I bought a new set of pedals for my mountain bike from the UK. A great set of pedals – a brand that’s hard to find in the US – at a competitive price, $10 shipping, eight business days later and they’re waiting for me in the mail.
A quick photo from my phone and I’ve shared my excitement with friends. An hour or two later and I’m interacting and discussing the pedals with people across timezones, countries, and continents. And I’m doing it essentially for free.
Count the inconceivable impossibilities in the two previous paragraphs. Not only is it hard to grasp all the advances that had to come together to make all of that possible, but it’s even more startling how quickly such an impossibilities became just another Thursday night.
Pedals? Who cares? What about work?
This kind of cross-continent coordination, collaboration, and communication is mundane in our private lives, but how much has work kept up?
- How many policies do we have that are so out of date they might as well be written on papyrus scrolls?
- How much energy is spent blocking technology and ensuring work gets done in a certain way vs embracing how work might be different?
- If your job were invented today, would it look the way it does now? How different would your office/workspace be? What technology would you use if you could select it (what technology do you use to get things done in your personal life that you can’t use at work)? Who would you communicate with that you don’t now?
- How different would recruiting, hiring, and onboarding employees be if we started from scratch today? How would HR workflow be different?
- What policies would immediately be nuked and what would they be replaced with (if at all) if we were told reinvent the business?
- How much of an advantage does the lack of legacy give a new business over an established one right now in terms of creating more efficient work?
What are the inconceivable things at work that are completely possible right now? What are we not doing because it was impossible five years ago, but would be cheap and easy to do today?
What thinks you?