Making Magic

by | Oct 31, 2020 | Change, ICT4D |


Most of us say we don’t believe in it, but live our lives like we do. We focus on beautiful gadgets and systems. We want them. And we expect magic from them.

We do this when we expect new systems or gadgets to magically give us the data we need. But get annoyed when the data is garbage. Or when data is missing.

We expect new systems and gadgets to make our business processes and our organisations more efficient. And then are annoyed when they don’t. And angry when they make us even more inefficient.

We expect the system to pull a rabbit out of the hat. And to some extent it does, but it’s not a live, white, fluffy one. It’s dead and rotten.

As Bill Gates says, “Technology makes already efficient processes, more efficient and already inefficient processes more inefficient.”

Magic rarely happens. But when it does, it’s often because significant preparation work has been done. Technology and digital systems flourish and bring about the sought after efficiencies when significant preparation work has been done. Preparation in business processes (choices), people (contributors), organisational culture, and the operating context.

A good magic trick involves lots of set up and practice. These can be the boring, slow, tedious bits. However, without them, the trick doesn’t work. Digital transformation is the same. Without the set up, the preparation, the digital transformation doesn’t happen. And another system gets added to the graveyard.

The choice is up to us.

Make magic by doing to the hard work of the set up. It won’t happen on its own.

Photo by Paige Cody


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