We’re all still in the people business

October 31, 2017
by Lawrie Breen

There’s no doubt that we live in an exciting time. The digital revolution is here and technology is leading the charge. Most people know how passionate I am about technology. It started for me when I was younger, pulling apart pieces of technology and putting them back together again; my dad’s VCR, my mum’s toaster and even a pair of headphones in an attempt to build a metal detector that blew up in my hands and shorted the whole house, but that’s another story. It’s something that I’ve been lucky enough to turn into a career and a business.

I’ve seen the changes firsthand as we move into the digital era. Technology has reached the point where it’s now doing things that we thought, only 5 or 10 years ago, were far off into the future. The cycle of change has shortened dramatically, and now it seems that as soon as a technology reaches rapid adoption, it’s already on the way to being obsolete.

Now the conversation has turned to technology replacing jobs. The future of work is an interesting subject and, if you read some of the commentary, there’s plenty of chatter that AI and robots will dominate our future. While I believe that it will play its part in the future of work, is there still a role for us all to play?

People want to work with people

I still believe that people are the cornerstone of business. The interaction between people is still something we all crave, despite the rise in social media dominating the way we communicate. It’s my view that the human element is still a crucial part of the way we do business, between our teams internally and externally with our customers.

It’s doubly important in regional communities. Our work sees us collaborating with clients all over the Central West, from the foot of the Blue Mountains, right out through Bathurst, Orange, Forbes and Parkes. The connection between our different communities in the region is what makes it such a great place to live and work.

Working together for a common goal

It’s something we’re keen to foster within our business. I’ve always been a believer in a team environment where everyone contributes to a common goal.

Building that kind of environment comes down to working together with the individuals in your business, understanding that it’s a two way street. We all want to see a financial result at the end, but coming to work is something that you need to enjoy. I’m a huge believer in team incentives and offering training opportunities to all. If your team are all pulling in the same direction then it gives you a better chance of success.

The key element in building this kind of workplace culture is the people you employ. It all comes down to how we can interact together from Monday to Friday, and sometimes beyond. I don’t believe that will change.

Technology as an enabler

This brings me back to my original point: As business is still primarily about how we interact with each other, then how do both people and technology fit into this future? Well, we need to realise that the idea of technology replacing us all is not going to happen. We’ve seen time and again throughout history that what is feared at first turns out not to be as bad as we thought. The digital era has also seen the rise of 24/7 news coverage…I guess they need something to keep filling up news sites for click bait! A terminator-style technology future certainly piques people’s interest.

We need to realise that technology can improve our working lives, but not ultimately replace human interaction. Technology has enabled us to work remotely, complete processes faster, and improve the way we communicate. All of those improvements have allowed us to work smarter, but they won’t remove the need for people to work together. Businesses that focus on building strong internal teams and have the ability to foster great client relationships will still be the one’s that succeed.


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