November 10, 2012

Out-Tech The Competition

Talking with my daugter today, I learned that times have changed for our children and I realized for us as well.

It used to be that kids would work hard to out-dress each other--who has the coolest outfit, the shiniest shoes, even the best piercing, but now tech is outgunning fashion. 

In my daughter's school, she says it's no longer about clothes, but about tech devices--who has the latest iPhone 5, the iPad Mini, the thinnest laptop, the coolest apps, and so on. 

How you dress today is less important than what technology you use!

For us adults, this message was brought home by an article in Federal Times (5 Nov. 2012) entitled "Jeans and flip-flops at work." 

As the President of the American Federation of Government Employees Union Local 22 stated: "It's not about dressing up , it's about dressing down and allowing the creativity to flow." Similarly, the Director of Public Relations for Young Government Leaders was quoted as saying: "Today's young leader feel their work makes a bigger statement than what clothes they wear."
So the pressure is off with the dress code, but what about the technology your using?

Government Executive (1 Nov. 2012) in an article called "Technology Hand-off," points out the trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and as Darren Ash, the CIO of NRC points out "Apple just released the iPhone 5. In the Android market it seems like a new model comes along every month. We can't keep up."

And it's not just the CIOs that are screaming for relief from the incessant change and speed of technology change, everyone is constantly competing for the new technology...from waiting days in line for the next generation Apple device to doing a device refresh every 2-3 years on average, we are addicted to the "latest and greatest."

One CIO, who was the first in an agency to get an iPad, took it proudly to every meeting, especially in front of the executives--first it made him look very progressive and "with it," but then as the iPad envy set in, the whole executive leadership soon were carrying the devices as well. 

So out dressing the guy next to you is so blasé, now what's important is whether you can out-tech them!

Whether it's clothes or technology, the competition out there is fierce--and the cultural statement is clear--get with it or get run over by it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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