Humans and Technology: The Magic Combination
I’ll start off by stating the obvious: technology cannot replace the necessary human touch that your organization needs. Empathy, collaboration, and the value of relationship building are just a few aspects of business that still require a human element. However, there’s no denying that machines have made our lives easier in an endless number of ways.
In the recently published book Humans are Underrated, Geoff Colvin takes a deep look at how we can value innovative technology in a way that takes advantage of our human abilities, because let’s face it – we are human. So how do we develop our interpersonal skills to best complement technological advances and gain a competitive advantage?
The answer? YOU. You have the power of innovation, which is crucial to the survival of any business. Whether they come in the form of external innovation (the introduction of new products and services) or innovation with internal processes, new ideas and methods continuously fuel any business.
But innovations of any kind are tricky, especially when they require a cultural shift within an organization. It’s up to you to determine the right way to prove the value of any new tool you introduce to your team and to encourage the necessary evolution that must accompany technological change.
There are some industries that have yet to catch up with the latest trends in technology, and whether they even possess the desire to transform isn’t clear to outsiders. The public relations industry is a good example. An article in PRNews, “Is PR Behind the Technology Curve?”, by Starr Baker, CEO and co-founder of INK Public Relations, explores the ways in which the PR industry has evolved. Baker demonstrates that PR organizations have started to embrace (or have already embraced) technology and the changes it brings. By using specific media, social, and performance tools, INK has been able to maximize the effectiveness of its employees. Baker discusses how Bullhorn’s public relations CRM software has entered the mix:
“A new tool that is changing the way we not only work with media, but, perhaps even more importantly work across our teams is Bullhorn. This media platform’s take is that while it’d be great for everyone to update every press list on a regular basis, that’s probably not going to happen. So how about we just mine our email instead? Integrating with Outlook, which we’re in virtually 24/7, means our media database is always up-to-date with the latest communication anyone on our team has had with the media. It’s changing our knowledge base, for the better.”
However, Baker agrees with Colvin: even with great technology, a “personal touch” is still required. There’s no removing the human aspect from the equation, and there never should be. Baker’s closing thought confirms this: “While technology can help us move ahead quicker and easier, there is still no replacement for the human element in our industry. Cheers to that!”