Paul Pilzer is an American economist and best-selling author who promotes the notion that economic progress and wealth are driven by technology. New technologies will continue to feed economic growth, but in Pilzer’s view, a lot of growth can come from properly utilizing the technologies we’ve already got.
Most technologies used in small business are vastly underutilized, particularly where software is concerned. We tend to learn what we need to learn in order to accomplish a certain task. We don’t look any further to see what else the program might do for us. Then, when we are faced with a new task, we whip out our trusty software manual and figure out how to do that. So we tend to use our technologies in small bites without understanding their full potential.
How might you improve efficiency and productivity if you more fully utilized the technologies you’ve already got? How might you use those technologies to better serve your customers?
Here’s a thought. Let’s say you’re using some very common software products like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, ACT!, and QuickBooks. In your Accounting Department, even if you have only a single bookkeeper, challenge him or her to find one new thing in QuickBooks each month . . . a new tool, utility, or capability that would benefit the company and/or your customers. Find someone in the Sales Department who likes techie stuff and challenge him or her to do the same with ACT! And so on with all the technologies the company uses. Obviously, when something new is discovered, it needs to be taught and passed along to the other users of that technology.
The technologies we have available to us today are so powerful and so versatile that they can help drive a business forward more quickly and more sure-footedly than ever before. Pilzer teaches us that these technologies are resources we should not ignore . . . that we should embrace them and use them to their fullest potential.