Our relationship with technology reminds me of a parent's relationship with a new child. After birth, parents marvel at the new life with wonder and amazement. Once the honeymoon period ends, they realize the child can be a bit troublesome and even has the capability to push-back. And as the child grows into a full-fledged person, parents and children evolve simultaneously and adapt on the fly.
I've worked with many different clients to study how people work with technology and adapt to the changes that it brings about, and what I've come to conclude is, quite frankly, we suck at it.
This presents a real problem, because as uncertain economic conditions force companies to cut travel budgets at the same time they are pursuing new business ventures in foreign countries, virtual relationships that span cultural boundaries (aka those enabled by technology) are going to become increasingly prevalent. These relationships will live at the crux long-lasting partnerships that help us grow our businesses.
I spoke about this topic at a TEDx event. So without further ado, here is my take on human beings' evolving relationships with technology, why each form of virtual communication requires its own syntax, and my love of beer can chicken.
Gervais Tompkin chooses to be optimistic. He thrives on collaborations with others and is more likely to diagram it than talk about it. His practice as a leader of Gensler’s consulting practice allows him to work with interesting people on worthy problems globally. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.