“I don’t do computers” is not an excuse

Steve Dale made a great point about my last post about putting Enterprise 2.0 tools in the flow of existing applications

“I don’t disagree with the general thrust of your argument, i.e. keeping the tools you use within the context of the business process. However, the last point you make (…the tools should do the thinking for us as to which communication mechanism to use – they shouldn’t require us to think) is arguably a utopian view and, certainly in my opinion, unlikely to happen. In fact, I was putting a presentation together yesterday for a group of people who we’re trying to encourage to get more involved in an on-line community, and one of my bullets read…”Live with the complexity; technology can’t solve everything”. So for me, I think we should strive to become more like Generation Y and learn how to use the tools in context until it becomes intuitive”

This is another example of the enterprise 2.0 pendulum – there is a balance to be struck between making things as easy as possible, but at the same time asking people to move some way toward “dealing with it”.

I must admit I get more and more frustrated with the “I don’t do computers” (Lucinda from the Apprentice anyone?) excuse that people sometimes come out with.  I’m not asking for everyone to be a geek, but how many of us would accept “I don’t use phones” or “I can’t come and see you because I don’t understand cars”.  There is an acceptance sometimes that it’s ok not to be able to perform the simplest of IT tasks, and sometimes (and only sometimes) the IT-literate need to stop doing things for their colleagues and help them understand how to do things for themselves.

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