Last week, while working at home my electricity went off for almost 3 hours. This meant that I had no phone, internet, and no computer. I had little battery left in my mobile but this didn’t last long as I was scheduled to have a Web Chat meeting with a couple of our customers regarding developing their websites and improving SEO(Search Engine Optimization).
I still managed to have the meeting by phone so all was not lost but it was during that meeting I realized something which we should all consider. I was completely focused on the task at hand, the meeting, I didn’t have the opportunity to answer any emails, respond to any instant messages or even tweet about Discus. It was probably my most present and productive meeting I’ve had for some time.
I’ve had meetings in the past where often you’ll sit in on a meeting and for one reason or another an “important” message comes through on his or her BlackBerry which they must respond to.. you see the attendee’s slowly sneak their phone from off their desk and start tapping away, not only is that just plain rude it is just plain counterproductive!! – but as it pains me to say it.. it is all too common. Come on, admit it. Deny it. You can’t.
So my question to you all – when was the last time you were focused, completely focused on one thing?
I have been asking a few of our customers, friends and colleagues and it would appear that as we’re grooming a society full of people who have attention-deficit disorder, to me it seems’ we are making it a requirement when you leave school to become successful in today’s corporate world.
So, I have a challenge for all those who wish for a smarter planet, a smarter business. Ban all mobile phones and mobile gadgets from your organizations most important meetings and conversations?
Of course, it is not lost on me that i wouldn’t be writing this news letter at all if it weren’t for my mobile, which allowed me to participate in a meeting by conference call.. probably linking 5 different locations when I had no other means of conducting the meeting. However part of being smart about technology is knowing when to set side in favor of good old human to human interaction, discourse that is interrupted by mutual consent not be some annoying beep or flashing light.