The other day, I got to talking to a gentleman who works for a homeowner’s association committee group. He had an interesting job, he went around for the homeowner association’s executive committee and he took pictures of all the homes with a digital camera. He took pictures from all different directions. Then, he gave those digital pictures to the group to look at, to make sure everything was going properly.
This reminded me of an old story about a very large Corporation back in the 80s where the executives sat in a high-rise tower in a major US city, and they ran the command and control of the entire Corporation with all of its offices around the world from that location. They came to work every day, went up into their office, and went home in the evenings. They never went to physically visit the locations of all their business units, retail stores, warehouses, sales departments, or even their manufacturing facilities.
Perhaps this was what the “Dilbert Series” was all about. In the new information age, generally you don’t need to send people out to take pictures or to do videos, as there is so much information technology, that it is almost like being there. Consider if you will Google Earth, closed-circuit TV, enterprise software, and all the rest. There is so much information, that you actually could run your business from an ivory tower. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend that you do that, just as I wouldn’t recommend that any homeowner’s association did.
You see, there is a big difference between going out and talking to homeowners, and just taking pictures of the surrounding facilities. What’s really important is to talk to all the people involved, and take a look for yourself. Too many executives think that they don’t need to visit their operations in China, or walk the factory floors, this is a terrible mistake. The best corporations, their executives are constantly on the go visiting all the locations, and figuring out ways to save money, become more efficient, streamline operations, and keep the customers happy as well.
If you think you can do all that by remote control, you are kidding yourself, and I don’t care what sort of technology you have invested in, or even if you spent tens of millions of dollars developing the ability to do so. It’s not the same as being there, and never will be. There is a big difference between sending robots to Mars to look around, and actually having humans go there and see it for themselves. We just don’t have that level of technology yet, so don’t kid yourself. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.