When you’re traveling somewhere new, how do you find your way? The average person will now pull out their mobile phone and type in their end point to Google Maps, to be presented with a timed, multi-transport route to their destination of choice.
When you need to book an appointment but don’t know what number to call, how do you find it?
There are few of us who still lean on the Yellow Pages when we need to locate a phone number. Most people will now turn to a search engine to quickly identify contact details. This has been further fuelled by smartphone ability to ‘touch to call’ now appearing within search results and directly on websites. It's as simple as search and click.
How many of us still have landlines for actually calling people?
It’s common for modern households not to even have a telephone installed anymore, with mobiles taking preference as our primary means of communication.
When you sign up for a new service, how do they confirm your identity?
More often than not these days, new services require an email address against them. Great for the company asking for your information and data capture for marketing, but not so good for my grandfather who can barely switch a computer on, never mind cope with emails.
In more and more areas of our lives, digital is replacing old ways of doing things and becoming our go-to for seeking out knowledge and information. In fact, child development specialists suggest that the average child in the UK will grow up with a whole different type of intelligence to our parent’s generation (and those before) - intelligence based on our ability to find information, rather than learn and retain it.
A younger colleague recently made an interesting and very valid observation. He said:
“It’s funny, isn’t it, how my parents grew up without technology and often struggle with it today, opting for other means of communication. Whilst, your generation went through childhood without it, but started adopting new technologies in adolescence and are, therefore, very comfortable with it in adulthood. Meanwhile, my generation and the ones to come will never know what growing up without technology is like.”
It’s thought-provoking as it has changed so many areas of our lives, which will forever have been that way in the memory of younger generations. It means our future consumers and colleagues will operate in very different ways. It means that their perception on leadership, work, consumption and value may vary greatly from our own. And fundamentally, it means that if we want to get the best out of them, we need to ensure we’re creating company cultures that support their changing perspective of the world.
Digital is shaping our people and, in turn, must shape our businesses.