Learning from Laggards

Or, what I learned from my peers with flip phone and .aol addresses

flip phone

We poke a little fun at these folks. They still use facsimilies, are honestly confused by Twitter and buy Daytimers to organize their days on (gasp) paper. Almost everyone of them is over 50, maybe 60 and they've been around and seen a lot.

Recently,I took a step back from my snarky perch and looked a little harder at some great lessons these folks have taught me:


Technology does not make you better.


At anything. It's honestly a very primitive tool. it does make some of our tasks easier, and faster. Is faster always better? Rhetorical question. I still sketch by hand, because its the best, fastest way for rapid visualization.   


Virtual relationships are, well, virtual.

Workplace innovation is all about spontaneous collaboration, human connection and espousing core values to inspire and engage associates. Nothing puts a wall up faster than instant messaging, virtual meetings and email. The very tools designed to draw you closer can isolate and box you in. Again, they have value, but but it is a narrow sliver. Get up, walk around, look at peoples faces while you have a conversation


Keeping things simple has poetry and grace.

If you're scheduling your emails via Boomerang, and coordinating lists with Trello, while remembering to update your Instagram feed and say something relevant on Twitter, chances are good you'll lose sight of your clients priorities. or an internal development opportunity of one of your associates. With so much going on, you'll be forced to filter, and the filter might filter out something vital. 


Even if you are so now you'll soon be so last week.

Technological development is the food of digital entrepreneurs- they'll produce more and more. More than you can consume. There are 1,234,567 apps waiting for you right now. Really? Really. Use the tools that help you be better and do more, but don't overcomplicate things. Also, be open to experimentation, there is some really useful technology out there. The old dogs adage need not apply to anyone on two legs.


Being connected all the time is poison.

This is cliche at this point and while we all know it, many of us resist shuttering the connection, its so tempting to just check in. And then send that email, then look at that link and check your schedule for tomorrow, again. Stop. Let it go. Live in the moment.



Full disclosure- I'm as guilty as anyone. I'm Facebooked, Insta'd, Linked, Pinned and Twittered. I blog, email, even gchat and do my best to keep my web site relevant. The technology landscape is new and we are learning. I'm taking my best stab at balance- keeping current without losing sight of humanity. You can generally find me with either a digital interface in my hand, or a sketchbook and a few pens- I don't want to be a laggard, but don't mind some laggardly qualities now and then. Cheers.

37 sketch