The machines rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire. Their war to exterminate mankind had raged for decades, but the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present. - James Cameron and Gail Hurd in The Terminator
The machines are winning.
Don't believe me? Then believe harmon.ie CEO Yaacov Cohen. He watches teenagers at birthday parties texting each other (on machines) instead of talking to each other. He notices his breakfast table where each family member is hiding behind their own device, enslaved by their machines. Movie theaters used to ask us not to smoke or talk. Now they ask us to turn off our machines.
The machines are winning.
Today's technology is adding addictions, disrupting the workflow and making many of us less efficient and eff...(Sorry - had to respond to a text message. But I'm back now.)...making us less efficient and effective.
This was not the hope. This was not the promise. This was not what we set out to do. It's time to make the technology work for us instead of letting the machines win.
Cohen has a different vision of what technology should do.
His vision is one of technology augmenting relationships instead of reducing them, one of technology enabling collaboration instead of cementing silos. In his world, it acts as an intuitive aide instead of as a relentless disruptor. How?
His answer has three parts. Enable:
Sharing of documents so everyone can work on the same document and see all the versions.
Interaction via instant messages, text, voice over Internet, video conference, etc.
Sharing and interaction within whatever platform each individual user chooses.
Cohen and his team have designed harmon.ie's suite of connected apps to do just this, while maintaining the right attitude to technology and machines.
Make sure you are leveraging technology to further your strategy. Your technology choices must help you win where it matters. Having the most advanced knowledge is merely a fleeting advantage. Technological superiority is not in itself a strategy; it's part of enabling a greater vision.
Think through how technology aids you along the proactive-responsive scale. Do you need your technology to help you innovate and get ahead of your customers' needs? Or, do you need your technology to help you keep in touch with your customers so you can be responsive to needs they identify?
Be conscious of how technology influences your behavior and relationships with others. If the technology is enabling your relationships, great. If the technology is allowing you to have a bigger impact than you would without it, great. If not, the machines are winning. And that's not acceptable.This is an example of the heart of The New Leader's Playbook: BRAVE Leadership
We're all new leaders all the time. So remember all the time that leadership is about inspiring and enabling others to do their absolute best together to realize a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose. With that in mind, BRAVE leaders pay attention to their Behaviors, Relationships, Attitude, Values, and Environment - all the time.
Technology is a means to our ends, not an end itself. Approach it with the right attitude. You don't want your movie to end the way the Terminator series does. The machines are winning. We have to turn the tide.This article originally appeared on Forbes.com
The New Leader's Playbook includes the 10 steps that executive onboarding group PrimeGenesis uses to help new leaders and their teams get done in 100-days what would normally take six to twelve months. George Bradt is PrimeGenesis' managing director, and co-author of The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan (Wiley, 3rd edition 2011) and the freemium iPad app New Leader Smart Tools. Follow him at @georgebradt or on YouTube.