The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. - Bill Gates
First, a disclaimer: I'm no techno-phobe. For many reasons:
- Technology, like anything renewable, has been hardwired in us to embrace. We smile at babies
Please don't let this happen to me.
- At fifty-four, I'm now in danger of being teleported to Planet Unhirable by any employer who believes no one over forty can find the power-on button. Staying current with new technology is simply survival, by maintaining both the reality and the perception in others that I'm not out of touch.
- The jobs on most estates actually require it, so I support it. As in many service jobs, satisfying the client means doing more in less time, and in-person meetings, once replaced by voicemail, then email, are now conducted through various means of texting and conferencing. No doubt, in five years, we'll all look back on texting and Go-To-Meeting as embarrassingly prehistoric methods of meeting with co-workers, as newer - and unimaginable as of now - technologies take their places.
- I grew up watching Batman. Alfred Pennyworth, the consummate Butler, just knew how to navigate through it all so well. He's my first memory of someone who really loved their job; and he utilized technology in a home with such finesse, that I just knew, even at age five, one day I'd be a Butler, too.
My local gym, with good intentions, has now installed treadmills, whereupon your data is uploaded to a cloud and you can then stream your progress reports to your iPhone, when you have more time, later. Because, as we all know, while on a treadmill, one just doesn't have time to deal with thinking about getting into shape, as one is spending that time catching up on emails, video presentations, national news, and editing and texting spreadsheets.
I realized this morning how happy I am this new treadmill cloud technology did not exist last summer when I decided to drop forty pounds, because, simply, I never would have been able to. I would have, instead, spent the following three months uploading heartbeat trends while sorting the day's cascading stream of urgent emails, mostly cc's. Yet, instead, what happened last summer is that I passed by a mirror - technology that's not too exciting, yet has been efficiently in place since the second century A.D. - and decided it was time for a change. It was a powerful visual that only a mirror knows how to do, and one I would never have paid attention to if I'd focused my energy at the gym on studying metrics of how I was doing by uploading then downloading the clean, presentable, photo-shopped, color enhanced, and re-assembled metric cloud version of myself.
I see the same trend now developing in training and human resources. As both a national and local chapter member of American Society for Training & Development, I've noticed there's lots of discussion of what apps trainers are downloading to keep up with metrics they are purchasing, from ASTD, on, well, the apps that trainers are downloading. But, very little actual doing or even talking about doing, eh, training.
|Egg alerts: This is just all wrong.|
In which ways is technology actually serving you - and helping you to serve your Principals - on your estate?
And in which ways could we engage in some reflection on how to approach high technology effectively - along with all efficient means to complete the mission of service?