Technology, innovation, and procrastination

When you’re in the midst of working, it’s hard to stop. The work can be both addictive and rote – a deadly combination if what you really need is an hour or two of quiet contemplation. Thus, the three words in the title above can often work at cross-purposes, even though each has its place.

Specifically: technology is not necessarily the same as innovation. Let’s say that your job board is popular and well liked by candidates and employers alike. Let’s also say that you discover fewer and fewer of your candidates find the site via search engines. Then you learn that your site has ‘aged’ with regard to SEO; in
other words, your technology is old. It’s like when you have a 5-year-old computer, and you need some a bit more recent. So….you upgrade your technology and bring your site up to current SEO standards. Problem solved.

But innovation takes a different path. It might use technology to overturn some long held tenets of job board wisdom through the creation of a radically different user interface that candidates love. Or it might simply take an existing technique or tool and use it in a different manner. Innovation – unlike technology – is not something
you necessarily put into a line item on your budget. It’s not an upgrade – it’s an overthrow.

And procrastination? Well, remember how hard you work? How little time you have? That can set the stage for procrastinating. You simply don’t want to think about technology or innovation because you’re up against the wall as it is. But I’ve also learned that occasionally procrastination is prompted by the feeling that something isn’t quite ready – an innovation that’s half-baked or a technology that’s kludgy - and by refusing to act, you’re actually doing your job board a service. Holding off can be good.

And what happens when you mix procrastination with technology? You might get an outdated site. How about innovation and procrastination? Maybe you talk a lot about what could be – but somehow never execute on it. It’s a balancing act. Things have to get done.

And if you don’t keep up with technology, forget to innovate, or simply fail to act? Well, you may find yourself alongside all those other companies that have faded over the decades, wondering when the world changed.

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Comment by Sylvia Dahlby on August 14, 2010 at 5:24pm
Interesting post. In today's uncertain economic climate, many of us are suffering from the proverbial "analysis paralysis" -- doing nothing (procrastination) and clinging to the status quo because it seems safer than embracing innovation. This is ironic because as Einstein said, doing the same thing & expecting a different (or better) result is the definition of insanity. The only constant is change - embrace it or get left behind.


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