Many complain about their kids spending too much time on their phones, coming up occasionally for air and food, but how different was that to everyone reading the Metro newspaper on their underground commute to London, making no time for a nod or a smile?
We now work in open, deconstructed office spaces with hot-desks, yet the picture above represents the same office structure in 1902, so are we not just circling back? The one constant is the impact that people bring by building relationships and trust, and adding value that machines and automation cannot, regardless of how we work.
There are plenty of stories to reflect this, such as the legal firm who realised that the management profiles page on its website were the most visited, so they created video interviews where lawyers answered unconventional questions, to give a message of “you wont find stuffed shirts here, but real people who value great relationships.”
Another good one is the mining company who, when exposed to open source, decided to share their geological reports online, inviting outsider ideas on where to mine. The results were something else – 1400 participants from around the world got involved who between them identified over 50 new targets for gold extraction. 80% of these yielded gold.
I like technology and I really like gadgets, but I like people more.