At most companies, going AWOL during daylight hours would be grounds for a pink slip. Not at Best Buy. The nation’s leading electronics retailer has embarked on a radical–if risky–experiment to transform a culture once known for killer hours and herd-riding bosses. The endeavor, called ROWE, for “results-only work environment,” seeks to demolish decades-old business dogma that equates physical presence with productivity. The goal at Best Buy is to judge performance on output instead of hours.
Faith had found her niche as an advocate for her customers. Frequently that advocacy to defend her customers’ interests went over and against the company’s own rules and regulations. Ethically, she found this acceptable, because Faith also saw her work as contributing to the airline’s best interest by building accrued trust, even when the company was too myopic, political, and bureaucratic to know it.
More importantly, other successful people who share that crazy spark which keeps us going, feel the lack of attention. They start to feel ignored, undervalued, and unappreciated.
For all those who are not digitally illiterate, it is easy to sense that a new wind has reached those whose information is primarily packet-based. We have turned up the volume once again and are once again trying to fulfil the promise of ’95 where we all talked about always on, always informed, and always telling the truth.
When we push to the side the exuberance of the class of ’95, want is really important to Joe Consumer?
Did I hear someone whisper ‘convenience’ from the back of the church?
RIGHT! Easy goes it says the most level-headed of the group. What the end user does NOT want is to perform three additional clicks to perform a task that can be performed as one. We can offer all the mashups in the world, but if it’s a pain to navigate, well we can write it off right now…
If ‘ease of use’ should be seen as being one (if not the primary) indicator whether we are on the right digital path, then your reporter has the following thoughts that dance like sugarplums, even if St. Nick is not to be found on the radar screen…
- Where are they? Those that believe that users are tied to their desks like the time of Friedrich Taylor are as ludditian as they come. With Wi-Fi ubiquitous, and Wi-Max around the corner, who can afford the luxury to spend their time completely tied to the copper umbilical chord?
- Sense of place, sense of action: Let’s face it, haven’t we finally learned that the best business plan doesn’t count on Moses coming to the mountain. In the age of AJAX, the mountain should be on Moses’ doorstep as quickly as one can say ‘Service Oriented Architecture’. What does this mean? For those that don’t try to make the mountain in Moses’ image, the game is over, but you have no chance of hitting ‘reset’.
- Free at last: Those who are no longer shacked to the cable will understand all too well what this author means. This is a natural progression for those who are in tune with nature. As gadgets are built to reach Moses where he’s at, are we with the program? Conventional wisdom tells me that we are missing the boat once again. Based on our conventional turnaround time, this wouldn’t be half as bad. The problem today is that out clock is powered by Moore’s Law on steroids.
Can you finally get to the point?
I will try (in my humble way). The rules have changed again, and this reporter is afraid that the message can only be understood by the turned-on few.
The rules haven’t changed, they are always the same. What is different is the playing field. The end user is always looking for ease of use. If the method of delivery has changed (or is about to change), then the means by which one stays by the rules needs to be adapted too.
Put it in the vernacular….
If your customers are in wireless world already, please don’t expect them to react as they did when their world was wired. Best to fine-tune the mountain so that Moses finds added value in the climb.