Technology can cause giddyness in some people, like an 8 year old waiting to open presents on Christmas morning or it can cause paralysis of analysis because you don’t know where to start. It can be a tool that helps you maintain some efficiency throughout your day or it can be a time waster. In any case, it’s important to remember that technology in and of itself is not good or bad, in fact it’s amoral. It is a tool. How we use it determines if it’s good technology or not.
One of my favorite business books is Good to Great by Jim Collins. In his book, he has a chapter on Technology and interestingly enough, the research team for the book “ferociously debated whether this topic merited its own chapter.” (Good to Great, pg. 159) The point of the chapter is not about technology itself because “no technology… can [make a] good company great…can make you Level 5…can turn the wrong people into the right people…can instill the discipline to confront the brutal facts of reality nor can it instill unwavering faith.” (Ibid, pg. 161)
You first need to know your Hedgehog Concept, which is the intersection of 3 circles. The 3 circles are: 1. What are you deeply passionate about? 2. What can you be the best in the world at? and 3. What drives your economic engine? According to Collins, “a Hedgehog Concept is not a goal to be the best, a strategy to be the best, an intention to be the best, a plan to be the best. It is an understanding of what you can be the best at.” (Ibid, pg. 98)
Once you understand what your Hedgehog Concept is, then you can ask the question, “Does the technology [you’re considering to implement] fit directly with your Hedgehog Concept? If yes, then you need to become a pioneer in the application of that technology.” (emphasis mine, Ibid, pg. 162) “The good-to-great companies used technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it.” (Ibid, pg. 162)
What does all of this mean to you as a sales professional or business owner? It means that you first need to know what is it that you can be the best at and then find the technology to help you do more of “that.” Before you go out and spend your commission check on the next greatest mobile phone, the latest and greatest software or spend time on your website or blog, you need to know what are you most passionate about, can you become the best at it and will you be _____ (fairly, highly or overly – you decide) compensated for it?
When you have an answer to that, then technology can become the accelerator and create momentum to accomplish more.