A wise man recently summed it up quite neatly: “Globalisation and Digitalisation are the two main drivers in the world at the moment and they are changing everything. This revolution will not only continue for the next 30 years, but also level everything.”
These changes are well known and discussed, here, there, everywhere. We experience these changes on a daily basis. But something struck me when I heard the words and made me realise that we are not going far enough, that we have to be much bolder, both in terms of our assumptions and our visions.
Let’s take, for example, the assertion that data collected should only ever be used for the individual’s benefit. Currently this isn’t happening, everybody talks about it, but hardly anybody truly delivers it. Yes, every company is collecting lots of data and we are talking open data, big data, data ownership, but ultimately most organisations (and many governments) only use the individual’s data to fill their coffers.
It is time we become a little more literal, using data for the individual’s benefit. Where is the advice and the analysis that lets me live my life more efficiently and effectively? That could be from financial advice (this will be very obvious when we all use mobile payments) as to how I can deploy my money better for my own benefit to route planning to pointing out the best matching job opportunities (Stop – before you take this job, did you know there’s one with exactly the same requirements 5 min down the road that pays 10% more?).
It might be states and banks at the moments, but discontent will spread to all organisations that do not work for the benefit of the individual. So instead of trying to build the next Facebook, let’s look at a data analyser/meta app instead. But be aware, if an individual does not actively opt into you collecting or interpreting his data, you are out of bounds.
Mobile is obviously a really important component in this new world and any new initiative should start with mobile first. But, it’s just another example of us not pushing the boat out enough. The debate isn’t mobile app versus mobile enabled site. In recruitment, the debate needs to move on from applications made via mobile or videos watched on the employer branded career pages. The debate needs to focus on the underlying shift from networked internet to connected internet (Tomi Ahonen looked at this in-depth in his book ‘Communities dominate brands’ and you can find a summary in this post), the main difference for me is the move from consumption to communication, from the knowing what I’m looking for before I start, to exploring it through collaboration. The debate needs to move on from the obvious from a hirer’s perspective to the real use from candidates, for example, secretly communicating with friends during interviews. The debate needs to move from the direct, controlled communication channel to the less accessible, value enhancing, impact creating feedback loops.
The old ways won’t work anymore. Evolving the existing won’t be enough. We need new approaches. So when looking at an innovation, let’s immediately make sure that it would work when we interact with computers via mind-control instead of just within the legacy internet or within legacy economies and legacy states.