My Mom is an iPhone Addict!
Over the last year or two I have been looking closely at the trends in the talent management technology market. Things like Social, Mobile, and Gamification. I have to admit that I have been a little skeptical. At some point won't people get tired of being so social? Isn't the laptop already pretty mobile? And when I hear words like gamification, I just want to punch something in the face.
But a few weeks ago my mother came for a visit to attend my daughter's high school graduation party. As we sat around chatting, someone would ask a question like "is it supposed to rain today?" In every case, my mom would whip out her iPhone and say "I can tell you." And she would proceed to thumb her way to the answer.
As it turns out, my mom is an iPhone addict!?!
I then noticed how frequently the alert tone sounded on her phone. It was like every 10 minutes. She told me it was because she was playing Words with Friends, and the alert meant that it was her turn. She then showed me on her iPad how many people she was playing with, all the other games she was trying like Hanging With Friends, and Draw Something. In every case she had the maximum number of simultaneous games going at once. Not only that, she sends text messages as effortlessly as her grandchildren. She was interacting daily with her sisters, her friends in Florida, nieces and nephews.
After spending the weekend with my technology transformed mother, I started to better understand the significance of the Social, Mobile, and Gamification trends. Here is my take:
Social - The rapid growth of the social web has created an incredibly interconnected channel for information flow. The 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon has turned into the 3 degrees of everyone you are connected to in LinkedIn. You add Facebook friends and aggregate the networks of your employees and you can probably reach just about anyone on the planet.
Mobile - The smart phone has become a fully functional computer in your pocket and it goes with you everywhere. If you don’t think it will ever get all the way there, just think back when we wondered if laptops could ever be as powerful as a desktop. It means people literally have access to the channel any time and anywhere. It enables a level of engagement we have not yet imagined, because you can tap into anything you want with the push of a thumb. All of the sudden waiting in line or a visit to the restroom can be a productive use of your time.
Gamification - Playing games is one of the most powerful forms of engagement. It's the addiction factor. Next time you’re in a public place, take a look around to see how many people are glued to their mobile device, probably playing Words with Friends, or selling some crops in Farmville.
The mentality so far has been to use these technologies selectively. We think that the Millennials are social, and the techies like games, so we focus our pilots on them. But it is these three trends combined that form an opportunity to think differently about how we interact and communicate with all talent.
If my mom is any indication of what’s coming – fasten your seat belt.