When ‘Smart’ technology dominates mindsets, smart decisions are unlikely to be made…

The Badger’s kitchen is undergoing some long-overdue renovation. Units and cooking facilities have gone, a brick wall has been knocked down, and electrical and water infrastructure is being changed. There’s some weeks to go before completion, but the Badger’s already adjusted to the new normal that a renovation imposes. The team from the local family business doing the work are very professional and doing a great job. In fact, their ‘can do’ attitude, teamwork, and focus on what needs to be done – rather than on the clock – reminds the Badger of the ethos of the project delivery teams he worked on during his career in the IT industry.

To date, these British workers are far from being culturally lazy or workshy! Far from it, they are hard-working and take great pride in doing a good job. From the outset they focused on getting the requirement, design, and implementation plan right, and now they’re delivering with a ‘do it right, do it once’ attitude, great attention to detail,  and great engagement with their client. The parallels with the Badger’s IT project teams of yore are heart-warming and satisfying. The Badger’s also learned that they are unfazed by ‘Smart’ technology and the digital world!

Yesterday the team lead said something the Badger didn’t expect. They said that ‘when ‘Smart’ technology dominates mindsets, smart decisions are unlikely to be made; smart decisions are made when your mindset has ‘Smart’ technology as just another useful tool in the kitbag’. They contended that the UK government’s recent ‘Smart’ Motorways announcement illustrated the point claiming that poor decisions were made years ago because a fixation with ‘Smart’ technology pervaded the mindset of politicians. It’s a valid point of view, even if you disagree, especially when the team lead asserts that if motorway hard shoulders were a necessary safety feature decades ago when traffic volumes were much lower, then they must surely still be a necessary safety feature today!

The Badger’s renovators are not against ‘Smart’ technology. In fact, they’re pro-technology and use it extensively as a tool. Their smartphones, for example, are as important as any other tool in the toolbox because they provide immediate on-the-job connectivity with their suppliers for the disparate items needed for work to progress. They’re far from workshy, lazy, or technology phobic. They’re lions working hard to make a living in a world with a fair share of donkeys who, for example, once thought it was sensible for junctions 10 to 16 of London’s orbital M25 motorway to be an ‘all lane running’ Smart motorway. That was never a smart decision and always a silly idea, likely driven, as the team lead asserts, by mindsets fixated with ‘Smart’ technology. Fortunately, long overdue common sense has ultimately prevailed; it’s no longer going to happen and M25 road users will be safer as a result.


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