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FOR THE HEALTH OF PEOPLE: EQUITY
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“The work [with Synaptiq] is unprecedented in its scale and potential impact,” Mortenson Center’s Managing Director Laura MacDonald MacDonald said. “It ties together our center’s strengths in impact evaluation and sensor deployment to generate evidence that informs development tools, policy, and practice.” 
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    ⇲ Implement & Scale
    DATA STRATEGY
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    A startup in digital health trained a risk model to open up a robust, precise, and scalable processing pipeline so providers could move faster, and patients could move with confidence after spinal surgery. 
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      PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS
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      Thwart errors, relieve in-take form exhaustion, and build a more accurate data picture for patients in chronic pain? Those who prefer the natural albeit comprehensive path to health and wellness said: sign me up. 
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        MACHINE VISION
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        Using a dynamic machine vision solution for detecting plaques in the carotid artery and providing care teams with rapid answers, saves lives with early disease detection and monitoring. 
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          INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION
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          This global law firm needed to be fast, adaptive, and provide unrivaled client service under pressure, intelligent automation did just that plus it made time for what matters most: meaningful human interactions. 
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            Mushrooms, Goats, and Machine Learning: What do they all have in common? You may never know unless you get started exploring the fundamentals of Machine Learning with Dr. Tim Oates, Synaptiq's Chief Data Scientist. You can read and visualize his new book in Python, tinker with inputs, and practice machine learning techniques for free. 

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              How Should My Company Prioritize AIQ™ Capabilities?

               

                 

                 

                 

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                  7 min read

                  Cultural Readiness for Construction Firms: The Key to Digital Transformation

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                  In the last decade, modern, high-tech tools have raised the bar for service excellence. Industry-leading organizations like Uber, Amazon, and Netflix have leveraged technology to maximize client convenience and process efficiency. As a result, the public now expects amenities such as 24/7 customer service, digital delivery, and personalized value, with every company and brand they engage with – from shopping to entertainment to healthcare.

                  To provide these amenities, organizations must undergo “digital transformation”: integrating digital technology into their business processes. Market drivers have pushed digital transformation across industries, but some sectors have been more responsive than others. 

                  While other industries–even with the virtual push during the Covid-19 pandemic–lag behind digital demand, the construction industry has been adventurous in its approach to digital transformation. With that said, construction firms that are still developing their understanding and tolerance for radical transformation are primarily concerned about introducing new liabilities. They typically lack what is described as "cultural readiness”: “a high degree of alignment between cultural norms and a proposed change" when it comes to new technology.

                  Our industry report found that construction leaders are already, or at least increasingly interested in utilizing AI technology to keep up with market drivers. However, firms that are hesitant to adopt radical data transformation and more broadly, digital transformation changes reported that a lack of cultural transformation surrounding the benefits of AI was largely to blame. You can download our report by clicking below. 


                  This blog post will explore how construction firms can foster cultural readiness for more radical digital transformation. We will discuss how to (1) determine your firm’s current level of cultural readiness, (2) overcome innovation stagnation, and (3) convince skeptics to support your initiative.

                  What is Your Firm’s Level of Cultural Readiness?

                  Recently, Synaptiq researched digital transformation in the construction industry. We conducted a series of interviews with leaders from a diverse group of firms and collected our findings in a research brief.

                  Notably, we found that firms tend to fall across the following levels of cultural readiness:

                  1. Starting. Firms on the starting level prefer a conservative approach to digital innovation: one which allows them to continue using current processes and tools. They introduce new technology through incremental (not radical) changes. Their digital transformation is highly IT-dependent and, as such, competes against many other technology needs.

                  2. Exploring. These firms prefer an opportunistic approach to digital innovation, often driven by a tech-enthusiast leader with specific requests. Their digital transformation involves opportunistic projects led by existing technology teams with executive input.

                  3. Leading. Firms on the "leading" level of cultural readiness prefer a comprehensive digital transformation approach, requiring a firm-wide strategy led by dedicated, executive-level roles. Their digital transformation is well-funded, prioritized, and systematic.

                  You can determine your own firm’s cultural readiness based on the descriptions above.

                  Overcoming Stagnation

                  “Innovation stagnation” occurs when an organization fails to introduce new technology for an extended period and (consequently) falls behind in terms of technical acumen and resources. If your firm is on the starting level of cultural readiness, you are likely experiencing (at least some) examples of innovation stagnation. To overcome it, we recommend that you begin digital transformation with a short-term project that has a high likelihood of success.

                  This initial project will serve as a quick confidence boost and warm-up for your firm’s IT department. Assign it to an IT manager who is a “believer” in innovation and willing to go the extra mile to exceed expectations. The worst thing you can do is set this project up for failure with a skeptical manager or insufficient resources; you will lose momentum for digital transformation, which is the opposite of its intended effect.

                  Convincing Skeptics

                  In any construction firm–really, any organization across industries–you will find “skeptics”: individuals resistant to change and wary of new technology. Skeptics often have good reasons for their inhibition. Perhaps they witnessed a serious technology blunder at their last organization, or maybe it’s an internal self-confidence issue and they are threatened by the idea of tech-savvy professionals crowding them out. 

                  Whatever their rationale, skeptics are reluctant to embrace the innovation necessary for digital transformation. Rarely, they may hinder the digital transformation efforts of firms at the leading level of cultural readiness. More commonly, they prevent firms at the starting and exploring levels from gaining momentum and organizational unity.

                  To bring skeptics on board for digital transformation, it’s essential to start slow -- before beginning digital transformation. You may think that skeptics will be “cured” when they see the benefits of digital transformation, but this is akin to trying to “cure” an arachnophobe by handing them a live tarantula. When skeptics confront new technology, they frequently resist using it -- or, worse, resist learning to use it correctly. They may even lobby others to join their resistance.

                  Ultimately, the only way to convert a skeptic is through education: introducing the idea of new technology and addressing anxieties head-on. With this approach, you get everything out in the open -- pros and cons, fears and hopes -- to resolve their concerns.

                  The Takeaway

                  Digital transformation is on the rise, not the least in the construction industry. It offers obvious and immediate benefits for construction firms: improved project delivery, risk management, automation, business development, and more. However, it also requires that firms overcome the obstacles outlined above: lack of cultural readiness, innovation stagnations, and skepticism.

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                  About Synaptiq

                  Synaptiq is an AI and data science consultancy based in Portland, Oregon. We collaborate with our clients to develop human-centered products and solutions. We uphold a strong commitment to ethics and innovation. 

                  Contact us if you have a problem to solve, a process to refine, or a question to ask.

                  You can learn more about our story through our past projects, blog, or podcast

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