Tonight I attended Jemima Gibbons’s book launch for her book on leadership and Web 2.0, Monkeys with Typewriters. The event began with a panel session asking questions about the value of social media, email and technology tools in business environments. In general the audience was pro-tech, but there was a moderate response generally, and an understanding that technology is only so good as the users who can translate value back to organsations.
In many respects though, I think the key change with use of new technologies – of workers not being an efficiency and money generation cog in a business, but rather a human filter for data – wasn’t adequately understood by the room. This is an assumption based on the history of work where employees have been glorified machines, and their productivity affected the financial value of the firm. However, in a service-oriented economy, workers are more likely to be contributing in terms of decision making, problem solving and higher-level thinking. Thus the time spent with technology is not so relevant as the value being created by technology. So it’s a matter of measuring the wrong things.
But essentially the discussion was great and the ideas put forward from a risk management perspective as well as the rising recognition of ‘social’ as a crucial component of the workplace and corporate practice was stimulating stuff.
I’d like to thank Jemima for a a fabulous book launch and to congratulate her on her book – a sensational achievement. Thank you and Congrats Jemima!