25 May 2022

Guest blog: How a people-first culture can drive innovation and technology adoption

Guest blog by Chris Wade, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Gamma

In this opinion piece, Chris Wade, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Gamma, discusses how business leaders must put people and collaboration first in order to create an environment in which innovation and technology can thrive. He also takes a look at the main causes of successful technology adoption and how business leaders can lower the barriers preventing them taking their business success to the next level.


Not all environments are conducive to innovation. To create the right conditions for innovation, and technology, to thrive, business leaders must start with collaboration.

Simply put, collaboration is the act of working together to create something different and better. Slightly more complicated is the way collaboration has changed in recent years.

Working culture has had to transform very quickly into something that none of us was used to, nor ready for. We've had to embrace new technologies, new ways of working and new working behaviours. Not always for the best.

While many studies recognise a bump in productivity thanks to remote working, other research shows us that our attention span has decreased over the past ten years (worryingly, it's now lower than a goldfish's); that we are still unable to consume information on a screen as quickly as we do on paper; and that we tend to spend most of our collaborative time - such as video conferencing - doing something else. On top of that, employee wellbeing has become a very serious concern that needs to be addressed to avoid burnout.

Creating a collaborative, and therefore innovative, environment clearly doesn't come without its challenges - but it's far from impossible.

Taking down the barriers

People are at the heart of any business and its success. Without them, innovation wouldn't be possible, collaboration wouldn't exist, and technology wouldn't serve any purpose.

This is why to create an innovative and collaborative environment, it's important to first create an environment where any barriers to positive behavioural changes are removed and new technology adoption is fostered and encouraged.

There are three main causes of unsuccessful technology adoption:

  1. Company culture

With the advent of COVID-19, it became generally accepted that people were still able to be effective and productive when working remotely. Unfortunately, the change also showed that business leaders had been reluctant to that change for no real reason. The office culture was our norm and we simply assumed that was the best way to get the most out of people.

To foster a truly innovative environment, business leaders mustn't be afraid of change, but rather should encourage a culture that empowers their employees - regardless of location or preferred way of working.

  1. Fear of change

As human beings, we dislike the unknown and unfamiliar. When anything changes our day-to-day, we tend to be resistant to it and  are scared it will complicate and disrupt our lives. Whether that's a new laptop, a new software or simply a new kettle in the office kitchen - without a clear process to explain that change, people will simply be reluctant to accept it.

For this reason, before deploying new technology, business leaders must ensure their employees understand the reason for change and how it's going to benefit both their own work and the success of the business.

  1. Confusion of choice

The amount of working tools and platforms has multiplied with the move to remote working. With that, so has our confusion. With so many tools enabling us to collaborate in similar ways, communication and productivity are often fragmented and left to the preference of the user.

Effective training can ensure employees get the best out of new technology. This is vital to true collaboration and innovation - and as we've mentioned, to avoid any fear of change. Without clear training for any new technology, people will simply go back to their old ways or whatever works best for them, rather than the organisation.

Looking after employees

As mentioned before, innovation starts with collaboration - which in turn starts with people.

Unfortunately, at the offset of the pandemic, the main concern of most business leaders was to ensure employees could be just as productive as they were in the office.

To overcome this concern, many businesses deployed a whole set of new technologies and a mishmash of tools that would see them through the pandemic.

The result? Employees ended up having to remember multiple passwords and logins; use similar platforms for similar tasks, with more open tabs than one could count; and sit through hours of training for similar systems.

That all led to some serious burnout issues – effectively one of the biggest threats to any business in this new era working. This is because as employees' mental health declines, so do productivity and innovation.

The same technology deployed to increase productivity can have the very opposite effect.


As we continue to settle into this new reality, business leaders can reshape ways of working to create an environment truly conducive to innovation. That is an environment where people are empowered to collaborate better, embrace new technology and in turn, create new opportunities for the organisations.

It's time for leaders to reconsider what role each tech component plays in the future of the business and what it's trying to achieve.

We're ultimately all trying to enable our people to work better. It's therefore vital to take into consideration how people will react to the change and how they're going to use technology to drive innovation.

Chris Wade, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Gamma

With a longstanding career in Software as a Service (SaaS), Chris understands the changing needs of businesses and the importance of technology to support them. He is an industry expert in cloud communications, customer experience and technology adoption across various segments, with a focus on SMEs.

 Local Public Services Innovation: Creating a catalyst for change



techUK, in collaboration with its Local Public Services Committee, has published a new report making the case for enhanced digital innovation adoption across the UK’s local public services to improve citizens’ lives. The report, ‘Local Public Services Innovation: Creating a catalyst for change



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