A Digital ‘Stool’

by | Jan 6, 2023 | Change, ICT4D |


A three legged stool is hard to repair. It is relatively easy to change one leg by itself. However, the challenge is often that once we adjust one, the other two are thrown off-kilter. We lose the harmony, balance, stability of the three, when one is adjusted on its own.

In talking about digital transformation, people talk of 3 as well – Policy – Technology – Operations. Too often these ‘legs’ are disconnected, seen almost as completed separate things. There is often a sense that the three should be integrated better, but perhaps it’s viewed as too hard.

Sometimes the change and transformation we create is not a new product, shiny toy, or even a new process. Sometimes change is the bringing togther of parts which were always intended to be together. A three legged stool has legs, but also has pieces of wood connecting each leg to the other two. It is these three cross pieces which make the stool work. Without them, the legs would split apart and we’d find ourselves on the floor. Sometimes our role as change makers is be (and build) those connecting pieces between policy, tech, and operations.

Without them, the three legs go their seperate ways and problems arise. Our job as change makers is make connections and help others see the connections. It is not the most celebrated work and it’s often very difficult, but it is critical and perhaps some of the most powerful change that can occur in an organisation.

Photo by Joseph Gonzalez


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