I recently wrote about this over on LinkedIn but reading a recent post by Richard Branson on attitude got me thinking.
I got “Velocity: The Seven New Laws for a World Gone Digital” by Ajaz Ahmed and Stefan Olander in my goodie bag from Virgin Disruptors back in October last year when I attended the event as a guest. The main message is that all we really want is to “make a meaningful and enduring contribution” in this world.
Being in the business of getting people to use technology, the attitude you have makes all the difference. Technology is not the end goal. It was never the end goal and treating it as such will lead to failure. Technology is a tool to empower people. You cannot and should not forget it’s all about people and the effect you/what you do have on them.
I don’t care what you are producing (be it product or service), you should be asking yourself: is this making life easier/better for people?
Digital transformation is hard. People approach it with caution, even fear, when it comes to business. But digital is the means, it is not the end goal.
“Digital is the means, it is not the end goal.”
“At the far side of an app, a Tweet, a digital anything, there’s a person”. How are you improving life at work for that person? Be honest — with yourself and with the people you interact with.
Nothing in life that’s truly meaningful comes easy. Making life easier for others will more than likely mean that you’re making life complicated for yourself. And that’s cool, as long as you use your creativity and imagination to come up with something of real value.
Work for VOI (value on investment), not ROI. The return will come. Evolving towards something better is one of our highest needs as humans on that pyramid Maslow gave us. And technology can free us and let us do better.
Nowhere is that more empowering than in our working lives. Repetitive tasks, constant fire-fighting issues and redundant processes can dull even the sharpest minds and lull them into a state of mediocrity. Performance suffers, fulfilment dwindles.
The guys at Nike for instance, under Stefan’s leadership as VP of Digital Sport, ask themselves these 5 questions about every single product:
1. Does it help athletes (people) get better?
2. Does it have the potential of reaching a million new people?
3. Can it be explained in two sentences or less?
4. Would we use it ourselves?
5. Is it simple, human and indispensable?
As a tech company, my aim is to make life easier for people at work. Empower them to creatively apply their skills and make a difference in turn.
Technology is not the the most powerful force in the universe. The most powerful force at play at any given time is imagination. Imagining a better way, an easier way, a new way and using technology to achieve it.
Tech will set you free, then it’s up to you.
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