One item I've learned from our CEO is that sometimes technology is not the answer to a problem. Sometimes technology can interfere or hinder something that needs to get done. Things often need a human and personal interaction.
In my work, I call this "Technology Headlock". It seems in today's world, people are always looking to streamline communication, operations, and any type of process. Although this can create many advantages in many areas, I also believe that this can take the culture right out of a business.
I recently met with a customer that was unhappy with their ordering process. Years ago, they decided that creating them a web portal to configure and order their technology hardware would be awesome. "I can automate my ordering process so things happen so much quicker". A few years passed ordering in this manner and the relationship kind of turned stagnant. Most communication turned to e-mailing and texting with less and less verbal communication. Face to face meetings were not taking place. After meeting with the customer, it was found that they (and us), missed the existing relationship of just getting on the phone and talking through things...even things as simple as an ordering process.
Old school, yes. Although we found the B2B relationship grew stronger than ever. If we had a concern, we'd talk it out - and visa-versa.
Do you think you may be in Technology Headlock" sometimes? One article I recently read instituted a "No E-Mail Friday" policy. Rather than sitting at your desk all day and constantly responding to your inbox, they required you to pick up the phone and call that person. At this organization, they were also mostly located in one building, so people were also given the option of simply walking (yes walking :-)) over to their colleague and talking to them. It is an interesting concept and in my old school toughts, I think we need to do more of this.
If anyone has tried this in the past, I would love to hear your opinion on how it worked and the response from your employees.