How Technology Kills Mediocrity
The development of technology and social media in particular has exposed all of us much more than in the past.
Andrew is Professor of Management Practice in Accounting and a non-executive director of the Bank of England and Barclays Bank plc, non-executive Chairman of Applied Intellectual Capital plc (an AIM-listed technology incubator) and Senior Independent Director of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust. He is also a member of the Working Group on Audit Firm Governance and of Main Panel I of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise
Andrew lectures on the School’s Masters, open executive and company executive programmes. His research focuses on how organisations can improve their choice and use of performance measures.
What the development of new media has done is to make it much more difficult than it used to be for organizations and individuals to operate in a quite backwater unnoticed by anybody else, just getting on with their own lives or perhaps just running their own business not very well. The development of technology and social media in particular has exposed all of us much more than in the past.
When I started my working life, it was quite easy to be mediocre and nobody really noticed. Now, you can move services across boundaries, across national boundaries, across continents very, very easily, and in most cases, therefore, what we’ve got is the need to make sure that we are competitive just not in the small circle in which we operate but much more widely because otherwise the danger is that somebody will come from a quite unexpected direction and occupy the space that we occupy, particularly if it’s profitable.
Bluntly, if you are doing something that doesn't make money and is not very profitable, you may not be very threatened. But once you’ve got something which is a service or produce goods that other people want and you're making money in it, then all this technology makes it much easier for people to move into your space. So as far as education is concerned, what education can do is to make you aware of what these threats are so that you're much less likely to be caught unawares.
60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller is coming back to Big Think to answer YOUR questions! Here's all you need to know to submit your science-related inquiries.
Big Think's amazing audience has responded so well to our videos from NASA astronomer and Assistant Director for Science Communication Michelle Thaller that we couldn't wait to bring her back for more!
And this time, she's ready to tackle any questions you're willing to throw at her, like, "How big is the Universe?", "Am I really made of stars?" or, "How long until Elon Musk starts a colony on Mars?"
All you have to do is submit your questions to the form below, and we'll use them for an upcoming Q+A session with Michelle. You know what to do, Big Thinkers!
Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my tsundoku.
- Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf.
- Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don't know.
- The Japanese call this practice tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.
Calling all big thinkers!
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.