Let me take you back to a simpler time when people helped people. I’m not talking about Little House on the Prairie times, but probably late-70s and early 80s where computers began to dominate the scene. Since this time our fascination and zombie-like attitude toward information technology (IT) has continued . . . at great cost.
A combination of media, business and government with unbridled exuberance has done nothing to . . . well, keep things in perspective. When improvement is needed we turn to technology. Innovation leadership can not be achieved without IT, correct? Wrong, and not just wrong but costly wrong.
In our collective psyche we have managed to place IT on such a pedestal it has become a dominate industry, more so than the industries to which they serve. But in a management paradox, IT has failed to deliver in many cases. And I am not just talking about missed schedules and cost over-runs.
The problem is that in our rush to go paperless (never happened) and automate (not always a good idea), we lost track of the ability to design and manage work optimally. The current thinking of outsourcing, shared services, business analytics, Business Process Management, IVRs would never have been possible without Information Technology. But one question never seems to get asked, "Since IT can, should it?"
I have to say a resounding NO is in order. In fact, I would submit to you that larger gains in innovation can be achieved through better thinking around the design and management of work and pulling IT into the work as needed is more in order. Then maybe, just maybe we can learn that cost reduction and business improvement can come from better thinking and not IT.
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Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public). His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work. Download free from www.newsystemsthinking.com "Understanding Your Organization as a System" and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about our intervention services at [email protected]. Reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TriBabbitt or LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/trippbabbitt.