You can tell that Michelle and I both enjoy TED Talks — my post today includes a reference to one, also. Malcolm Gladwell‘s work has always fascinated me in how he looks at seemingly unrelated aspects of the world, and can identify interconnections.
In his recent talk at TEDGlobal 2011, he discusses the Norden bombsight… how it was created, and how well it worked or didn’t work, and why. Malcolm makes this point:
“we think the things we make can solve our problems, but our problems are much more complex than that. The issue isn’t the accuracy of the bombs you have. It’s how you use the bombs you have, and more importantly, whether you ought to use bombs at all.”
When it comes to solving problems, and the change it takes to reach a solution, there is always much more to the change than just a “thing”. Simply creating a new piece of technology will not necessarily mean successful change.
Think also about the people, culture, and processes that are within the realm of what might be affected by the new technology item, or the new service. Change that is sustainable, and achieves a goal, really begins from the hearts of people who are looking for something better, and the “thing” that is invented just helps reach that goal when it is used appropriately.