We have filled our businesses with more and more technology but can we really demonstrate that it has made us more productive, and that it is contributing in a positive manner to our bottom line?
That may sound silly at first glance but take a step back and consider whether things in your business have become overly complicated simply because the technology gets in the way? What about the effect it may have on the way that people in your business communicate. Do you find that people sitting next to each other prefer to email each other rather than just having a chat?
It is so easy to accept the status quo but challenging the existing beliefs in your business could generate significant improvements. Technology is a method to enhance the way that a business goes about what it does, but it shouldn’t become the reason why businesses do something.
Perhaps a good analogy is the automatic phone routing we have all experienced when calling a large company. You know the drill – Press 1 for Sales, 2 for Support, etc. We all understand that it should help us get through to the right person faster but we’d all prefer not to have to do it wouldn’t we? The problem is that many business use call routing technology far more than they should. I’m sure that you are all familiar with having to make selection after selection to try and just get someone one on the phone to help. In that situation the technology is actually hurting the business.
Now consider how your business uses email. Do your employees use their Inbox for EVERYTHING? Do you find people falling into the trap of CC’ing others who don’t really need to see the email? Just because you can send an email to someone doesn’t mean you should. Emails are designed for quick communications not long discussions or collaborations. How many times have you seen an email thread that is pages and pages long and yet really doesn’t get to the heart of the matter? They are all too common these days.
We created technology to be our servant but it seems that many people have allowed it to become our masters. Many seem to be working harder and longer than ever before yet we have more technology than we have ever had previously. Why is that? Determining how to use technology effectively is more important than simply using it. Take a minute and challenge the norms in your business and see whether technology is perhaps hindering the performance of the way that you run your business.