The wrong way to invest in technology for hybrid with Simon Lloyd-Evans

I was curious to talk with Simon Lloyd-Evans to understand technology for hybrid workplaces through the eyes of a CIO. Simon is an experienced CIO, with over 30 years in IT and half of that as a CIO.

Despite what you might think, the CIO role is not mainly about technology. Simon explains how he teaches CIOs in training to think about the role, and the core skills they need to develop to be successful in the role. 

Simon shares how technology in the workplace is evolving, from a CIO’s perspective – in terms of where companies are now investing and the problems they’re now solving. 

We hear when technology is not a solution, and where companies should apply more rigour to arrive at real workplace technology solutions. Then we discuss the impact of technology on the engagement and commitment of key staff. 

Finally, we discover that Simon has a unique talent linked with his engineering background.

“What I find- what I find a lot is that technology is proffered as a panacea. So it doesn’t matter what the business challenge is, throw some shiny stuff at it. ‘Technology will fix all’ –  and of course, it won’t. It doesn’t necessarily fix it.

Make sure you’re trying to get to what the business issue is. The most common thing I find is bad process, which then materialises itself in dissatisfied individuals. You know, the staff are not engaging, aren’t feeling valued. The systems, the business
systems, technology ones in particular, then exacerbate that and sort of amplify it. So
therefore throwing more or different tech at it doesn’t necessarily fix anything it may amplify even further.” Simon Lloyd-Evans

Key moments

1:48 – How Simon got into the IT business and became a CIO

3:08 – What a CIO is not

6:34 – Mythbusting CIO misconceptions

9:14 – Whether the workplace is finally catching up with technology

16:04 – How to limit frustration in the hybrid workplace 

21:51 – Guiding principles for spending on technology

25:13 – The critical approach that makes collaboration and hybrid work for businesses

30:04 – How to approach the complexity of disruption

36:25 – How environmental factors impact the workplace experience

Resources mentioned in the show

Dangerous Enthusiasms: E-government, computer failure and information system development, Otago University Press, University of Otago, New Zealand

The four pathological enthusiasms 

  • Idolisation or technological infatuation
  • Technophilia or the myth of the technological fix
  • lomanism 
  • Managerial faddism

Organisational Behaviour on the Pacific Rim: 9780074716588: Books

  • For a review of the environmental influence on human behaviour

Owen Eastwood (author of Belonging)–owen-eastwood/

The Workplace Makers podcast explores workplace making – building modern workplaces that people are drawn to, wherever they work from

Workplace Makers – the podcast about people building workplaces that attract a crowd

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