World Cup & Technology

Many of you know I grew up in southern Africa and playing football, or soccer as we call it here in the US, was a daily ritual. So it is with great pride that I watch the biggest single athletic event in the world happening in my home continent. It is also with great pain that this past week and weekend I saw so many bad calls. There was a disallowed goal against the US, the offside no-call against Mexico, and the English goal that was more than a full yard inside the goal and not called a goal.

Most of these calls, and certainly the ones I specifically stated, could have been corrected if FIFA (the governing body) allowed for instant replay or the use of some other form of technology (like the line call in tennis). But FIFA refuses to do so to the dismay of worldwide fans.

Now this  blog is not about sports but it drives home a topic I wrote about at length in my book where I discussed how the aversiveness to the of use of technology in our lives (personal, professional, and sporting) is becoming a great barrier to being efficient and effective. The dichotomy of life between organizations/teams/leaders that are averse to it versus our own individual lives is striking. In our personal lives, we can access anything from anywhere. We can use this mobility of efficiency to make better decisions for ourselves.

Last weekend, my family and I got lost off a detour in the mountains and we simply plugged in our addresss on the GPS on my cell phone. Within seconds were verbally given instruction and directions on how to get back on track. Each one of you can give an example from your everyday lives in how you are using some form of technology to live fuller. And so it is with unsettling bafflement to hear FIFA ignore the outcry to be better and make the game free of human error.

Organizations and employees within them feel less empowered when handcuffed by outdated business processes that don’t embrace technology in the name of “tradition” or whatever those averse to change can come up with. It used to be only the techie geeks would flood their resumes with all the IT capabilities — (I say that resembling the remark!) — and today, as an employer, I want to see candidates who are maximizing their potential by leveraging cutting-edge tools. This is the learner employee I discuss a few blogs ago (as opposed to the knowledge employee).

So this week, take inventory of what you and your teams do each day and ask yourself, How much more effective and efficient could we be if we embraced some enabling technology. I think you’d be surprised at your answers. All it would take would be to juxtapose what you do at work with what you do outside of work — the dichotomy would trouble you.

Thanks to mikkelz for the photo

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