Here’s an idea I’ve been working on for a while, a thesis I’ve been watching and tracking for a few years to see if it will bear out…And it has. I see this idea showing up almost every week with the clients we serve. And the idea is simple, relatively innocuous and deceptively intriguing: in the face of all this technology we’ve started to exalt those things that make us uniquely human. “Human” is, in fact, the killer app. for business value creation.
There’s “no use fighting city Hall” the old expression goes. And as it pertains to trying to outperform technology, there is no competition. It’s over. We lost. When it comes to computational ability, those damned computers have us beat every time. You’ve heard the sound bite, “there is more technology in my watch than NASA needed to land a guy on the moon.” We’ve known it for a long time but we’ve been in denial. I can still remember that movie with Matthew Broderick, War Games from 1982. The classic cautionary tale from the people who were saying “computers are scary”. Remember? They weren’t really right but the point was simple: People need to be running the show.
It started with the promise of the industrial age. We wanted to automate, we wanted to streamline and we wanted to mass-produce. And America got really good at it. So it’s no big surprise that we dominated in the technology boom both in innovation as well as mass production. We rock when it comes to leveraging technology to accelerate results. But it’s simply making people nuts trying to keep up in industries that have been directly or indirectly touched by the pace, precision and power of technology.
So if you are trying to sell more policies than a website, forget about it. If you think you’ll EVER be faster or more accurate than an online ordering system you’re kidding yourself. But there is great news, there’s room for something else. What we’ve seen is a shift coming from the professional services folks that come to us to slow down the transacting of product to improve the quality of the relationship…and they are getting paid for it.
Top tier pro’s who have so much to lose trying to play the game of the “commoditized” are finding new arenas to compete and thrive...and it’s not about doing more, faster. Their secret? Exalt the human. Accentuate the emotional, empathize, listen and employ connections with storytelling. The secret is to be human in the face of all this technology. The secret is to connect on a level that cannot ever be replaced with a screen or through an inhuman exchange of data.