Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Chain

An overnight storm caused a power outage which really messed up our network server recently.  As the IT guys scrambled to restore digital sanity as people arrived at work the morning after, I was surprised at the resultant atmosphere. 
Folks emerged from office and desks disoriented, even angry, frustrated.  The network, the email, the Internet connections; all so ubiquitous and seemingly necessary that their removal fundamentally altered the work environment.
Fascinatingly, people began to talk.  Even this seemed hard, though.  The face-to-face discussions, unplanned and unplugged, were all new.  And strange.  Some adapted poorly.  Some adapted well. 
The effective found the day invigorating.  A gear-shift, one which stimulated creativity.  The less-effective made excuses behind it, even began finger pointing.
Are we so chained to our laptops we are unable to function without them?  Are our collective conversational skills so dulled by our addiction to keyboard we can't talk?  Is our ability to make good business decisions blunted by this dependence to spreadsheets?
It all made me wonder. 


Vladimir Dzalbo said...

One of my friends once told me "Our current work-a-day world can be summed up in an easy to remember acronym: EEEMP - E-mail, E-mail, E-mail, Meetings & Presentations".

Well, no surprise we find ourselves a bit confused when most of important networks tools are not accessible. I feel somewhat awkward in these situations as well and actually do not think it's a problem.

Say, 100 years ago somebody might be wondering in the same way "how dependent we are on electricity". The IT is just a new commodity.

Hal said...

Joe, you aren't just now wondering. About 10 years ago I had to ban people in my company from sending email to people they sat next to. I then had to have a conversation with people about why they were sending email to people that sat only two desks away. Email is an enabler for people who don't want to be in relationships. They don't have to risk trust, invest emotions, and demonstrate care. I read of a company awhile back that added a new rule on casual Friday. They made it email-free.