In my high school and university days, I would help the theatre department build sets for school plays. Run the lights and sometimes even help with the sound. I wasn’t overly good at any of it (my cousin was the brains), but I was a willing helper. And I learnt a lot. Especially about distractions.
Good theatre draws you in and is entertaining. Good theatre is also often full of distractions. Something occurs on one part of the stage making the audience focus there, while the next scene, joke, is set up else where.
The lessons I learned working behind the scenes years ago affected how I watch theatre still to this day. I tend to look at the sets, the lighting, and try to figure out what we are being distracted from.
However, theatre doesn’t just happen on a stage. It’s part of politics, organisations, technology, policy making, education, and so on.
And theatre is all about controlling the story, controlling where people are looking. Shiny objects and angry outbursts are fantastic magnets of attention.
Organisations that understand responsible technology use. Or seek to be responsible in their digital transformation. Get this. They understand theatre is a tactic. Shiny toys, gadgets attract our attention making us look away from other places. And here’s the thing, a good distraction is extremely compelling and, if it is technology, extremely useful (and possibly addictive).
And ‘free’ is one of the best distractions used when engaging NGOs, charities, social organisations. If a tech company comes to you with ‘free’, look for what is happening elsewhere. And if you look at the data governance, you’ll likely find what the ‘free’ is meant to distract you from.