I believe in the fast moving Information and Technological Age in which we live the old adage : Feed a man a fish and you feed him for a day, Teach a man to Fish and you feed him for Life has changed to –
Feed a man a Fish and you feed him for a day,
Teach a man to Fish and you feed him for Life.
But if he never goes Fishing he will starve eventually
When we wrote the Grumpy Old Managers’ Guide (note the positioning of the apostrophe) several years ago, we said the best way to adjust and adapt to technology (Social Media in particular) and discover its potential in business was to use it for something you enjoy.
Rather than treat the Computer as something you have to use at work to do Spreadsheets and answer email start to explore what it can do to improve your knowledge of things you enjoy – Wine, Gardening, Music etc etc. We suggested that kind of exploring will open you up to Blogging, Twitter, Facebook etc and give you some appreciation of their use in your business.
In looking at the way small children adapt to technology quickly we can learn much. Old people marvel at the way young children master Mobile Phones. Tablets PCs etc…as if they possess special powers only found in young brains.
These days every business talks about Innovation and that’s something they can learn from the very young because life is one big Innovation to them.
So why is it that kids don’t sit around like adults waiting to be taught…waiting till they start school…or the teacher shows them how?
Because they are curious and because they use the technology to do things they like (eg. play games, “read” interactive stories etc).
It’s pretty obvious – adults avoid technology because they were introduced to it at work…while youngsters embrace it because they were introduced to it at home, where they explore, play and find enjoyment.
Of course in the work environment it can’t all about fun and enjoyment…although there is plenty of game playing in the workplace.
But there MUST be a more open attitude to change aka Innovation and that’s generally another word for technology too…If you don’t want to be left behind. Instead of sitting and waiting for the next training course on the new software or hardware (e.g. SmartPhone) just jump in and have a go…play with it…that’s the best way to learn. It is hard to teach people anything. The best you can do is help them learn. And the best way to do that is show them the possibilities and then leave them to explore…and then review and revise based on their questions. Every Lecture should be followed up by a Tutorial.
So once you are taught the basics of anything these days you need to jump in and start using it and stop being afraid that you might break it or you might make a fool of yourself. The only way you lose in business these days is by doing nothing and waiting for others to make it happen for you.
Although there are some people out there that think they can introduce Innovation without too much Change!!
In this day and age learning is all about doing. All businesses should strive to adopt this mantra:-
We are Makers and Doers