Learn how businesses are optimising their workforce in the new normal by overcoming specific challenges with innovative strategies and technology. Our panel of experts will share examples plus valuable tools and tips on effectively championing new ideas to create a productive and inviting environment.
Kezia Lynch: [00:00:00] So, hello everybody. If you're new here, welcome and if you've joined us over the past few weeks, welcome back. This is webinar number four, in Parkable's series about Driving Operational Excellence In The Workplace. I'm your host, Kezia Lynch. In our previous three sessions, we've had presentations from Nina Fountain and Gary Bolles, and last time we had a panel discussion between people and place leaders about Driving Operational Excellence Through Productivity and Efficiency Technology that we're implementing in our workplaces.
These sessions have been recorded and published on the Parkable website, so if you've missed out on those, head over to the blog and you'll be able to download the recordings and also all of the resources that our panelists mentioned. Common thread across all of those sessions so far, and a comment that's constantly come through from the audience has been an interest in the how; how to bring these ideas to fruition, how to champion them, how to influence relevant stakeholders, how to bring those ideas to life.
And so this week, Parkable's bringing together four workplace leaders for a [00:01:00] fireside chat about how to actually implement technology in the workplace. While I introduce the panelists, we'd love for you - the audience - to tell us a little bit about yourself. So you'll find a poll function down the bottom of your screen.
Using that, you can tell us which business function you represent. Do you represent the people and culture side of things, property and facilities, administration, technology, or something else. If it's something else, let us know in the chat too. First off, I'm going to introduce Estelle Curd.
Estelle Curd: Hello team, how are we?
Kezia Lynch: Good, thank you. For anyone who doesn't know Estelle already Estelle's an award-winning HR professional with a wealth of experience. Currently, she is the Global Director for People, Culture and Capability at Rocket Lab. Note the little rocket behind her on the t-shirt on the wall.
There you go. Very cool. If you don't know, Rocket Lab is a Kiwi founded company that's grown into a global end-to-end space organization. They provide launch services as [00:02:00] well as spacecraft and satellite componentry. The company has offices across New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. and Estelle manages people culture and capability across those regions as well. So lots of experience to bring to the table. Thanks for joining us.
Estelle Curd: Awesome. Thanks, I love being here. Love being with the team, so thank you.
Kezia Lynch: Awesome. Next, we are introducing Lauren Kincaid who's zooming in actually from the U.S. today. Just a short rocket trip across the ocean.
Lauren has an extensive career in people culture and performance leadership roles across some of the world's most recognizable brands. She's worked for and with McDonald's, Woolworths, Fletcher Building and also Rocket Lab. They've got quite a knack for getting great people on board there. Now she is a partner at OrgShakers, a global HR consultancy that offers a range of services, but really specializes on workplace transformation.
Welcome Lauren. [00:03:00]
Lauren Kincaid: Thanks. Hi everybody.
Kezia Lynch: Awesome to have you with us. Next up we've got Paul Field from Parkable, in the office in Auckland. While he's officially the Global Head of Partnerships, Paul does wear many hats and has been instrumental in the business's growth over the years. He's worked with a number of enterprise scale clients to expertly, and I will say creatively apply Parkable's parking management solutions.
These clients include the likes of University of Otago, Bank of New Zealand, Datacom and Spark. So he has lots of experiences to share today. Hello Paul.
Paul Field: Thank you. And really stoked to be here guys. And to chat about this topic.
Kezia Lynch: Awesome. And last, but certainly not least, I'd like everyone to meet Laura Naim from REA group, the parent company of popular property websites, including realestate.com.au and flightmates.com.au.
As the Workplace Experience Manager for the portfolio of offices, including their Melbourne corporate headquarters, which is featured in that picture behind Laura. She's led [00:04:00] many technology implementations including the implementation of Parkable's technology at that office. She's a wealth of experience to share. Welcome, Laura.
Laura Naim: Thank you for having me.
Kezia Lynch: What a cool team we've got on the call today, representing lots of different sides of the business and a real kind of wealth of experience here. So don't forget to ask us questions. We've got 15 minutes towards the end where yeah. Happy to answer anything you've got for our panelists.
As per usual, this webinar is presented by Parkable, the leader in parking management software. The app makes it easy for employees to access, book and pay for parking at work. Also automating all of the manual admin tasks that are usually handled by facilities or office manager in the backend.
Companies like Meta, Workday, KPMG and REA have chosen to implement Parkable to remove the commuting barriers. It's really critical in this hybrid working world to make office occupancy levels as high as possible when we know that's really hard when there are things like commuting barriers, because commuting is actually the worst part of an [00:05:00] employee's day.
So if you're interested in improving your parking management experience, then don't forget to check out the Parkable website to learn a bit more.
In today's session, our expert panelists will talk about how to build a compelling business case, which will influence key stakeholders to get technology approved, implemented and embedded in your business.
At the end of the hour, I'm hoping you'll walk away with some practical advice, and how to actually improve the people and place experience at your office. Let's get stuck in.
Kezia Lynch: First off, I'm going to set the scene with you, Estelle, as one of our HR representatives on the panel. I feel like you kind of know what people are and how they operate.So I'm going to throw to you and ask, what does a champion actually look like?
Estelle Curd: Well, there's not one specific thing or one specific way that they look like, but there are two key ingredients, I feel. So the first key [00:06:00] ingredient is passion.
When there's a new change, if you're trying to spread the word and get people engaged in it, and the reaction is, “We've got this great new technology”. It doesn't really excite people, doesn't get them on the journey. But you can also have someone who's really excited and say, yeah, this new technology. And then you ask about it and it's just sort of a front, there isn't that depth of knowledge. So the two things are passion, but also having a depth of knowledge on what, why you're going forward with this technology. Because it has to be for a reason and it has to be to improve employees lives.
Kezia Lynch: Totally agree on the passion front. There's nothing worse than a poor delivery, and the relevancy side of things is also super important.
I know that Laura, you've been a champion yourself a number of times across a variety of projects, and you've also worked with other champions within the REA business. Why is it so important to have a champion?
Laura Naim: It's important because you want to keep it moving. And as Estelle pointed [00:07:00] out, if you don't have that passion, people won't be on that journey with you. So you really need to make sure that you're all aligned, you all have the same goal, and that momentum isn't lost.
And really having someone be the spokesperson, the leader of the people, bringing people together is really, really important.
Kezia Lynch: Awesome. We've got a poll set up on the back end here. We're keen to understand if you've ever been a champion before, so to the audience, have you been a champion? Have you nominated a supported champion? Or if you never had any engagement with a champion, maybe your organization doesn't kind of do that approach, and maybe that's why you're here today. So let us know your experience below.
Lauren, in your experience, when is the right time to identify and elevate a champion? You know, it's not always appropriate.
Lauren Kincaid: Yeah, I think if you are early. So understanding where your organization's at and the appetite for whatever the change or the initiative might be is really, really important. That'll then tell you how [00:08:00] many champions you might need.
Do you need one champion? Do you need multiple champions in one part of the business cause maybe they are not as aware or as on board with this particular change. So I think understanding that organizational readiness early on and identifying where you're going to need champions is really important.
I think of them like Estelle talked about. I think of them as organizational lighthouses, like they may not be influential by position, but they're going to be influential by who they are. So they're going to be people who, when they speak, people are interested in what they're saying. Those are your champions.
Kezia Lynch: Mm. I think interesting to consider the level of readiness to the organization there, particularly because, you don't want to bring a champion out if the organization isn't ready. It's going to destroy the reputation possibly of that champion and the role that the champion does play for future projects.
So you want to keep that really special and make sure you only use it when you are ready and needing to use it. Right? [00:09:00]
Lauren Kincaid: Indeed. Yeah.
Kezia Lynch: Awesome. Laura, I'm sure you've seen that champions can't act in silo, you know, yourself and with other projects too. How do you identify the key stakeholders to engage with or for those champions to really build relationships with?
Laura Naim: I think it's at the very beginning you need to sort of see big picture, what does this look like, start, middle and end, and then build your stakeholders from that. At REA we build working groups when we've got a big project going. And I think it's important to highlight that you don't have to have all the right people in the room at the very beginning, people will come in as the project progresses and that is actually totally fine.
Another key element is making sure that you've got a clear decision maker and that will keep things moving. It may be your champion, it may not be, but we use the DCI framework to make sure that projects keep moving.
Otherwise it can turn into too many cooks, too many opinions. So that's how we sort of roll it.
Kezia Lynch: Can you tell us a little bit more about that DCI [00:10:00] framework?
Laura Naim: Yes. So at the beginning of a project, we sort of nominate who is the decision maker, who are the contributors, and who are the informed and the inform might be our executive leadership team.
They might be the ones that are getting the final say, but really they're just being informed on what's happening with this project. The contributors are people who are in the working group. They're different stakeholders from across the business who are going to be impacted or their teams are going to be involved with whatever the project may be.
And then you've got one clear decision maker who, you know, if every meeting we decide what the actions are and the decision maker will be like, yes, go ahead. No, don't go ahead. And that's sort of how we frame it when we do big projects.
Kezia Lynch: Sounds like it really prevents the, the concept of kind of too many cooks in the kitchen and maybe kind of conflicting opinions and stuff like that.
Laura Naim: Yeah, exactly.
Kezia Lynch: Interesting. Well we'll definitely pull some resources together and share those afterwards with the audience.
Paul, there's different stakeholders and they all have different drivers. They're interested in different things and there’s [00:11:00] different ways to appeal to them. It's almost a sales job to get those people on site and sell things into them. Given you've got a sales background, I'm keen to understand how you identify these drivers and also what maybe sales tactics you can use to appeal to them and get them on side.
Paul Field: Absolutely. I think each department in the business has its own interests and that's what you have to play to.
But you can never kind of go wrong with making things better, with driving efficiency, cost savings, revenue generation or satisfaction of the employees. So I think when we are working with an internal champion, we need to enable them to be a salesperson within their own organization, and that means giving them the tools to succeed within their organization.
We do that by bringing in all the stakeholders, but championing our champions. So there's things you can use to say, for example “Can we bring this person into the thread so that they're informed with you?”, which is a bit like what Laura was just talking about. It's really great to [00:12:00] trade on a compelling event.
What's driving the purchase of this software or the adoption of this new tech? Everybody's involved in that. When you tell stories about how it's going to impact people, that really speaks to people and culture, HR and the CEO as well. And then of course, you've got to look after your CFOs and your finance people with numbers that tell a story about why this is going to make it better.
And finally, I think you've got to minimize the impact of change because there's people in that organization who will deploy the software that you are championing, and they're typically IT, or admin or ops. So you need to show them how easy it is, how effective it's going to be, and how that change is going to be managed.
Kezia Lynch: Totally. It's all well and good to have one amazing champion who kind of spearheads it, but you've actually got to have micro champions across the business to ensure that champions everybody involved, right. And Paul, you're big on building relationships and organizations. What [00:13:00] does a good relationship look like?
Paul Field: I think it's one that's contacts and people who will come back to you. You know, one of the things that we hear in sales so often is "I've been ghosted". And when you've been ghosted, typically it's because you're missing something in that flow that is telling you what's important to that person or what's important in terms of timing for that person.
Often you might send off emails, time after time again, get nothing back, and that's because that person's not ready or you haven't answered a question for them that shows how important this is to them. So I think being in constant contact and understanding those drivers is really important to stop ghosting.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah. That leads really well to our next question, which is for you Estelle. Paul said that people may ghost you and show that they're just not interested in that way. Other people might really wear their heart on their sleeve and tell you that they don't care about what you're doing.
What are some other things to look out [00:14:00] for when you're trying to engage a group of stakeholders to maybe kind of signpost that they're losing engagement or they're not aligned with what your vision is?
Estelle Curd: Generally, it's when you start to miss those deadlines. And the project starts to, you know, it's next month, it's the next three months, and then you're starting to get really off track and generally the reason behind that is because people don't know why they are doing this project. Sometimes it gets chosen. Here we're getting this HR software, it's handed down and you roll it out, but there's a disconnect between ‘Why am I doing this? I don't know the, the benefits of this new system’. And so people are like, hmm, I'm not going to prioritize this work, I've got other things to do. How does this benefit me?
It's always about, further to Paul's point, making sure you have those relationships, making sure you have those connections. And you come back to why aren't we doing this? Because people will get behind it if and excited if they know it's going to benefit them.[00:15:00]
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, it's that ‘what's in it for me?’ framework - it doesn't matter about you, tell them what's in it for them. We do have another poll running, actually. There are endless number of stakeholders. Everyone's stakeholders are different depending on what role you're in, what business you're in, and I'm sure we've all had challenges with different stakeholder groups.
I'm interested to know who have you had the most trouble connecting with? Has it been technology in the past? Has it been finance? Is it people and culture, sales and marketing? Maybe leadership. Keen to understand, you know, we can combine this information with the who you were at the beginning from the audience to then tell us groups are in particular we struggle with connecting with. I am keen to also then ask you, Paul, at Parkable you found building a business case is a really helpful tool for and a valuable exercise for selling concepts into our businesses and engaging with our stakeholders and heading on all the things they care about. What does this look like? What is a business case?
Paul Field: It's a really good question. It becomes a [00:16:00] centralized document that everybody who is a stakeholder in that business can refer back to. Each organization will have their own processes and templates for selling change internally, but I think the biggest thing is communicating - as Estelle said - communicating those benefits and the return on investment so the company knows that you're going to make this investment. It looks like this, and there's some ways to do that. Typically in our templates or our business cases to both partnerships and organizations.
The first thing you need to do is lay out the problems. What are we trying to solve here? You know what if you can get a sound bite, that's really important that says we are trying to solve the administration issue caused by unmanaged parking, for example, then that's really great and you can feed that back and everybody in the organization can see that and understand why you need to show the solution.
So you need to tell them what that solution that you as a champion have chosen what it does to fix that problem. You need to show them evidence of how that's happened before [00:17:00] with that chosen solution. And then really importantly, you need to show them what the ROI is, whether it's a hard ROI in terms of financial figures or whether it's going to impact people in a certain way.
And that's when you can start telling those stories as well. And then finally, you've got to install the confidence that the implementation that you're going to undertake is going be well received in. And then you end with an action point, you know, what is this compelling event that we are working towards and why do we need this done by then?
We've had a great example of that I've worked with recently with a company who had a role in head of transformation and I worked with them to really drive the story. So how does John use the app? How does Sarah, who's the admin. Manage the changes that occur day to day in the parking, and we built those into stories that then told the leadership team exactly how this was going to work for.
Kezia Lynch: Nice. It sounds like building a business case can [00:18:00] be quite like a lofty task at the beginning. And obviously different organizations might have templates that they have already as kind of suggested formats, but once you do it once, you could probably do it pretty easily the next time. It's kind of getting in a rhythm of knowing how to find the information, who to draw upon, and how to pull together that information in a compelling way. Right, Paul?
Paul Field: Yeah, absolutely. And it doesn't have to be 50 pages long. In fact, if you make it 10 (pages), it's really good because people are time poor. Your exec want to know, this is what we're doing, this is the change, this is the solution. I think I'm the worst culprit on that front. If it's longer than a page, I'm not going to read it.
Lauren Kincaid: It's funny, you remind me of an exec I used to work with who was famous for the one pager and so business cases, they might be 50 pages, but you had to then get them down to a page. With a box at the bottom and no more than four bullet points. That's where he went first. He was managing, you know, a very, very, very large organization, over a million people in the organization.
And so [00:19:00] he went to the box first, that was essentially your recommendation. Then he'd start reading the one pager. Then if we needed more information, he would find it in the next follow on pages, and we nicknamed it “the one FP”. I'll let you decide what the F stands for, but everything you had to bring back to that one page with those three or four bullet points at the bottom to make it, to make it simple and compelling.
And there you've got your why. You're creating the why as you're creating the business case.
Kezia Lynch: Mm. I think maybe not just for those time poor people as well. It's really helpful to just have sentences that really capture the essence of what you're trying to do, because that's effectively the easiest way to rally people around a central kind of concept is everyone understanding in the most simple terms what we are trying to achieve.
Otherwise, if you have a 5 million page document, everyone's going to take something quite different away from that. I'm keen to throw to you now, Laura. The other end of a project is the implementation end and it's easy to go, oh, we've nailed all the early stuff, it's going to just naturally flow from here.
And that's a [00:20:00] misconception. How do you profile the audience and design a change management plan that's actually going to suit the organization?
Laura Naim: We ask them the best way to see what staff need and want and can, get the best out of the day is to check in with them. So we do for example, with parking, we did pulse surveys to see the commute, the pain points, you know, what would make it better for staff and then took them on the journey with us to change our parking situation.
We told the staff a year before we implemented a new parking change and then sort of gave them regular updates. I think it's really important. They like to be involved. They like to know if it's going to impact them and how it's going impact them. So get the lay of the land first.
Do the surveys and then understand the current state. And it will evolve and it will change, especially with covid. Things changed all the time. And then design it based on the results. You know, it needs to suit the business, but it also needs to suit the staff. So how do you find [00:21:00] that great balance and yeah, and then taking them on the journey, as I said.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, I think with parking in particular, people underestimate it. They think, oh, it's just really functional. It's just how you get to work. No big deal. We'll make an announcement and then people can start doing it immediately. But actually it's super emotive and you've experienced that yourself and a lot of our other clients have too.
And so letting people know in advance so that they can, just even come round to the concept is super valuable and people really appreciate that a lot. On the flip side of this is you've implemented a project, you've rolled it out, things are going - you think possibly - well, maybe not so well, not sure.
How do you actually measure the success of an implementation, Lauren?
Lauren Kincaid: Paul kind of gave us the cheat sheet to that in his answer to like building a business case. So at the end of the day, whatever it is we are doing should be driving better business outcomes.
So either we're solving pain points that like Paul talked to and things are really important to us [00:22:00] cause there's a compelling reason like a problem we're trying to solve. Or we're improving our kind of competitiveness in the industry or in the markets. Usually it comes from those sorts of drivers.
So in your business case, you're identifying what those kind of key success measures are, the KPIs for the projects and then those should be then the things that you're measuring at the end. But I would say - as Laura talked about - in terms implementing, you should be getting regular insight into how the implementation is going and if it's not going well, if what you're hearing is not so positive, I would say don't be afraid to pause, take stock or pivot even. And I remember someone I worked with years ago in a large infrastructure company who was, building highway systems and things like that. And he was like, there's a point at which there's a problem that's big enough to see and still small enough to solve. So yeah, I think Laura's point around getting insights as you go is really, really key so that you can [00:23:00] either, slow down to speed up or pivot if you need to.
Kezia Lynch: Hmm. I think that it reinforces that concept of pulse surveys. You know, lots of organizations run those things already. Maybe they have a weekly kind of quizzy style pulse survey that goes out, but actually it's building that feedback loop into your business too, so you have a natural place to put that. Otherwise, If you've never kind of surveyed people before and all of a sudden you are, sending people a million surveys, you're probably not going to get the engagement that you need to be able to get that valuable feedback that you require to make decisions. Right?
Lauren Kincaid: Yeah. And this is where your champions become really valuable. They're invested in the project, they're passionate as Estelle said. So they're going to be invested in its success. Leveraging those people and their relationships and their insights is really key.
Kezia Lynch: Mm. One of the outcomes of a pulse survey may be that things aren't going so well. Maybe we could tell that already, or maybe it has only just come through in, in the [00:24:00] likes of a survey.
Estelle, what are some things you can do to possibly save a project when you start to get those initial signs that things aren't going so great?
Estelle Curd: I think it really comes back to going back to basics. So what was on that one pager? What was on that business case? What are we trying to achieve here? Because so often we get into the project and we are just seeing the one thing in front of us, not the end goal, and then suddenly we're completely off paced.
We are on some other road and. And we actually aren't taking our employees on the journey that we were supposed to. And so they're starting to disengage. So it's about stop, reset, go back to where we, what we had outlined as the initial plan, but also don't be scared to change it. Don't be so set in concrete that if it's not working, you go, "no, it was on the original one pager, I'm sticking to it". If there's good reason to change, do change, but make sure that you're stick to why aren't we doing [00:25:00] this and explaining that to your employees.
Kezia Lynch: Mm-hmm. I think also in in my experience, It won't be smooth sailing. The feedback might be negative initially. But it's like you've got to get through the hard part to get to the good part because people are resistant to change.
They're probably going to not like that you've changed something and it's more just like thinking about the long-term outcome and actually digging into that feedback more to understand is it just a now thing and it's just a bit tough this week, or is it going to be tough for the rest of our lives?
Estelle Curd: Yeah, absolutely. And I think all change is tough. You're always going to get detractors, but that's where you need to make sure that you've got more promoters so you can take those detractors and take them on that journey, because eventually they'll come around and go "oh my goodness, I didn't know this piece of technology could make my life so much better".
Some people will just get there and some people take a little bit longer, but that journey as everybody has said on this call, is so important. [00:26:00]
Kezia Lynch: Totally. And interesting you use the kind of detractor promoter framework there, which is NPS. Parkable's really big on NPS. We measure NPS for all of our end users and all of our admins. And we're really surveying people every month to understand how they're feeling and also surveying people at key moments. So after onboarding or after a big implementation of a new feature and stuff like that. If people don’t know about the NPS framework, it helps you to really understand how people are feeling and also what you can do at the back of that.
Cause it's very clear cut. It's quite simple. Lauren, at OrgShakers you support some really big brands with HR strategy and organizational transformations. You know, particularly as of late, that's been super necessary with Covid first and then hybrid working next, and now this whole like return to office/ what are we doing phase? Can you tell us about some of the projects you've been involved in rolling out lately?
Lauren Kincaid: Yeah, sure. When I reflect on this, I think [00:27:00] I've been really fortunate to work with some really progressive organizations now, but also earlier on in my career. I'm dating myself now, but probably about 15 years ago, I was working for an organization that was, I think really progressive in the flexible working space and some of the initiatives they were implementing then, like talent marketplaces with supplier organizations.
So Coca-Cola and McDonald's were sharing talent 15 years ago on a kind of a rotational basis. So instead of losing talent, they'll go, well spend some time at a supplier, understand that organization better, and then come back. You'll understand how to position our business better with that supplier.
So doing some really innovative things, which is commonplace now, but 15 years ago really weren't. So I've been really fortunate. McDonald's also did this thing called friends and family contract, where you could have three people, four people on the same contract. And so long as you were trained to the same skill level, any one of you could turn up to do the shift.
So you'd have families of three sisters [00:28:00] who any one of them could pick up and do the shift if one of them had a conflict or something like that. So again, like 15, 20 years ago, these things were going on. And now that's seen as job sharing and those sorts of things are far more common.
But I think the one that is much more recent was working with the state of Alaska and their response to Covid 19. And I don't know if people on the call know much about the state of Alaska, but it is pretty remote up there. A fun fact I learned while working with them is there are more seaplanes than there are cars on roads just because of the remote nature of the landscape. And again, because of their remote nature, their infrastructure is limited to be able to deal with you know, pandemic like Covid. And so they were very concerned. The state was very concerned that if Covid really expanded in Alaska that they would have the infrastructure to take care of people. And I think, one particular hospital in their second largest city had just [00:29:00] nine ICU beds. If Covid takes hold in a state like that, then the implications are pretty horrific and there's nowhere else for them to go other than by kind of seaplane.
So working with them, we had the privilege of working with them to implement their response to Covid 19. And that was the ultimate in helping them in that state adopt hybrid, flexible and hybrid working practices and really modernizing their work practices.
When we first started working with them, I think 120 people had the capability to work remotely. That's 1% of their organization. And we had to move that whole organization and all of the systems and the processes that went with that. And that's everything they were doing. Everything from like, giving people driver's license to managing fisheries to, everything that you need in order to run a functional state.
So it's probably one of the most rewarding projects and clients to work with in their kind of covid response. And it was all encompassing. So we were talking at the very beginning around [00:30:00] stake-holders. That's everybody in that organization that you're working with. And building change champions, right, throughout that whole organization to, to bring people along. And they've all got at that particular, that time, very conflicting priorities. They've all got enormous sets of priorities, but not all of them, were all happening all at the same time.
So yeah, a wonderful team to work with and a wonderful state to work with. And the people were fantastic, but it was certainly challenging for them at the time.
Kezia Lynch: Nothing quite like being thrown right in the deep end. Like no, it's not a choice really to move to hybrid working or remote working.
It was a mandatory at that point in the world, and I'm glad those days are (touch wood) behind us, I guess. But like how did you kind of do that so quickly as well in such a condensed timeframe?
Lauren Kincaid: Well, I think to Paul's point, there's a compelling reason, right? In that case, it was genuinely life and death. Like if we can't find a way to make this work and [00:31:00] Covid really takes hold here; we don't have the infrastructure to really look after people. And so there was a very compelling why at a very high level. And then you had to translate that to the whys for each of the mean. We had 14 key, what I would call work transformations from infrastructure to, we don't have enough bandwidth in this state in order for people to, people didn't have laptops. There wasn't enough VPN access. There's a whole host of technology challenges. Not to mention all of the change in the way we work. And that Estelle kind of touched on.
And so we set up what we call a program acceleration office. So every single one of those projects, it's people think of a project management office.
But this was, they can sometimes be burdensome cause you've got all these layers of reporting and people more time reporting than they do moving the project forward. And so the idea of the PAO is to accelerate [00:32:00] projects. And we had like a visual - I wish I could show you - of like air traffic, control of planes landing and taking off and depending on kind of where their status was.
So you could see whether they were on track or off track. And how things were potentially conflicting with different priorities across all of the different transformations that were taking place at one time. But I think to go back to the very beginning of our conversation, the most important thing was getting a really crystal clear why.
And then really helping the organization at every single level. Understand what that is and what it means for them. The key, and I think people kind of forget sometimes, but the key talents that the executives get it. They've kind of like, yep. They get all of the information you know, potentially more than from across all of the, all of the business and organizations.
So potentially more information than others. And the key talent we really had to work with was kind of those middle managers who were then influencing all of [00:33:00] their teams and empowering all of their teams. So they can sometimes be the team, the people that can get dumped on a little that they require.
And deserve enormous investment in helping them to empower their own teams and bring them along.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah. I think that goes back to that concept of champions and micro champions and all of those sorts of different layers. Particularly if your audience is massive, like an entire state.
Yeah, quite a large project there. Going to a slightly more smaller and relatable project. Laura, REA has a state of the art HQ in central Melbourne. A lot of my colleagues have visited there and told me all about how it's a pretty cool building. Can you tell us about some of your favorite features of that office?
Laura Naim: You know, this Webinar is called Championing New Tech Ideas. But the first thing that came to my mind was dogs. Cause we have dogs in the office and honestly, a dog can just brighten your day. So I highly recommendit, if you're allowed to have a dog in the office. But we're very [00:34:00] lucky we're very fortunate REA have such amazing facilities and amazing benefits.
Some of the things we have, we have a community cafe where staff do pay for the coffee, but all the money that is raised goes to charities. So we have three charity partners that they go to. We have a deck that's very new with a basketball court. We have a Slack channel for free food. We use Envoy delivery. So if you get a parcel sent to the office, you'll get a Slack notification when it's there. So they're the things that come to mind. But yeah, we have some really great, awesome things. We have a sky bridge with a rainbow. It's great.
Kezia Lynch: I can see that in the background. It's funny you mentioned the dogs thing. A client of Parkable’s is Meta and obviously, the big companies of the world, the Metas, the Googles, the Amazons are well known for their benefits schemes and how they have, free massages and free food and all those sorts of different things.
The defining difference between Meta and Google is Google has doggy daycare and Meta doesn't, and that's genuinely something that contributes to people's choices about which employer they go to work for. It honestly is such a great [00:35:00] wellbeing piece because, you know, just even to take five minutes out of your day to pat a dog, like it really can boost serotonin levels.
Maybe that's a business case thing. Team, maybe you need to get some dogs in the room when you're trying to sell your concepts to the internal stakeholders. And maybe that'll get the positive vibes flowing a bit more liberally.
Finally, Paul throwing off to us slightly less cute topic of parking. It's quite a niche topic, but surprisingly, there's a lot of stakeholders often involved in that decision making about implementing a parking technology solution. For anyone who's considering implementing, possibly Parkable, can you give us a heads up about the sorts of people that are involved in that decision making process?
Paul Field: Yeah, I think Lauren called it out before with that kind of model layer, because it's really easy, not just in parking, but in sales to say “I cold called the CEO and they were interested”. So we're in and we're done. But actually what happens is you might get that approval to move [00:36:00] forward.
And then it will go to, for us, it goes to the property and people teams in an organization to assess how that impact is going to occur and to assess what that means for operational efficiency and yield and all those great things that go on as outputs of parking. And so once we are through that layer, it's really about thinking of it in terms of a project timeline.
So, you've had your assessment at the beginning, and you've got your champion who's running that for you internally, and then that needs to be surfaced up to the leadership team and often the CFO for financial approval and to make sure that everybody's on board with what's going on. And then when you get the tick of approval, it's not just send a contract and get going.
You've often got this third level of operations, that is IT assessments, cybersecurity, legal reviews, all of that sort of stuff. And so at Parkable we're really upfront about this and we talk to us with our project leads and our champions and say, [00:37:00] look, "We understand how organizations typically buy software when you've got LT approval, this is what we would normally expect to happen in the process", and then we would go to implementation.
So it's really important, I think, to think not only of who are your stakeholders, but has was brought up earlier, where do they fit in the chain of events to get that tech adopted or your product deployed?
Kezia Lynch: I think it's also interesting to consider that with Parkable for instance, you're engaging these stakeholders as a stakeholder, but then you're also engaging those same people as end users too.
Mm. Different hats that everyone in an organization wears, and there might be multiple times you're engaging with the same person, but about different things or, driving a different outcome out of them. Right?
Paul Field: Yep. The lawyer that's also driving into work and using Parkable has got two sides of the equation.
Kezia Lynch: Exactly. We now have 15 minutes of questions, so this is an opportunity to direct questions to any of our panelists in particular, or a [00:38:00] panel question for the entire group. Don't forget to note that in the chat. You can use the Q&A box below, or you can use the chat function as well. We do have one question to get us started already.
And I'm going to put this to everyone. I think, cause everyone's probably had experience with this, but as a champion, you experience challenges and setbacks and all that sort of stuff and it's really hard to stay positive. How do you stay positive and stay resilient when you experienced those sorts of challenges? Let's go to you first, Laura.
Laura Naim: I think it is hard to stay positive when there are challenges, but I think sometimes a challenge can really, really be fulfilling and it can really motivate you to keep going. And I guess for me there are challenges with everything and we sort of learn from them, we can move on from them. It's making sure that the group that you're working with, the working group, the stakeholders, the staff are going through that journey with you, in a positive way. You need to emulate, like, it's [00:39:00] okay we've hit a road block, but we're going to get through it together, keeping that positive vibe going.
I think really, really makes a difference. Sometimes if you are the host of something you really set the tone for what's happening. So I think it's really important to, keep morale up as best you can.
Kezia Lynch: Totally. Paul, how do you keep your energy up and stay resilient with these struggles?
Paul Field: There's everything from functional things, right to holistic things. If you are into mindfulness and things like that, then actually just take a minute to breathe and go, okay, this has come across my email.
This could be a problem. But actually let’s just stop and slow down. You might have a compelling event, but you know, taking some time out to actually work through it is a good thing. The technological changes that we've implemented at Parkable, it's great to have that group around you, but then to have a personal connection to those people.
So to be able to go and grab one of those members and go for a coffee, or go and have a drink after work and go, this is what's going on in our world. And it brings you together [00:40:00] in alignment for this greater goal that you're actually working towards.
Kezia Lynch: Mm. Estelle, any thoughts?
Estelle Curd: I'm like with a friend or a partner you know, just let it out being like, I'm upset about this. Don't hold it in. Don't obviously share your frustrations with a lot of people at work because you're the champion of this change. But share it with a good friend. Say how you're frustrated with it, but then write it down. What are the pros of this? And I can tell you right now, the pros will always outweigh the cons, but sometimes you just need that person, that friend to just let it out with. And then it's like, all right, let's move on. Let's smash it.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, totally. And doing something sometimes can give you energy again, like letting it all out. And having a bit of a burst is like, brings you the energy back and then you can re-channel that energy into, positive things, I guess.
Lauren, I'm keen to ask you. How you can leverage employee feedback [00:41:00] sometimes in those earliest stages to refine an idea or to prove a concept before not just necessarily asking for feedback, you know, later on post implementation.
Lauren Kincaid: Yeah, I'm a big fan of co-creation, so obviously sometimes the negative perception of co-creation is that it takes longer. But I think the outcome you get is better and it's going to speed up your adoption. And I think typically you get a better outcome cause you're being inclusive in getting different perspectives right from the outset. To build on the previous question as well. One thing you can do with these folks that you're co-creating with is do a bit of a, a pre-mortem.
So what are all the ways that this could go wrong or this could go bad? And to the person that was asking the question earlier and to Estelle's point of kind of getting it out there. Write all those things down. And so then when you do face them, they seem maybe not quite as hard because you've already written down and figured through, here are all ways this could go bad.
If [00:42:00] that happened, what would we do? And so then you can kind of go back to that. And it's never too late to do a pre-mortem. You can do it, ideally at the beginning you can do it part way through and go, okay, how could this go bad? How would we deal with that? And then it's just has less impact sometimes when that, you know, when those challenges kind of happen when you're implementing in the thick of it.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah. I guess cause when it happens you might feel really emotional about it and so your response will be different if you took the emotion out of it, pre-planned it, and then you could just take that plan.
Lauren Kincaid: I've already thought of that. I know how I'm going to react.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, exactly. I'm keen to hear from you on that front as well, Laura, the co-creation process. I understand that's something you guys have done, particularly when designing your new offices at REA.
Laura Naim: Like co-creating the spaces, yes. Again, we sort of had a group together. We didn't just decide this on our own.
We made sure that we were getting people involved asking what is needed. And it was really interesting in Covid because things changed. The needs changed. So how can we adopt to [00:43:00] that space and those changes? And, that was obviously a challenge. It was a challenge for everyone in the world that Covid.
But yeah, so it's really being able to be adaptable I think is really, really important. And that is not easy, especially when you're doing something like a big building. You can't just easily change something, especially when costs and things are involved. But having that mindset of, actually, I'm going to use the example of a meeting room.
Can we have a meeting room that is adaptable? Because these changing needs and spaces are going to be really important in this new hybrid world. So let's make sure that that is something that we have going forward.
Kezia Lynch: Totally. We've got a question from Mark here asking about how much of a factor is organization size on implementing new techs?
I think Paul, you've had a lot of experience with implementing tech at the large players I mentioned earlier, the Deloitte's of the world, the Datacom's of the world, the BNZ's of the world. Yeah. Pretty large size organizations, what does that look like in those scales?
Paul Field: There's two ways to think of this [00:44:00] question. One is that I'm not sure that its size. I think it's structure. I think it's all structure that drives it a little bit. Because we've had smaller organizations who are either on their own or satellites of a larger organization who have still gone through an enterprise selling process, where we've had to go through all those steps.
And that's only, a hundred staff. When you're talking with bigger enterprise businesses, it's back to that concept of who is I think Laura brought it up. Who's the decision maker? Who's consulted, who's informed in that process? Yes. You might have an organization like Spark that has thousands of employees, but fundamentally the decisions are being driven by teams and departments in their organization.
While that's laddering up to the exec team in monthly meetings and that kind of thing, they effectively have remit to make changes on their own. So again, who's the decision maker within the property team? Who's the decision maker within the people [00:45:00] team that gets affected by this and who's consulted across both levels?
So if you understand that, then size is just a number, I think.
Kezia Lynch: Hmm. In my experience at Parkable, you assume it's harder to roll things out to a larger number of people, but also sometimes those large organizations have specialist teams for that particular purpose of organization transformation or change management as well. And so better prepared for large scale implementation projects.
Paul Field: We've had implementations with Datacom, where they had a change management function within the bid business, and the same with IAG. And both of those change management functions effectively brought exactly all of the things that we're talking in today into frame for that deployment.
So they were the architects of change within their own organization. And if you have an organization that you're working with from a sales perspective or you are part of that organization, you have that function, lean on it.
Kezia Lynch: Yeah, [00:46:00] smaller organizations maybe don't have that function and, and less process. And so it is maybe harder to implement stuff even though there's a smaller number of people.
Estelle, how do you foster a culture within the Rocket Lab organization to have like an open-mindedness and acceptance of new technology? I know you guys are pretty tech future focused organization, so it's somewhat inherent.
Estelle Curd: I mean, in any organization that you're going to come across, whether it is all focused on tech or it's still on the old typewriter; people will be resistant to something that they don't understand, that they don't know. You can work on a system forever and you're like, "You're the expert" and you feel really good about that because you people come to you and they ask questions and it's nice. And then when you move to a new system, maybe you are not the expert anymore. So change affects everybody, right? Doesn't matter kind of what sort of organization you're in. But again, it really comes back to why are we doing this?
What are the benefits that it's [00:47:00] going to have in taking people along for the journey? And sometimes the journey can be long when we are talking about, you know, a big implementation, like going from where we're actually on implementation at the moment, going to Workday, which is a big global implementation.
The journey is long and you have to keep that excitement up. Because, you know, it's like, hey, this is happening, but in 12 months’ time. And further to your point, Laura, you kept communicating, ‘Hey, this is happening. This is what's going on’. You know, and kept some of that excitement. So people were still in tune with it.
It wasn't like, hey, this is happening. People forgot about it. And then it's like, oh, it's happened. And people were like, what? So Yeah, I think it, it's not necessarily about the industry, it's definitely about the personalities and, and people take change in all different ways. So again, back to the points we're talking about before, pulse surveys correcting if you need to and, and going back to the basic principles.
Kezia Lynch: I'm keen to also ask you, we've got another question here about rolling out changes globally and [00:48:00] Estelle, as Rocket Lab has or offices across New Zealand, the US and Canada. How do you communicate across different, time zones and, and physical barriers?
Estelle Curd: So recently we aligned our induction so that we want to give everybody the same experience, whether they're starting in Canada whichever state in the US New Zealand wherever they are.
And so the issue that we had was that everybody's induction was specific for their location, so it didn't feel like a global organization. It just felt like "I'm my little piece in the ocean", you know? Once we started to actually communicate like a global company, like, "hey, this is coming, this is exciting".
And we actually interconnected all those pieces. So we're not just a rocket company or a launch company, we're a satellite company. We're a space systems company and get everybody on that journey. And we included that in the induction. Actually the new people are bringing that in. But you have to keep reminding people because it's just human to go back to our habits to say, [00:49:00] well, no, I'm in the launch division or the rocket division and you know, those people are over there and you know, we are disconnected.
So a constant reminder of who we are or who we're transforming to be because who Rocket Lab was you know, five years ago is completely different to where we are now. We were just a launch business now. We're a company of 1600 employees. We do a lot more than just launching rockets.
That's the same for every organization. And that's why it's so important if you come back to the very start to have a champion.
Kezia Lynch: Totally. I think it's funny that you say you're not just a rocket launching company anymore. Cause I'm like, that sounds like quite enough to undertake, but you guys are smashing it on so many other levels as well.
We've got time for one more question and then we'll wrap it up. I'm going to go with this question from an audience member. How do you balance the needs for innovation with the organization's risk aversion when championing new tech? You've got to keep moving [00:50:00] forward, but also organizations that, it's hard to convince people to do that.
And particularly in this kind of economic climate where things are a little bit iffy and people are maybe holding themselves back. How do you consider that balance? Tricky question. Possibly. Lauren, I'm going to throw to you first. Throw you under the bus.
Lauren Kincaid: No, not at all. Can you repeat the question? It's how do you balance innovation with risk? Is that kind of the question? It's a great one. I think being clear on, I mean, Estelle touched on it, clear on what's our North star? So where are we, where are we going? Like where are we playing? Where are we going to win? I think that helps kind of prioritize where you invest your efforts.
And whether the time is right to, you know, you can't stop innovating, but how much are we investing and where are we investing? And be really intentional with those investments. While certainly not, you know, not taking the eye off the ball when it comes to what are the risks. But I think, every organization that we work with, currently certainly are all unsure. And we were, talking to [00:51:00] a large investment company recently came and presented to us and we were all asking the same questions around, what's the future hold and how long is this going to last?
And even they were like, look, we don't know. So everybody is assessing the risk while needing to continue to innovate. So I think it just makes us a lot more intentional about where we're investing as organizations. I don't know if I answered the question.
Kezia Lynch: No, I think you did. I think also it's easy to get bogged down in the moment right now. And realistically, the way the world works with things comes in cycles and sure it's a little bit tricky right now, but actually we're going to come out the other end and what can we do to prepare ourselves to be in a better position when we do come out that other end?
And the answer is usually to keep innovating and keep driving things forward so that you are staying ahead of your competitors and stuff like you mentioned earlier, Lauren. I feel like that is a pretty good place to possibly wrap up. So thank you so much to Lauren, Paul, Laura, and Estelle for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us today.
Lots of great, very practical advice and some resources definitely for us to [00:52:00] follow up with later. So keep an eye on your email for the recording of this and also those resources. Parakble’s also preparing a business case template that can be used to sell in the concept of Parkable or any other kind of workplace technology too.
So keep an eye out for that. If you are interested in learning a little bit more about Parkable, you can head over to their website. Parkable is the tool to help you optimize your office car park and optimize the performance and enhance the employee experience without creating any more administrative work.
Don't need that. Keep an eye on your email for upcoming webinars. We're going to be taking a short break for the next month, but then we'll be coming out back with Kay Sergeant, who's an expert from the US and she's going to be sharing with us about how to use technology and design thinking to co-create an inclusive hybrid workplace for everybody.
I'm looking forward to that one. Kay is a good personal friend of mine too, so it will be a great, fun conversation to have. That's us for today guys. Thank you so much for joining and we'll see you next time. Bye.
Lack of staff parking is a major bone of contention. Time wasted cruising for parking, and earlier starts by employees racing to win limited parking, take their toll on worker wellbeing. This is even more pressing with flexible working.
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Last month, our Parkable UK team attended the Engage Employee Summit in London.
If you have workplace parking spots and want to...