“We haven’t got an IT Manager. But Victoria was getting really frustrated by our process and software, so she took ownership of it. She runs our software now.”
When speaking with head honchos of successful scaling businesses in the 50-100 people range, it’s not uncommon to hear about a Victoria (in this example, there actually was Victoria! She was a junior staff member in a business of 10 people, which has grown into the 50-100 range).
We want to tell you why every business needs a Victoria. A Victoria will challenge the status quo, and recognise when a process or software isn't effective. She will decide that there must be a better way of doing it, then take it upon herself to look for a better solution. She will find a better way of executing a process, and then bring that to the team.
The first time they do this, the option they pitch might receive a varied response. But it doesn’t matter: it’s the action they have taken which counts.
Victoria has struck the flint over the kindling, and if that ignition is fostered, if the team feed it with oxygen, it has the potential to ignite positive change through the rest of the business.
Victoria has recognised things could be better. There is a vision for the future which trumps the here and now. They have the motivation to enact that change within your business.
The typical challenge is that a person recommending improvement for process/tech likely does not have a technical background, so whilst they are motivated, they are more likely to fail than someone who has a technical/business analyst background. This can create a troublesome scenario. You have someone who is aligned with the business and wants to create improvement. However, they may not have the ability to undertake your digital transformation. So the question should now be: how do we empower them?
You may be familiar with the following graphic:
The ideal route would be to create space, protect time and empower and encourage your Victoria. Ideally, she would move from the bottom right into the top right quadrant. Over time, you might then create a role for Victoria which is solely related to digital adoption and empowering growth through technology. If they don’t receive that support, they continue to be frustrated by the issues, with the added resentment of not having being empowered to make the changes.
Businesses, by the volition of one digitally minded employee, have achieved amazing tech transformations. What businesses achieve without an IT manager is incredible. If you have a Victoria, do everything you can to support them in their role: you can’t afford to neglect tech, and if someone is interested in it, they are worth their weight in gold. Who is your Victoria?