In today’s post, we continue our discussion on how new technical systems can assist in stimulating a business. When I began my career in the music industry, a new technical system was introduced to us at Capitol Records. At that time, the support staff which included paralegals and administrative assistants, were introduced to an upgraded technology. Prior to this change, traditional electronic typewriters were the standard issue at the time. However, for those of us in Business Affairs and the Legal Department, due to the enormous size of the contractual documents we produced, those plug-in typewriters were replaced with word processing machines. This change was made so that more information could be stored to manage the large legal documents we produced. Most staff members affected, like me, became excited at the prospect of the new technology and welcomed the change. The new system allowed staff members to produce and save lengthy document templates in an electronic format. In addition, errors and corrections could be made on a terminal monitor, rather than relying on a flawed auto-correct button and ribbons the typewriters provided that involved a more primitive white out method. The new technology meant that mistakes could be corrected on a terminal screen alleviating the need to print a document before it was complete thereby saving time and production costs. Up until that point, large documents were typed out manually. Corrections were generated on documents that sometimes left unattractive blemishes and marks from the white-out methods employed.
Other staff members were fearful and not as eager to embrace the new technology as it meant they were required to learn and train on a new system. This was frightening to many of the old timers who were reluctant to change. The more enthusiastic personnel who were not technology challenged, however, embraced the material change and welcomed the opportunity to learn a new organizational procedure. Once the learning curve phase was complete staff members were transformed into motivated individuals whose enthusiasm helped them become more effective and productive in the workplace.
For all those who shy away from change, Howard Means (2001) reminds us that before the internet there was Arpanet. Word processors can be traced back through laptops and desktops to the 30 ton ENLAC (electronic numerical integrator and computer). Cars were preceded by steam powered tricycles and trains by wind propelled land ships (p. 17). Digital technologies are an important tool in today’s world. As the economy continues to evolve, businesses will and should seek innovative solutions to enhance and develop their organizations.
Well that’s it for this week. We will be off for a while to enjoy the summer break. In the meantime, keep working on your self-management skills and stay safe!
Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.
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Means, H. (2001). Money and power: The history of business (p. 17). New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.