I will categorically state that I am not against any of these things in principle, and actually do think it rather necessary in our modern society (especially in Hi-Tech Asia), however I do wonder whether we are moving towards a business environment devolved of human interaction and engagement. Furthermore, I fear we are in danger of a potential overreliance on digital platforms, becoming THE tool, rather than A tool.
If you go back a few decades to the early 80’s in a world where there were no emails, no (real) mobile phones, no iPads, no LinkedIn, no Facebook, no Google – you wonder how people ever achieved anything. People actually had to meet in person to discuss important topics rather than a misconstrued, quickly written email or text message. You had to actually speak to someone about your bank account rather than pressing 2 for English, 3 for this, 0 then # for that. Society still seemed to function well and the world needed to focus a lot more on fostering actual relationships rather than hits on a website and a spam message every week.
I don’t think anyone would disagree with me when I say that the need for a deep and nurtured relationship in any line of business is now more important than ever in this evolving digital world. Indeed, in this era of digital ‘disruption’ across all of our industries, akin to the ‘Space Race’ of the 1960’s, I believe that the firm who manages to communicate with the customer in the way the customer wants without removing the personal and human touch, will ultimately be the winner. Keeping it simple, keeping it effective, and keeping it human whilst complimenting with technology must be the way of the future. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, and perhaps need to keep the basics in mind as we become increasingly more technologically advanced as a society.
I just hope we never feel it obsolete to meet over a coffee and talk, face to face and eye to eye, person to person.
Written by Bryan Marshall.