Over the holiday weekend, I offered to open a bottle of wine at my friend's BBQ. As I was shuffling through the drawer to get the cork screw, I noticed a fancy looking electronic toy sitting on the counter. I asked my friend when she had gotten the new gadget and what its purpose was: I found out it was a corkscrew. SWEET! A neat new gadget. Cylindrical in shape and attached to a charger, it was supposed to simplify the wine-opening process more so than electronic corkscrews of the past. With excitement bubbling over, I, of course, opted to use (the rather unnecessary) gadget. I placed the electronic corkscrew over the top of the bottle and pressed the start button. After about fifteen seconds the "hum" of the motor stopped and I pulled up to see my newly-opened bottle of wine. Except, all I saw was a quarter-of-a-cork. Fantastic! So I tried again. I placed it over the bottle of wine once more, only to come back with more bits of cork. Frustrated at the idea of getting any cork inside the bottle, I pulled open her drawer, got the good old fashioned metal corkscrew and had an opened bottle of wine in about 10 seconds.

Now the failure of the wine-opening operation could have been caused from a couple of different things: unqualified operator, flimsy gadget or just plain old coincidence. Who knows... But what I did conclude was that in this case: the easy-to-use technology got the job done, where the more advanced one did not.

People are frequently inundated with new occupational tasks as every year passes, and technology has come to our rescue for this. But how do you find the right solution? Whether it is a corkscrew, a phone, a computer model, or the latest software, finding the best one is always a challenge. Let’s take the HR department. HR professionals have become more and more overwhelmed with exceedingly draining tasks. Compliance, for example, is reliant on a company’s resolve to stay aware of the latest laws and acts and remain cognizant of past applicable legislature. Sounds like a job in and of itself. And, as you may know, there is technology to handle compliance; thus, leaving more time for one-on-one real interaction with your top talent candidate or recently-hired employee.

However, as technology advances so does the complex inter-workings of each tool. Finding the right solution becomes a greater challenge with every bell and whistle that is added. Soon, HR professionals are spending more time "simplifying their department" with overcomplicated technology.

Some software tends to overindulge by adding unnecessary technology when the software itself hasn’t been able to master the basics. Finding a happy-medium is the answer. As a user, I believe it is better to go with the reliable solution with the unwavering functionality you need, rather than the one with hundreds of bells and whistles that don’t even work that well.

Just my thoughts.

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