Tools – they are absolutely everywhere these days, aren’t they? They fill our businesses, our lives, our everyday and even our health…
By Lauran Bush, EP Business in Hospitality
No I don’t only mean the term “tool” in the derogatory or in the DIY sense of the word – though I would like to note it formally here that I have a marked dislike for both. Gosh and then if it couldn’t possibly get worse, I have seen the odd toolbox thrown into the terminology! Now when I was growing up in a family where my father wished for sons and got 2 daughters, a toolbox was (and is) a handy receptacle to store and carry said tools (for DIY purposes only). Never did it relate to anything that didn’t involve dirt, grease or in my father’s case – blood and a plaster.
“People need people, not machines, tools or programmes – it really is very simple.”
How is it that these days everyone seems to have a tool(box) or a framework or a programme or a platform for something, and usually this “something” relates to a “someone” or “someone’s”? How did we get here? How have we taken something so mechanical and sterile and directly related it to something so emotional and complex such as people?
Now I know that there is a place in this world for everything and that different things work for different situations and objectives. I am very fortunate to have the most incredible job where I get to meet the most incredible people and see the most incredible places. People in my world are complex and wise, well traveled and intricate as I am sure they are in yours. They are varied, they are colourful, heritage and personalitied. They are fun, serious, professional and humoured. They are from so many worlds including sport, finance, law, innovation, business, hospitality and don’t even get me started on the variety of nationalities and cultures! I absolutely love it and I love them. Where I struggle to understand or relate is how does one put them into a programme or a toolbox? How do we help them when they are struggling and just need someone to listen, when they want to share ideas or experiences, build networks, express their opinions, have a voice or just simply want to de-stress themselves in a safe relaxed place outside of their everyday? Tell me I am wrong but I am going to suggest that we DON’T do this by way of a platform or toolbox or any form of internet appropriate system.
“I want to meet people and see the whites of their eyes and the creases in their smiles.”
People need people, not machines, tools or programmes – it really is very simple. No matter how much we progress on an AI front, I (and I hope that I am not alone here) am never going to feel comfortable or fulfilled sharing my thoughts, worries, genius ideas and inappropriate sense of humour with a machine regardless of whether there may or may not be a real person on the other side of the screen. I am also going out on a limb and believe that I am not going to improve my emotional or physical well-being via AI and a computer screen, despite what my recently received NHS pamphlet suggests which is that I talk to a therapist via a handy, automated and yes, unemotional and sterile…all you need is an internet connection…platform.
Let’s get real! I want to build my buddy network. I want to share ideas. I want to meet people and see the whites of their eyes and the creases in their smiles. I want to network and hear how others in other industries and disciplines deal with, work through and innovate within similar or identical challenges and opportunities I am facing. Join me! Knowledge share is powerful – people to people not machine to people or toolbox to analysis to implementation to people. We are not robots – and may I suggest (without offending anyone) that we perhaps try not to put people into a toolbox…well not just yet!