Technology really bores me

This may sound like an unlikely thing for me to say but it is true.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Macs and my iPhone and do believe that they have enabled me to do things that otherwise I wouldn’t have. But that is the point. It is what they enabled that matters. Someone once called me “the Terence Conran of anoraks” and I took this as a real compliment. I am very interested in technology if it makes life better, but left cold by it if it doesn’t.

This is why I get really, really bored when people go on about this enterprise system or that. I don’t care. Most of them are dreadful anyway. What I am really interested in is what you do with whatever tools you use – and that could be the cheapest BBS off the internet. What is the point in buying the latest shiny thing or lumbering yourselves with Sharepoint if no one writes anything interesting?

There are too many organisations keeping up with the Jones’s and “doing social”. Too many people who use the words but who never blog, never tweet, never think aloud and in public. They might as well have saved their money.

20 thoughts on “Technology really bores me

  1. Of course, the interesting part isn't the technology, it is how the technology enables us to better understand/use the information we have. Technology that makes this happen, gets me excited. But I'm not interested in how it works under the hood. Thank goodness those people exist, bravo to all you guys that get us there – but it's my role in life to exploit it, and discover the latent value in all that lovely data!

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  2. Its exceedingly common for organizations to purchase and install technology but never actually utilize functionality they've bought and paid for. The imagination doesn't extend beyond acquiring a 'brand'.

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  3. Interesting experience of attending a seminar where people where physically in the room but were buried in their tweets or whatever. Technology in that case was purely stopping those people being present.

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  4. Nicely and succinctly put !Just sent 2 days with an org'n that has put 3 yrs into people (communities & clients) before even beginning to get into what & how with the technology. I believe they have created a robust foundation by "going slow to go fast". The energy is palpable now, and (I believe) unstoppable.

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  5. I've been in the same spot lately. I've seen tools go from being helpful and getting out of the way to being like the clumsy tools they were disrupting. The focus on the tech not the human and business problems being solves drives me nuts. Having people talk about tools that increase the time and effort to do one's job is not an advancement. We are seeing the tools that had promise devolve the same way KM tools did with tech requirements gutting the value out of ease of use by engineers who have not the first understanding about social interaction nor anything remotely related.

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  6. From what I understand so far, they started 3+ years ago with developing a new vision and values (now widely shared amongst the employees and their constituency, with the expectation that this V & V will be lived up to). Then, slowly but more than organically, they began developing communities of employees who were charged with exploring ways to implement this V & V in various areas.This was 'led' by a woman who is head of strategic planning and learning / development, who is a direct report to the CEO. She (in a couple of words) gets it.They began then exploring the tenets and issues of what is called E2.0 about 2 years ago, learning, asking questions, wondering how & what was necessary to "2.0-ize' the company.But, I think that from what I see and understand thus far, their perspective on what 2.0 means is transformation of the culture and the ways of doing things (the fundamental nature of work) .. thus collaboration, for example, is only an element of the whole picture (albeit a fundamental and necessary-to-realise-vision-and-values element of that whole picture).They also understand deeply that there are necessary tools, but that it is not about the platform, or the tools, first. It's about people, mindsets, willingness to and embrace of (real and deep) change, etc.From the energy that poured into, through and out of a large room of 200+ people over the last couple of days, I'd argue that what's going on there is absolutely unstoppable. I sure hope they want to include me some more on their journey .. they are in effect building a wirearchy, from what I can see, from the people on out through new and connected ways of doing things.

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  7. We are seeing the tools that had promise devolve the same way KM tools did with tech requirements gutting the value out of ease of use by engineers who have not the first understanding about social interaction nor anything remotely related.Thomas, I am on record as 'worrying' that the wholesale implementation of 'social business' over the next few years will be a replay (albeit probably less expensive) of the whole ERP / SAP / reengineering debacle of the late 90's / early '00's.As you may know, Accenture, Deloitte and others are pouring into the social business consulting game now. And a lot of the leading smaller firms (not that there are that many) are mainly comprised of former (and smart) tech analysts who are busy joyfully discovering basic organizational sociology concepts < /short snark rant over >

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  8. And has this been leading up to implementing technology?Euan, I believe that thety are just now beginning to explore what may be the most appropriate and/or useful technology (ies). For basic collaboration they have been using a very simple platform, and they have been using straightforward wikis for a companyopedia of sorts and an "intelligent directory".As I may have said earlier, they are now getting into the next phase, wherein transformation deepens and spreads .. and that will involve more (easy-to-use) technology. They are very aware that for them a key principle is the simpler, the better.

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  9. I was indeed impressed!I wasn't quite sure why they invited me over all the way from the west coast of NA (except maybe that I speak French, and thus am a curiosity ?), but the woman I cited earlier said they felt certain that the hardest parts (re-design of work, "re-design" of management attitudes and behaviours, etc.) were yet in front of them. I was told that what I had to say resonated deeply .. evidence found in the presentations various groups made throughout the remaining day, where aspects of my keynote preso kept appearing quoted or paraphrased. Needless to say, I was quietly chuffed (apologies for that moment of hopefully-softly-voiced conceit).

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  10. Reading Jon's input on the uptake of new business dynamics with his friends in France I do wonder how much these transformations actually engage with the wider world – are their partners in other businesses actually engaged in a similar process and will "get" what they are talking about. Am I missing the point?I also wonder Jon what your experience is of the French culture in relation to technology .v. Anglo-Saxon approaches. I have experience of several French employees whose input to implementation of new systems over the years has left us a legacy of what I can only conclude is a French type of logic.

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  11. Technology destroys humanity. Babies born and kept in incubators invariably become internet freaks and techno geeks. The cold metallic touch of high-technology leads to the obvious question: why-technology??? I mean it sure beats me why we should eat plastic food and s(h)it on our asses all day long stuck with our eyes glued to a computer screen. And get insomnia as a side effect! Pathetic. Back to Nature I say.

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  12. Yes, really interesting write up man! Actually now a day technology has spread all over the world and now people are well capable to use modern technology but it doesn’t mean that every thing will move on a right way and that is why i am telling you that don’t worry about this and you just try to find out that which one will be the better for you. Thanks

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  13. Is it true??? So it is really good for you I mean. I think you are a man of good fortune as well. I was in the hunt for this type of reading. Thanks the head up!!!!!!!!!!!

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