What do we miss with our head buried in technology?

The most stunning sunrise inspired my journey into the office on the train this morning. The train was packed with dozens (hundreds?) of people, all with their heads down on looking at their phones, books, tablets, music players, etc. Looking around the carriage, only one other person even seemed to have noticed the stunning panorama playing out alongside the train (and even she had her headphones in [not to mention me, with the laptop out writing this blog]).

This made me wonder – what else do we miss with our heads buried in technology?

I know for sure that a majority of the people I’ve worked with, whether on OSS, telco, IT, or related projects, have been more into the tech than the outcomes of the tech. I’ve seen brilliantly elegant technical solutions for problems that didn’t match what the customer needed. I’ve seen brilliantly complex technical solutions where a simple process (people) change would provide an easier and better outcome. If I’m completely honest, I’ve been guilty of all these mistakes, probably within the last month or perhaps the last week even.

And while we’re speaking about customer needs, I’ve found it far too common for the customer to be represented by people who also have their heads stuck in the technology, prescribing technical solutions rather than understanding the outcome they want their vendors to help achieve. The radar analogy describes this in more detail.

So let me pose that question again, for myself as much as you – how many stunning sunrises (or similar) are we missing with our heads buried in technology?

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