is define the outcomes you're trying to achieve upfront. And the outcomes can't be better decision making. They have to be, I would like a report that would show X, Y, Z, or this will automate this info into a dash, you know, dis precise outcomes.
You know, too often you see a project and [00:19:00] you're like, I'd like a system that does this that makes my life easier. And it comes in and it doesn't because no one knows what you mean. And the other thing is I see systems chosen because, oh, these are best in class. We need these. And so there's not a good fit to what you actually want because they're best in class for particular set of needs.
And if those are not yours, they're not your right fit. So just be very clear upfront what you're trying to achieve at quite a granular level that's really just critical.
Byron Tudor: Yeah, and I think from a systems perspective, you may have something in the organization that you work with that might be able to tap into rather than looking at a brand new outer box system, it might be an add-on or what you already got. So just be making sure that you've done those, that homework first before you go out.
Mara Fisher: Totally. System shouldn't be the change agent. You should know what you're trying to do first.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, totally agree with that. And on that end user side, Mara, how do you ensure [00:20:00] that those technology solutions actually do get adopted and used ongoing?
You know, sometimes it's really easy to roll a project out. Everyone gets involved in the beginning and then like a month later you check and everyone's like, oh, that odd thing I completely forgot about it. Haven't actually been doing it after all. How do you ensure that that kind of doesn't happen?
Mara Fisher: Yeah, so I guess the two main things are the first one, you know, it's the mantra of every system implementer that I've ever spoken to. If it's not in the system, it doesn't count. You know, if someone gives you something and it isn't in the system, you shouldn't be looking at it.
They shouldn't be emailing, you should just be looking at the system. And this circles back to my first one, management have to be active users in the system. They have to lead from the front, and they have to really be in there validating and double checking until that behavior changes achieved.
And if you don't have management doing that, end users are not gonna do it either.
Kezia Lynch: Totally agree. I think one of the things we've been doing lately internally at Parkable is also just we've, we've got really good reporting so we can see how much stuff is [00:21:00] being used, and we can pick up on things at an early stage if people are dropping off, rather than letting it get to a point of people not using it all and then trying to kind of reengage everybody.
To you, Byron, I'm keen to understand how do you think you measure the, the improvement you make with the implementation of a tool and the productivity and efficiency wins you get out of them?
Byron Tudor: Yeah. I think you touched on one of those areas was to capture the user adoption and, and their feedback.
So I think that that's really important to understand sort of utilization and attendance and you could put that into sort of workspace strategies and work. In terms of property, like are you getting people back into the office? Have you created the environment that people want to come to and, and use and it enhances their, their work life experience.
So I think that's really important. Improved individual and team outputs and results. And sometimes that's a bit difficult, but you could use your performance reviews. You could use your team objectives. And see if it's a sales team, whether you [00:22:00] increased your revenue or you reduced your cost, et cetera.
So the basic ones reduced error rates, I think is one that's key. A lot of this should take out sort of the human error. And so try, if you are able to say, understand what your error metric is before and after, then you can demonstrate your value there. And then improve customer satisfaction or brand loyalty.
You can use technology to engage with your customers in a, in a more effective way as well. So if you can track. Your customer satisfaction in that respect. Again, that's a good indication of the improvements are working.
Kezia Lynch: Hmm. I think what I'm hearing from you there is it's a bit qualitative. It's also sometimes quantitative and sometimes you're not gonna be able to measure the results.
You know, in one static moment you're gonna have to wait a period of time and wait for some other kind of number to become available to you, rather than just going, oh, we're one month from implementation, let's check everything now.
Byron Tudor: Yeah. But yeah, I think someone raised a point about sort [00:23:00] of having a baseline, really important being in an experience where we, we struggled because we didn't have baseline data.
We just went in and did. And it was hard to sort of assess whether we were actually making increasing rev revenue opportunities through a portfolio. Because we didn't really have a good baseline to be in data that we could have spent a lot of time doing that. Yeah, you gotta work out whether it's valuable to do so.
We knew it was the right direction, but sometimes those metrics can be a bit unclear.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, you can kind of feel the vibe that things have improved, but whether you need the number, maybe yes or no is depends on how valuable that data, I guess is. Looking at kind of implementations and when organizations are assessing a bunch of different products or a bunch of different vendors and deciding to implement a particular one, what are the sorts of criteria, Toby, that they should be using to pick which one is best for them in their organization and the point that they're at?
Toby Littin: Yeah. I've been intrigued listening to both. I think Mara made the point, and Byron made the [00:24:00] point at you know, Mara was saying, you've gotta know the outcomes before you choose a vendor or before you go to market for a solution. And then, what Byron was saying, hearing him talk about, you know, there are different ways that you can measure the outcomes. My thinking around that is your criteria has to have a very well defined ROI. That's step number one. And at the moment, in the current economic condition for workplace experience teams, for real estate teams, what we are hearing is that that ROI at the moment, it needs to be financially weighted.
Like there, there needs to be some dollars and cents attached to the investment in a new technology deployment in the current environment. So, you know, you go back a couple of years, it was really far more weighted towards experiential outcomes. So how did I feel pre-implementation? How do I feel as an employee post-implementation?
That was the ROI. Now we're seeing actually there needs to be some dollars and cents attached. How might I downsize my real estate footprint and get the same number of people and how might I see a return in terms of efficiency? So a number of tasks or activities my teams can complete, you know, particularly important to Byron's points and, and, and sales teams.
How might my sales teams get more efficient as a result of this [00:25:00] implementation in the workplace? So definitely ROI is a criteria now more than ever. And the kind of experiential ROI we're seeing businesses move away from, and we're seeing them adopt more financial.
Byron Tudor: Another question just jump in on the sort of financial, I get that equally if you flipped a little bit wellbeing yeah. In terms of workplace and the employee wellbeing, obviously if they're in a good place, say you're more productive, more contributing, more hard one to. Quantify sometimes.
Toby Littin: Yeah. I totally agree. And we would be saying, look, there's a financial cost associated with employee churn and employee wellbeing or bad employee, negative employee wellbeing. And so what we see and the conversations we are having with the, procurement teams and the workplace experience teams as well as you from the sounds of it, is it's about putting a dollar value to those in the current environment.
And it sounds pretty gross. You know, it sounds pretty horrible. It's like, I'm gonna put a dollar value on my employee's emotions. That's pretty rubbish. But you know, in order to get these [00:26:00] technology projects over the line and actually effect change in the organization, we're finding far more successful for the teams that do go to that effort and do say, look, it might take me 18 months to be able to measure this, or it might take me 24 months to be able to measure this, but in 24 months we expect churn to have gone from here to here, wellbeing as reported by employees and e p schools or whatever, go from here to here and that this is the dollar value we attribute to that.
And it's closing that loop. As gross as it sounds. The teams that do that are the ones that get the project away, they get the project over the line and are able to deploy. That's what we are seeing. But yeah, totally take your point. Sometimes it's hard to measure.
Sometimes you just gotta draw a line in the sand and say, look, based on your data, this is what we think it's gonna be. You know the second, I think when we talk, go back to the, like, sort of the, all of the criteria. There's that piece, the business case piece, but then there's like A criteria that, that we hear a lot about in our world is this change management piece we talked on earlier.
You know, am I dealing with a vendor or who can help with change management? Because [00:27:00] McKenzie said before, right? It's 70% of projects fail through the implementation process. So a criteria from a, if you're looking to implement a technology project in your business needs to be, can my partner assist well, and do they have a proven track record in change management in order to get a successful deployment away?
So I think that that's an important piece. Those are kind of some of the headlines that we see on the vendor side, on the inside of the business. Some of the criteria that we think, you need to ask yourself if you're looking at a project is, what's my capacity to implement?
Do I have the capacity to do this now? Do I have a suitable champion to lead this now, or a champion group to lead this now? Because quite often there might be the perfect vendor solving the perfect problem. But if you don't have the capacity realistically to do it yourself, then maybe you need to look at one of the other, like, there's tech and tech, right?
There's some tech that's very quick to implement, very low hanging fruit. That's the stuff you should go for to implement rapid change. If you wanna make change now without requiring much capacity from your business, then there's the stuff that has a long tail and [00:28:00] ongoing deployment, you know, where it's iterative improvement over time.
You know, I think a key criteria needs to be, does my organization have the capacity to do this now?
Kezia Lynch: Mm-hmm. On, on the first point, I guess we often see businesses in financial climates when everything's going well and the world is dandy and, and wellbeing can be prioritized. You know, you see those large tech organizations paying for.
Everything under the sun for their employees. You know, bring your dog to work, get a free haircut, cafeteria, all that sort of fun stuff. And then we get to these tougher financial climates and suddenly it's like reduce headcount straight away. And I guess it's coming to that, that fine balance of be able to meet what you need to do right now for your business, but also without sacrificing the long term impact for when, the financial climate does figure itself out and get better again.
Byron Tudor: Yeah, that's an interesting point. And I'm not sure haircuts are gonna attract me to an organization, but [00:29:00] if you look at the workplace and engagement of employees, I think it's a really important point around trying to all. Create that environment where they can perform.
And whilst as financial pressures now, and you can throw all the bells and whistles to the workplace, but I think if you take a step back, it's around sort of what are the culture you're trying to design create whatever the HR policies gonna support that. And then you work out what is the workplace you need to deliver.
And workplace includes digital, and it includes location in place, includes culture, it includes wellbeing. How do you package all that up as a workplace? And there's tools that can help you, but as equally until you sort of work out what you want at the top. And that sort of drives down towards.
What the end solution is. And so it's a sequence of evidence that has to take place to sort of create that workplace.
Kezia Lynch: Hmm. I've seen commentary before [00:30:00] about startup workplace culture. Let’s chuck a ping pong table in there and suddenly we've got culture and it's like, no, actually it's all about building that strategy and actually having the policies to back it up.
And then, you know, the ping pong table is just the icing on the cake at the bottom, I guess.
Toby Littin: [Hand up] I’ve got a ping pong table.
No, I’m not speaking on Parkable in that front. If you pop yourselves in some of your clients' shoes and you've decided, you wanna implement a technology solution, you've chosen the particular solution, how do you get the stakeholders onsite and how do you pull the right team together from across your organization, various departments and whatever to execute on actually delivering that project?
Byron Tudor: Yeah, I think there's a bit of a step back, take a step back. I think there needs to be an engagement with stakeholders and individual across the organization before you move forward. I think there needs to be that sort of exploration as [00:31:00] to is this valuable? Is it gonna be helpful? And then sort of able to test those ideas with an organ, with an audience, and bring them along the journey.
I think I referenced that earlier. And then able to articulate what that problem you're trying to solve for and what the proposition looks like. I think that's really important to, to be able to demonstrate to internal stakeholders to seek sort of a level of approval to turn it forward.
And having a sort of perspective around what the market landscape looks like. So what would happen, what's the risk of not doing this? I think able to articulate that is really important. I've gone through this sort of process in Deloitte, we do actually have a methodology in place where there's an innovation hub.
So if you've got an idea, you can take it forward. There's a process you follow. I've put a workflow tool for property through that process. Early stages however you've got, I've gone through that step of [00:32:00] understanding what other. Folks think and bring that together. But equally at the moment, we kind of got a resource restriction, financial pressures which is sort of holding that up.
But again, if there's a methodology in place within an organization, I think that really helps as well. So if leadership of organization, cos this is how we're gonna create ideas across the organizations, the methodology will follow. When I joined Deloitte, I thought that was a really point that sort of stood out for me.
Kezia Lynch: Mm. One thing I picked up on when you were just talking about that is testing it with a user group. And when you talk about that, are you thinking, pilot schemes or miniature little focus groups and stuff like that as well to test things out before you kind of roll 'em out and follow?
Byron Tudor: Yeah, I've done that before with, with end management system.
We were rolling out with rolling out the technology. But before that I mentioned that the sort of lack of understanding what that meant from the organization. But equally we did workshops and learnings to bring them [00:33:00] together. But we also put it in place sort of a step by step manual process.
So we took some of the technology but recreate a manual process so people would try it before the technology arrived and used out and prioritize accounts and get that feedback as to what we needed to do, what resources we need to support the technology rollout. So yeah, definitely.
Kezia Lynch: Mara and Toby, have you guys seen value in running pilot programs and stuff like that in the past as well? Mara?
Mara Fisher: Yes. However, it really just depends on what you're implementing. If it's a kind of a standardized system, running two systems in parallel for any length of time or trying to get people to use two systems, that's difficult.
But if you can get one person to use one and refine it and then roll it out wider, then yes. So some systems it's suitable for and others just aren't. Yeah. Mm.
Toby Littin: I wildly agree with Mara. I think, [00:34:00] for a pilot program to work, you've gotta be really clear on what success looks like out of the pilot.
And then what the second thing is you wanna make your pilot actually as short as possible. A lot of people, I think, fall into the trap of making pilots run. Pilot pry, right? We call it. And they run on and on and on. And it's almost like they're waiting for something to go wrong with the pilot so they can justify multiplying a solution more fully.
And in fact, you wanna ride momentum in a project deployment, especially when you're talking about a bigger piece of tech being rolled out across an organization, you build momentum from the moment you start the change program and then you roll it through. The pilot can be a part of that.
But you need clearly to find success clearly to find end endpoint and criteria under which it gets rolled out. And you wanted to find that before the pilot starts, not during the pilot. Ensure you can modify it during the pilot, but by doing that, you can kind of avoid a bit of what Mara talked about.
You don't wanna run dual systems. You end up with a kind of us and them stakeholder groups and all kinds of weird things go on. And you get stuck in pilot forever and then your technology deployment falls over and it's a problem.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah. Defeats the entire purpose of a pilot [00:35:00] from the outset.
With kind of all that conversation we've just had in mind, I'm keen to ask the audience as well, what's most important to you guys when picking a tech solution? Is it the cost? Is it the user experience? Is the ease of implementation, possibly the flexibility, a pilot program offering, compatibility with existing tech stack, all those sorts of things.
So again, we've got a little poll going down the bottom in the menu bar. You could drop your thoughts there. That would be awesome. Mara, you've worked on a whole bunch of different implementations across your time at your various organizations. Can you tell us about a particularly kind of successful implementation, maybe some of the results you've achieved at the back of that?
Mara Fisher: Sure. I'll go back a bit. When I was at Team NZ, we implemented fresh sales and fresh desks, so CRM and service desk software, and we implemented it. You know, across the company is quite extensive. And the reason why I think it was successful for quite a big project was the management were dying for particular things that they wanted.
[00:36:00] They were so clear on what they wanted, really tested, huge buy-in, but also it was seen as a program. So phase two was almost booked in as well as phase one. And phase one has really replaced what we have now with another one with the same processes. And then phase two was used, the functionality of the systems to leave her up. And that was really clearly planned upfront. And all the data was really clear and sorted upfront, so it was just very well planned and bought in and very phased. To Toby's point, the best IT implementation is a fast one, but that doesn't mean you can't have each phase being fast, like implement the system, refine it as phase two, you know don't try and do the whole thing.
Do bite size chunks as well, and then you get wins along the way. For me that was, that stood out as a remarkably painless, big implementation.
Kezia Lynch: Painless is a key factor of implementations and wanting to do them again and again. Otherwise you [00:37:00] just get put off. I guess out the back of that, you mentioned you implemented like the CRM side and then also the support side as well.
Were there any particular kind of successes or, or metric-based wins out the back of that or, or reports that gave you, you know, lots of data?
Mara Fisher: We had strong visibility on clients and people who had lots of service desk requests, you know, their account managers could see that we had very much clearer escalation processes.
You know, visibility and centralized data around your clients is just key to success in any organization. You know, really understanding that end-to-end client journey and their pain points and getting on top of them quickly rather than, all of a sudden someone's unhappy and you're like, yeah, we knew that over here.
So we had great success around that and just even segmenting data segmenting our clients to the high, not just by high value, low value, but also high maintenance, lower maintenance, putting in programs around that.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, I can totally understand that. We've done a bit of that at Parkable lately too, and it's really [00:38:00] enriching our teams to be able to, serve our clients better and also take that feedback that we hear from clients internally and turn it into our product again as well.
Byron, across your kind of vast career, I'm sure you've seen lots of organizations just choose not to implement tech at points in time where they kind of started exploring it, maybe for a variety of reasons they didn't have the resources or just daunting or scary. What are the consequences of not implementing tech at that point, or, delaying it or getting on the bandwagon or whatever?
Byron Tudor: Yeah, so one implication would be forward behind the competition. So your competitors particularly when the world is evolving, particularly in property and workspace and, and you see sort of Jones and sell going on the technical technology company and so forth. If you're an organization in that space and you're just doing the traditional and transaction pro sort of.
Through emails, calls, et cetera, [00:39:00] you will fall behind because the expectation from the market is that you, we need to have better data to make informed decisions. And without the technology and integrated systems, you're not gonna have that data to make those informed decisions. So your client base will shrink quickly and corporates and organization's expectation around sort of service delivery is accelerating and, and the bar is being raised every day.
So if you're not in that environment where pushing those new technologies out integrating systems to create better data and insights to inform decisions, you will be left behind. I think that's one of the key areas that I'd say raise. But also attracting talent we mentioned earlier I think the expectation from the best talent out there is that we, I want to work in.
Innovative, creative driven progressive organization. And so if you're still traditional old [00:40:00] school mentality, you may not be attracting the best talent. And I think we kind of come back to like, implementing technology is great, but you need to have that operating model. You need to have that sort of structure and the process understanding what you're trying to achieve, how you can engage with your stakeholders in the business, and what are you trying to deliver?
And the problem you're trying to solve until you sort of package all that up is you can buy a technology solution that's just not manageable.
Kezia Lynch: I'm really hearing that like you wanna embed in your organization like that technology is central and that constant improvement is central and that you always are orientating yourself towards that so that you're keeping the talent you have, you're attracting good talent and you're staying ahead or maintaining your position as a market leader.
Byron Tudor: Absolutely. Yeah.
So there's new tech emerging every second and we're seeing a lot of [00:41:00] AI based stuff like what I mentioned before. I'm keen to hear from you guys. Where do you think the world is headed? And particularly in that technology space. You know, what's coming next maybe, and get your crystal balls out and have a throw.
Toby, I'm gonna throw to you first. Throw you under the bus.
Toby Littin: Yeah, you really did. I think there's some trends that aren't going away in the near term. One is this continued evolution of hybrid work. You know, work anywhere, work patterns in the office. We're seeing businesses all over the world say they've settled on a work pattern, they haven't, they re-define it, it changes again, they're changing real estate footprint.
So the technology evolution behind that I think is going to be a continued trend. So platforms that we'll see increasingly build in flexibility of workplace and flexibility of future scenarios. I think that's a big thing. And so this plays out in those, the same stuff I talked about before.
You know, the employee experience apps, things like that have flexibility at their core. The second is, I think baked in sustainability is gonna become increasingly important in all tech tools. I mentioned before [00:42:00] from our side, we see a lot of this ROI based decision making criteria and, and people needing to close the loop around ROI.
And yes, economics are important, but I think closing the loop around sustainability is part of that ROI story too. You just simply won't get stakeholder engagement buy in unless tech tools have that. And so as a result, we're gonna see tech evolve to have sustainability baked in, doesn't matter, watch category where you sit you know, and it's not just a box ticking exercise. Now, employees care, you know residents and tenants in a workplace building, they care and they wanna know that the right decision's being made. So I expect that that'll be a direction to travel on a macro trend for technology that'll become increasingly important.
And the last piece is just that the balance of ROI, we're seeing increasingly it'll need to be baked in. We saw a lot of solution evolution over the last three years where there was experience at the core of what the value proposition was of the tech, right?
At the moment we're seeing that drift the other way to sort of say, experience is an important part, but where's the payback on the experience? Is it lower employee churn? Is it better employee wellbeing as it, [00:43:00] to Byron's point earlier, how, how are we, so that, that's kind of some of the stuff that we see in terms of the evolution of tech.
I tried to cult. True to my promise. I'm not talking about AI.
Kezia Lynch: No. AI's on from Toby. Yeah. Mara, what are you seeing trend-wise, or what's your crystal ball kind of predicting for the future of tech at workplace?
Mara Fisher: Well, it's interesting, with the poll results, because I was gonna say more integrations.
So in the olden days or not even that long ago, everyone's ‘let's get the same tech stack’. Let's really worry about, what other things can add. And you do see, tools like Slack doing video calls, all sorts of things now as well. But I think the trend is best in breed, best in breed and plugins, and finding the right system for your requirements and making sure that they really integrate well so that you can have seamless data and single views, but with best of breed systems prediction.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, those [00:44:00] bi-directional native integrations make everything just so much smoother. We use Salesforce at Parkable and we've got kind of everything starting to work and it's changing the game really in terms of data. And also just ease of use for users, which is that single pane of blast idea as well that Toby was talking about earlier.
Byron, your crystal ball.
Byron Tudor: Yeah, with AI, generation technology coming through I think virtual reality and gamification will take a step forward. I was reading an article from Deloitte taken from Mastering Next Evolution May. It was published in May 2023 about gamification and how that can be used that sort of, Technology can be used to lead or organizational change through sort of taking on sort of a game.
I'm not a gamer, but you use sort of bonus points or you win things and to drive behavior and an individual will go towards something they [00:45:00] want. And I was reading about gamification with an organization where they might utilize these tools to change organizational behavior for better.
So encouraging, you might get bonus points for attending webinars and get that in their performance review check. Excellent. Got Vernon's point there. And so yeah, it'll be interesting to see where that goes and what organizations sort of take that leap forward.
Kezia Lynch: I like the sound of that. I think there's like this concept around gamification that it's like silly and fufu, but really it can be embedded in ways to actually drive important change and not just get people to spend more money at shops and silly things like that.
I'm keen to throw the audience, we've got about 10 minutes left. And see if there's any questions from anyone. Please submit them by the chat or the Q&A feature, and if you've got a particular panelist that you'd like to answer a question then include that in your comment too.
In the meantime, I've got one question here already that someone's already sent through. [00:46:00] I think this is probably aimed at you, Byron, given the kind of things you've spoken about. But how can organizations encourage a culture of innovation and experimentation from the ground up, how to initiate that in your culture?
Byron Tudor: It's a good question. I think leadership needs to support it clearly and sponsor and behave in that way. So they within Deloitte there's an active encouragement for employees to come forward with ideas and they'll put that sort of sponsorship through to allow those changes in my past.
It is basically the senior stakeholders and leadership really supporting you and encouraging you and recognizing it as well. So if you're not recognized for making those changes in some way or form, maybe it is gamification in the future, but if you aretaking responsibility and accountability to make those improvements and changes and not, you need leadership and management and HR tools need to be [00:47:00] able to recognize those and reward folks for that.
And that might be in a many, many different ways. I got a spend card, right? Like, great, so I've got rewarded for putting an idea because it went through competition and I got rewarded that way. So that was nice. Not a big deal, but at least it encourages you, right? To do more.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah. Positive reinforcement I guess. And I guess originally organizations had, a question box that people could like drop things into our ideas box or something like that. And it's about bringing that out of maybe having a physical box and really bring it into the organization and then not just leaving in the metaphorical corner needs to be managed talking about it.
Yeah. As well. Cuz then talking about stuff and
Byron Tudor: if employees are providing feedback and ideas but nothing's happening and there's no response, why would you do that? Right. So it needs to be proactively [00:48:00] managed within an organization.
Kezia Lynch: Mm-hmm. Totally agree. Toby, another question. Ethical consider considerations that organizations could keep in mind when leveraging technology?
You know, there's AI god forbid, talking about that and automation, all that freaky stuff out there happening. But there's queries around some ethical stuff there too. What are the red flags to you there?
I think that's a really good question, and I think Byron actually touched on this earlier around the importance of data and visible data and he touched on that and I think a takeout from this is, data is way more visible now. And decisions that companies make are way more visible now than they ever have been. And that trend is continuing, right? So this plays to ethics for a bunch of reasons. One is you should just make good ethical decisions, full stop. And that's fast to say, hard to do sometimes cause you don't get visibility, but just purpose-driven organizations, they win always a bunch of data behind that.
But businesses that don't make ethical decisions, that decision is very visible now, [00:49:00] far more readily than it has been historically. And so I think it needs to be part of vendor selection. It needs to be baked in. It's like the sustainability thing that I mentioned before. As part of the criteria, one of the main correct trends that should form decision making, ethical decision making is the same.
With the visibility of mishaps, there's a lot of brand damage and economic damage that can be done to a business by not making an ethical decision. So there's risk associated with it. Plus there's employment positioning. You know, employees don't wanna work for a business that makes bad decisions or non-ethical decisions.
So certainly for us at Parkable, we live by that. You know, we've canned vendors because they don't act in line with the ethics and values that we carry. And we make no bones or apology about that. So, yeah, totally. I could wax lyrical about that for a long, long time.
Kezia Lynch: It's a good, it's a good way to act. One of the values that Parkable is very decent human. So I guess we bring that through in all aspects of our business. We've got a question here from Glen. And Glen, correct me if I'm kind of not picking up on the right threads here, but I'm gonna ask you, [00:50:00] Mara, about how tech providers can ensure that they're meeting the security and IT requirements of organizations.
So, increasingly there's quite hard security audits and things like that to go through, and I know that you had to process us at Parkable through those when you were our COO. So yeah, can you speak to your experience with dealing with those sorts of requirements in this kind of intense world?
Mara Fisher: In this world, I would hope that those requirements from your clients are your internal requirements as well. You know, it is a much people do need to level up the world is a lot more data is very sensitive and people, there's a lot more risk to it these days. There's ransomware insurance. I know there's one thing at stratify, you know, to get insurance for our software we actually have to have really strong controls around ransomware and security.
So what I would say is, get your penetration testing done annually. Make sure that you do have a list of what you need. I know Parkable went down the SOC two route, which is just a stamp of validation and an externally validated standard. [00:51:00] And that's amazing, you know, and not everyone needs a SOC two for the types of clients that you're going to, but you should actually be almost at that standard anyway globally.
So very strong. Have your chief security officer internally have a program around it. Get penetration testing, make people have basic things like, , MFA and difficult passwords, which no one likes, but everyone should have to implement all of the things. It just should be a baseline now.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, I'm based in the US and there's the CCPA here and then there's obviously GDPR in the UK and the EU as well. So it's not just a requirement of organizations acquiring vendors products. It's actually a legal requirement now with some pretty severe penalties if you, if you disobey the rules. So yes, lot behind supporting those ones.
Toby Littin: Quick hack on some of that kids too just with shouting out Secure frame, which is the partner that we use to help us with SOC two compliance. And they were awesome. Cheap, fast, helped us get through the process. So yeah, [00:52:00] plug for them.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, as an end user of secure frame, I found it particularly easy as well. So definitely doubled down on that one. We've got another question here for you, Mara. So you touched on integrations and best in breed solutions. You know, is it easier to implement a solution that has integrations with your existing solutions, or do you feel like it's actually harder sometimes? I guess connections and stuff like that, that have to be mapped.
Mara Fisher: I guess from a tech point of view, you have to get someone to install it, right? I mean, that's really what it comes down to. You need for tech people, but actually, if you are choosing your system based on what your tech people think is complex or you know, then that's problematic.
You don't want anything that you have to maintain. You want it to be an ongoing API that's integrated. You want it to be native, but it doesn't need to be the same stack for that. What's most important is your business processes, your customer data, your business data, that is so much more important than whether or not you need to spend a little bit more from an implementer [00:53:00] to plug it in and get it set up.
So again, as long as it's a native integration and you don't have to, maintain it and build your ongoing, but these days partners are on the integration journey. You look at how many people are integrated with Xero in the app store, Parkable strategy, Parkable, got so many integration partners these days.
Sometimes they're like, great, we're happy to make that an integration partner. So don't feel shy about also reaching out and being like, oh, you integrated with them, and if not, when do you think you will be? You know? Mm-hmm. Sometimes it'll be on their journey. Yeah. True. They can maintain it and you can be their discounted customer.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah. There's also, products like Zapier and things like that, which could possibly fill that gap until a native integration is, is produced, and I know we use a couple of ZPA integrations ourselves as well.
It is one minute to the end of our time, so this is where we're gonna wrap up. Guys, thank you so much, Byron, Mara, and Toby for sharing your knowledge.
Thank you with us.[00:54:00] So much practical advice is shared in here, so if you weren't able to take notes of everything, then stay tuned. You'll be sent to the recording over the coming days. Also don't forget that there is one more webinar coming up in the series about Driving Operational Excellence In The Workplace on June 21st, Australia time.
You can join me again, Estelle Curd from Rocket Lab, Laura Naim from REA, Paul Field from Parkable and Laura Bloom from Launch Link Communications for conversation about Championing New Technology Ideas Internally in your workplace and how to push those through. The link to register will be popped in the chat below.
But otherwise, I'll see you guys on June 21st. Thanks so much for joining us and thank you panelists.
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