Come On, Man: Digital Transmogrification
“Digital transformation” is getting tossed around like “reengineering,” “lean,” “agile,” “management by walking around,” “the one-minute manager,” “good to great,” and other such memes which have come to mean nothing at all.
Is it a digital transformation if the clock in my car is changed from a numbered dial to digital from one model to the next? Is a live chat on a company’s web site a digital transformation from sending them an email, or was the email a digital transformation from a phone call? Is tele-health digital transformation from a visit to a doctor, or is it just a remote visit to a doctor? And then there’s Zoom….
What kind of digital transformation is the ongoing, horrid, automated, and non-helpful responses of the cable company?
We have the ability in society today to use technology to gain more rapid access, to obtain more accurate results, and to receive warnings. Fair enough. We also have the ability to trivialize and undermine opportunities by diluting them with sound bites, misinterpretations, and hyperbole. Is the thermometer that doesn’t touch your skin a digital transformation before the vaccine shot that penetrates your skin?
When I was teaching a 600-level course at the university for PhD and MBA candidates, I encountered one student who simply responded with “reengineering” to every question. If I asked him what time it was, he would simply parrot, “Reengineering.”
I flunked him.