I was delighted that the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce invited me to write an article for the recent technology issue of its magazine W4. Printed below is the text of the article. If you’d like to see the Chamber’s full technology issue with some great articles, please click here.
People and Technology
“Think about it – even a pencil was advanced technology when it was invented.”
So I was informed by my technology-loving teenage son several months ago when I threatened to “take away all of your technology if you don’t do your chores.” What I meant, of course, was that I could take away the desktop computer, the laptop, the cell phone, the TV, the Nintendo DS and the Kindle Fire. What my smart (and in this case smart aleck) son pointed out is that technology is ever-evolving, and what we find intrusive or hard to deal with at one point in our lives may well become familiar and completely accepted later on.
It’s hard to be in business today – or to function in our technology-rich world – without embracing technology and making it work for us. In fact, it seems like technology is taking over our lives, But we have to ask ourselves “Will technology be our master, or can we master technology for our benefit?
On the surface, it looks like we are living in a technology revolution. I believe, however, that we are living in a people revolution that is powered by technology. The key to understanding and benefitting from this revolution is to be empowered by technology, not powerless when it comes to dealing with it.
When I work with people to help them with their marketing, social media and organizational effectiveness, I always begin with the fundamentals of business in the Five Question Framework developed by the late Peter Drucker.
- What is Our Mission?
- Who Is Our Customer?
- What Does Our Customer Value?
- What Are Our Results?
- What Are Our Plans?
This provides structure so that we can make smart business decisions that are most likely to get us the results we desire. If a business owner is considering creating a new website, the decision to update or not, and if yes then what content, features and design all can be evaluated within this framework. When someone asks me if they should spend time posting updates to their business Facebook page, the answer can be found by following this path.
- What are you trying to accomplish in your business?
- Are your customers (and prospective customers) on Facebook?
- Will they be more likely to do business with you if you are posting to Facebook?
- How are things going now for you?
- What are your plans to grow your business?
When we consider investing in and deploying new technology, this is a great framework to help us evaluate our options. The key is to discover how technology can help us, learn how we and our employees can use it, and only purchase and deploy the tech products and services that will work for us.