The gospel according to Zoom

Its been astonishing to witness how evangelistic clergy have become about technology most of them didn’t even know existed six weeks ago. Which begs an interesting question, will their appetite for technology continue once things return to normal (whatever normal might look like)?

Both as a practitioner and an academic, I am particularly interested in how an event, such as the Coronavirus pandemic, can change attitudes and behaviours and ‘kick-start’ initiatives previously thought undesirable. An interesting and current example would be the rush towards what euphemistically gets described as ‘Livestreaming’, when most people really do not understand what it means, nor do they understand that is not what they are attempting.

Might this be the time that churches start to take technology seriously and approach it as they do their other deeply held beliefs, and recognise it as a core competency? Quite reasonably, my ‘entry level’ ability to play chopsticks on a keyboard won’t qualify me to accompany the Cathedral Choir on the organ at our next civic service; likewise, we shouldn’t relegate the determination of our Cathedral’s IT infrastructure to enthusiastic amateurs.

Therefore, I urge caution. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. This newly acquired technology insight could, if not harnessed appropriately, create a cognitive bias that involves an over-reliance on a familiar tool (Zoom et al). As Abraham Maslow said in 1966, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”.

Dr Brad Poulson

Honorary Professor of Operations Management & Information Systems, Nottingham University Business School.

A Friday thought……! Identity Crisis

We appear happy to run the risk of increased security issues for the perceived convenience and cost effectiveness that digital transactions bring. Our ‘on-line’ persona comprises a combination of secret codes, numbers, and phrases, yet despite our best attempts at securing the technology through encryption, it is the user that is the weakest link. The anonymity of using cash in transactions is once again becoming rather appealing!

A Friday thought…..!

Not sure how a text I received from LNER* at 16:27 telling me that the 16:06 to Newark Northgate will leave from Platform 4 is of any value. I was 21 minutes into my journey! I think it might be a service I opt NOT to take in future. A great example of technology making processes worse!

*London North Eastern Railway is a British train operating company that operates the InterCity East Coast franchise.

Technology in sport

The Lionesses disallowed off-side goal against USA in the world cup semi-finals made me question the use of technology in sport. I can see the logic of using technology to support decisions where there might have been a deliberate infringement or potential error by officials however I can’t see how it helps the game when retrospective analysis applies microscopic measurements to a level of accuracy that could never be matched in real-time by the players on the field. Being half a boot in front of your opponent would be imperceptible at speed and pace and unlikely to be detected. Where should we draw the line?

Passport renewals

I have just renewed my British passport which had eight months remaining but will be under the required six months remaining during a forthcoming overseas trip, so I had no choice but to renew. I notice that the new passport runs from the date of application and not the date of expiry of my current passport. This effectively means that my ten year passport was actually only valid for 9 years and 4 months. Doesn’t feel like an equitable way to treat those of us that are compliant and follow the rules!

Sunday Trading (London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) Act 2012

The Sunday Trading (London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) Act will temporarily suspend Sunday trading laws from 22 July 2012 to the end of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012. The suspension will mean that shops with a floor space of more than 280 square metres will not have any restrictions on Sunday opening hours for eight weeks. After this period, the restrictions will revert back to the current position. Source: CIPD