Going back, looking forward

…’if you were a time traveller, and travelled back from today to 1980, how would you describe the technology of the future?’ read the cartoon.

‘Robots battling on tv, banning the use of lasers against airplanes or endlessly using the phone to chat with your friends – and, which has been the most important development!’

It got me thinking, how would I describe our world of work today to my 1980s self.

  • Access to the world’s information in the palm of your hand.
  • Video call or text chat, with anyone around the world, at any time, instantly
  • Easily transcribe calls and audio notes into text all at the push of a button
  • Get ready for health pandemics and short development vaccine rollouts
  • Flares will come back… piano ties do not… (yet)!

It sounds like science fiction, but is science reality.

We do indeed live in amazing times and need to make the most of it.

Have a good week everyone

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Back to reality

This week many of us across the nation have been on tenterhooks. The big question being, will we receive a ping and have to go into isolation, due to a COVID-related contact and right before we go on holiday.

With rising cases across the UK, and in now other countries across Europe, the stress has been palpable. After a year of changing plans, many of us have been taking things day by day, looking forward to things to keep us going. Next up was the summer holidays….

Hopefully, most folks are able to get away or have a break at least.

Flexible nano-machines

Workwise, I got completely sidetracked during the week by two ideas and their combined implications.

The first was a video on flexible machines via Veritasium (a great youtube channel if you are into sciency stuff btw). It was about how machines can be redesigned rather than having mechanical joints to have ‘bendy’ bits.

The other was an article on new technology using finger sweat to power wearable medical devices.

Why is this interesting? Because flexible machines can be printed. If they can be printed, they can be made anywhere and also be made very small. Very small also means low power requirements, even powered by the human body itself. It is amazing progress, allowing us to create small, self-powered machines to get things done. Nano robots here we come!

At the moment we spend so much time in the digital world, it can be easy to forget that there is a physical world too, and actually getting things done is really quite important.

In reality

The same is true for work. Many advances in digital interaction, data and insight have been wonderful. However, at the end of the line, there is a customer, the ultimate user of services, who also need to get things done or make things happen.

The real-world matters, and our digital processes, at some point, need to translate into making things happen, in reality.

Where this point of transition happens is of course critically important. Too early, time and resources are wasted, too late, opportunities are missed.

So with all the clamour on digitalisation, maybe we need to re-frame our thinking. Rather than digtial replacing physical services completely, we need to think in much more blended terms.

How do our new digital process support the end customer journey to get the right physical output? Not nanomachines, but worth keeping in mind.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Other key stories

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The ball is round…

Another weekend has passed, with, for those watching the football (UEFA EURO 2020), another penalty shoot-out

It has been a very close competition, with some great matches, with leadership being shown both on and off the pitch by the teams.

It all goes to show how life can sometimes be decided by very fine margins, and although it is nice to win, how you get there is also important too.

Do your best, support those around you and society, show respect, be humble, repeat and then get better…

Looking at social media it seems a lesson many still need to learn… certainly something I will reflect on. I hope everyone gets safely home and has a good week this week.

(PS well done to the Italy football team (and Virgin Galactic) this weekend. Commiserations to the English team, but on balance still a great achievement all around… and we do all get to play again)

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