noun | tech·nol·o·gy | \tek-ˈnä-lə-jē\ . a: the practical application of knowledge; b: the use of science in industry, engineering, etc., to invent useful things or to solve problems [i].
Everyone is looking at you. A couple hundred federal government employees sitting in amphitheater-style seating, to be more specific. Your job is to deliver solutions for people to engage between differences that challenge them, and they are questioning how to do their jobs without the resources they say are needed. How do you respond?
This is the scenario in which I found myself earlier this year when contracted as a KMA associate to present on generations in the workplace. Generally, those Millennials present were frustrated that their high level workplace was not equipped with the high tech tools they expected. The resource expectations of Gen X’ers—and some others of more senior generations—were also unmet in that they were not witnessing gold standard “brain power” on the part of newer Millennial hires. As you can imagine, employees had plenty to say about the topic, and I did more listening from the presentation stage than speaking. Which turned out to be what we all needed to get at the solution I proposed at the conclusion of our time together: You are your best technology.
It’s not as much the sophistication of computer-based technology itself—but the sophistication with which we think about using that technology—that is the need.
One set of key take-aways from the generational program that I built with thought leaders at KMA is around collaborating through technology. Throughout the history of organizations, systems of effective cooperation remain the figurative motherboard. Whether it’s the rotary dial phone and the radio, or SMS and a crowdsourcing system, humans seem to continually strive to create gadgets and gizmos to help us connect. These days, computer-based technology is the primary mode by which to transmit data and knowledge across dispersed networks of people—and also the preferred condition by which Millennials—and their junior iGeneration [ii]—more often than not communicate and maintain the momentum of their lives. (That, by the way, doesn’t have to stop in order for all of us to recognize the title of this blog post.) It’s not as much the sophistication of computer-based technology itself—but the sophistication with which we think about using that technology—that is the need.
Here are three suggestions on how to frame your thinking to leverage your best technology:
In short, the concept I’m communicating is simple: Our minds are superior to any technology they imagine, and we can imagine more for our own minds. What’s on your mind?
[i] Source: Merriam Webster dictionary.
[ii] The iGeneration, also known as Generation Z or Post-Millennials, are considered those born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s. Millennials, also know as Generation Y, were born between 1980-2000. Generation X'ers were born between 1965-1981. Boomers were born between 1946-1964. Lastly—and certainly not least—Traditionalists were born between 1915-1945. All date ranges are estimates and vary by source.
[iii] An abbreviation for face-to-face.
people. place. purpose.