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The technology trap

Are you building momentum or applying the brakes?

Picture of graffiti

Image – jonasb

Technology and technology-driven change has virtually nothing to do with igniting a transformation from good to great. Technology can accelerate a transformation, but technology cannot cause a transformation

Jim Collins – Good to Great

Technology is a tool that can enable the transformation of an organisation or business. It doesn’t generate ideas or create solutions on its own. It merely helps accelerate the thinking and has the potential to help us design or build what it’s first possible to imagine.

Technology we think of as magic captures our imagination. This is only possible if we’re first able to imagine a future that requires magic to happen. A future where things that seem impossible, unlikely, or counter-intuitive to the way the world already works are able to become reality.

Technology should never really be seen as the constraint when thinking creativity about a problem. It should be the art of the possible in the long term rather than what can’t be achieved right now.

I find it useful to think about creativity as the thing that changes what technology does. As part of a creative process, technology becomes the fuel that builds momentum and moves things forwards. Without this technology becomes something else. It becomes a constraint. It’s more about what’s not possible, than what is.

Try answering the following question about your organisation:

Does technology accelerate our ideas and thinking?

This really means – “do we think and work creatively enough for technology to help our organisation to succeed?”

If you answered ‘no’ then it’s likely technology might be blocking or slowing down your ability to work with new ideas and test new ways of thinking about the real problems you need to solve.

Maybe it’s time to think more creatively about the problems you’re trying to solve?

Ben Holliday is an experienced design leader, writer and speaker. This is his blog (started in 2005). You can follow all of Ben's blog posts by subscribing to the RSS feed, or follow him on Twitter for more regular updates.