Tech Literacy: The Most Important Thing You Probably Aren’t Doing Well.

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Tech literacy sounds about as compelling as weaving construction paper placemats – and it receives about as much enthusiasm from business stakeholders. The thing is, most businesses regardless of size or industry, are suffering from a profound lack of tech literacy. This risks are particularly acute for traditional organizations in the process of evolving and adapting their operations and products to meet the demands of the digital world.

Educating employees on cool new product launches or encouraging them to be innovative isn’t much good if the folks outside of your Tech org can’t tell you how APIs work or comprehend why cloud computing is such a big deal. No matter how many fancy third-party partners, incubation labs or VC projects your firm is working with, the information gap means your organization isn’t moving as fast as it should be.

Find educational partners: Find allies where you can. In theory, your tech leaders should be a good place to start. They are accustomed to explaining their motives to business stakeholders and painfully aware of where the learning curve dips. Sit down with leaders who are likely to benefit from tech education and identify a few topics to tackle. Ideally, these topics should support what’s happening within in the business. For example, if you are launching or updating specific business products, use employee comprehension of their attributes, performance and function as your end goal.

Start small: Deconstruct your chosen product/s to their basic elements and identify what small knowledge gaps you need to start with. For example, does your new product sit on a new platform? Or Leverage the APIs of another app for customers to sign up? Then start there. Make it your goal to educate the population on what platforms are and how they support products and speed delivery time for new products.

Make it accessible – and not the most boring thing ever: Find ways to make APIs sound easy, clear and understandable. Show, don’t tell, how platforms work and support your products. While executives and employees alike need to learn the proper terminology if they are to build a proper knowledge base, don’t beat them over the head with it. Kill the tech jargon, and get visual. It’s more work on the front end, but well worth it when people start to exclaim, “I get it!”