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Q&A with Georg Meyer

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Georg Meyer , Chairman of the Board @ Preston Meyer AG


Can you share an example where the alignment of people, process, and technology did not

initially exist, and how you addressed this misalignment?


Once, while working on a project with a client, we noticed that they had a number of metrics on big screens all over their building. After talking to several employees, it became obvious that these were not adding value to anyone. They did not drive any decisions or help improve any processes.


After asking the question of what is essential to know for everyone in the business, all but two

high-level KPIs were removed. Importantly, everybody knew how they were contributing to

these two KPIs.

Instead of more numbers or charts, half the screen is now used for a daily message from the

CEO. Sometimes, this is celebrating a birthday or work anniversary, welcoming a customer, or

highlighting an important focus area. It clearly communicates to everyone what the organization considers essential, e.g., appreciation for customers and employees.


How do you assess and decide on the adoption of new technologies within your organization? What criteria do you use to ensure they align with your people and processes?


We start by looking at the problems we are trying to solve.


Is this technology a good fit for us? Does it help us focus on the essential aspects of our business?


A new technology is like a hammer – great, if the problem you have is pounding in a nail.

However, technology is often presented as a dazzling cure-all. Combine this with the pressure of hearing “your competitors are already using it”, and it can becoming very tempting to start looking for things to pound with the hammer rather than ask “do we even need a hammer?”


Often, this becomes a problem once the technology gets implemented: it doesn’t fit into the

process and the people who have to use it shake their heads because they were given a hammer when they really need a better screw-driver


This can be avoided if the question of fit is asked first – with the people who understand the

impact on processes and roles at the table.


How do you balance the need for structured processes with the flexibility required to adapt to rapid changes in the market or technology?


This is a great question that highlights the need for harmony among people, process, and

technology very well. The three differ in terms of flexibility.


Suppose your biggest customer comes to you with an exceptionally lucrative business

opportunity and you decide you want to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, it’s different enough from the existing business that your technology does not support it. You see that the technology is not flexible: if it does not support a required transaction, it cannot be done within the system. It requires time and investment to change.


The process is likely more flexible: you can build on the existing process and put in changes or exceptions for the new business where appropriate. For example, your receiving and shipping could stay exactly the same but you change the manufacturing to accommodate the new business.


People are the most flexible: if feasible, they can manually work through what it takes to serve this new customer need. Of course, for your people to have time to do so, your existing process and technology should ensure a smooth day-to-day operation. If you are firefighting in the existing business, it’s unlikely you will succeed with more challenging new business.


Over time, if this new business becomes steady, you want to fully integrate it into your processes and technology so it can be served smoothly and your human power is free to take on the next strategic challenges – such as cultivating meaningful relationships, growth, or continuous improvement


On the Harmony of People, Process and Technology

Georg Meyer, PhD

Founder and Principal Consultant

Preston Meyer AG

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