Our Own Triple Bottom LineJune 29, 2009 Leave a comment
Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the Enterprise 2.0 Conference. It was a fantastic event full of wisdom regarding collaboration in a world where technology is king and we humans are the serfs still struggling with literacy. Though I think when it was all devised, it was supposed to be the other way around. (My analogy, not that of Enterprise 2.0).
Attendees included the CIA, WorldBank, Microsoft, IBM, General Mills, Blue State Digital, and many other companies that work directly with collaborative technology programs. One of the focal points in the four day conference was how to maximize online communities. Accompanied with this topic was the question of whether internal Facebook-like programs to connect employees on projects are an aid to productivity or a distraction. A bigger question however was, can online meetings replace face to face meetings, and if they can, should they? At what point do we need to be face to face? Can a foundation be built and trust gained in the cyber world? By entering more meetings online are we forgoing genuine relationships in the work world? Are genuine relationships dependent on proximity?
Now there is no denying that a lot can be accomplished online and that working online can be very cost efficient. Though in a time when we need to focus on sustaining the world, we must also remember our need to sustain ourselves, and the genuine relationships which make us human. If we can find that balance with techonolgy, then we will really find a strong profit.
How timely Santi, I just talked to our friends at NetAge who are helping IISC to sharpen our virtual meeting capacity. I’m all about the technology, but like you, I also think it should be a complement to human contact, not a substitute. The experience of holding and hosting meeting space tells me that there is something essentially energetic about the experience, and there is no substitute for that.
The good news is that emergence theory tells us about the often overlooked importance of micro-interactions at the local level – here is the foundation for change, and here is where we can still meet!
You raise some great questions here Santi. I am intrigued by this question of how “deep” we can really go with technology. I am biased in favor of direct interpersonal experiences when it comes to encouraging transformation. I’m just not sure how one has a spiritual experience in the virtual world. And I sometimes think that the lack of sustainable behavior in the world is because we have cut ourselves off from nature. Do we really want to cut ourselves off even more? Of course, the answer is no. How do we put technology in its appropriate place in service of our larger goals?
I love reading how people are implementing a triple bottom line strategy into their business. The 3BL is so great because it can be molded to meet ideals of all political and social affiliations. you guys should check out http://www.e3bank.com to see how they are applying this philosophy to the banking industry.