Sunday, May 15, 2005

Technology and change

(I got these ideas while reading this article from Robert X Cringely. Please read it if you're technically inclined.)

It was roughly the end of 2004 that I changed the way I looked at computers.

Before then, a computer was a long-term asset. Much like a car, it needed maintenance, tender loving care. It was going to last a long time.

Then all of a sudden - it seemed - I realised that the new computer I bought in December last year would only be with me about two years.

It seems a simple realisation but had profound implications for how I looked at technology. It's now no longer about the hardware itself, but about what I'm doing on that hardware.

I still have all the files I had with my first Windows computer, and even a few converted files from the defunct 386 I used to have at work. But the physical boxes which once held them are long gone.

In a way, it's very helpful to think this way. It means I don't get in a tizzy when the computer does something funny - which every computer will do once in a while.

It also means I focus on the work - on the what, rather than the how. A lot of our problems as leaders, doers, whateverers, comes from trying to address "how" before we've even really addressed "what".

Why am I mentioning this on a blog about leadership? Because my mind shift is, I believe, important to my development as a leader. I'm now looking forward, not backwards. I think that's the way to go.


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