Afraid to Fail Means Afraid to Innovate: 4 Tips for Better Tech Culture

You want to keep your talented tech professionals happy and engaged. You don’t want a lot of hand-waving, just straight talk about the necessary steps to retain the best and most ambitious in your company. Look no further than Jim Anning, who heads up data and analytics at British Gas Connected Homes. In an interview with ZDNet’s Mark Samuels, Anning sorts the fact from fiction, and offers advice to set your efforts on the right track.

4 Pieces of the Talent Puzzle

  • Be entrepreneurial and open to change.
  • Find great people and keep them interested.
  • Create projects that make a difference to customer service.
  • Keep thinking of how to push the organization forward.

Entrepreneurialism is at its best when the organization is decentralized, when it lets its people have a relatively free reign over initiatives. Failure will occur, says Anning, but that’s part of business. It’s part of being innovative. Of course, you’ll want to separate the initiatives that are destined to “get dirty,” to enter the market quickly and with maximum risk, from those that are ready for official production or some initial testing.

Keeping talent is one thing, attracting them is quite another. If your company is struggling in this department, it pays to find workshops for individuals who have the right mindsets but who are not yet familiar with certain procedural aspects of a given job. Ultimately, a team that is equipped with the necessary skills and is also given a free hand over its work will deliver superior customer service. Cutting-edge technologies like big data and analytics are all well and good, says Anning, but the journey that takes those technologies and applies them in a practical setting involves perseverance by dedicated people who are locked into a collaborative and business-driven environment.

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