I've always thought that if you can't set a good example, you should at least set a really bad example, and serve society by allowing everyone else to point you out as the exact opposite of good practice. For instance, if you can't be grammatically correct, you should be so appallingly illiterate that people are literally frightened into proper grammar by the pain of reading your sentences (but not so bad that they actually consider switching to another language entirely).
On that theory, and since this issue includes our annual Top New Products report, I'd like to offer up some of the worst practices in the realm of technology adoption. There's no need to worry about where these come from; suffice it to say that they're all tried and tested in the real world.
First and foremost, if you can, avoid adopting new technologies at all. It's not that hard; just keep your head down. When they tell you that everyone has to switch to some new software or platform, simply arrange to not be at your desk when the IT guy comes around. Go ahead and schedule a meeting with him - something will undoubtedly come up. Reschedule. Start working more and more from home. Screen your calls. This can go on for months.
Eventually, though, they will find you, because they know where you work. When they do track you down, stall. You'll probably be in the middle of a major project, the kind that can't be interrupted by a big platform switch. After that, of course, there's that conference you have to attend, so you can't possibly go through the training. Then there's your vacation, and then the IT guy's vacation, and before you know it, you've dropped off their radar entirely. The IT department has other things to do, and if you're that difficult, they'll move you down the priority list.
To stay there, though, you'll need to begin improvising. Since you're not on the same system as everyone else, you'll have to find workarounds for sharing files, or making sure you're all looking at the same data. If you can't join a webinar because you insist on using a browser your firm doesn't support, you'll have to find a way to make it work. If you can't put in your time on your mobile device because the necessary app isn't available for it, you'll have to find friends and colleagues who are willing to lend you theirs. If you're sending clients the wrong data, you'll need to become proficient at apologizing.
Essentially, you'll have to be able to solve all of your own problems, because you won't be able to bring them to the help desk, because then they'll have to say, "Why are you doing it that way? We stopped doing it that way three years ago."
And then they'll make you change, and change is horrible.
In the end, avoiding keeping up with technology takes more work than just keeping up with technology in the first place. At the same time, maintaining your own personal carve-outs and exceptions to firm policies - or allowing anyone else to do so -- only makes things more difficult for you, your colleagues, your IT department, and your clients. Universal technology systems, policies and procedures are just like using the same language: The more people use them, and use them in the same ways, the smoother and more efficient all their interactions will be.
However, if you're truly determined to avoid new technology, just let me know -- I've got plenty more worst practices to share. You'll have to send me a letter, though, because there's some weird glitch between my computer and the company e-mail server. And my cellphone isn't working, because apparently I haven't updated the OS properly. And I can't access my voicemails, because I don't empty out the mailbox as often as I'm supposed to ...
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