Just recently Google presented their project “Ara” , the new completely customizable smartphone, which they will start to pilot and sell in Puerto Rico. When I first saw it I was immediately reminded to my childhood – when I used to play with LEGO and “produced” practically everything imaginable with these little coloured bricks.
For sure not everything looked exaxtly like the idea I had in my head but it was always enough for me or, together with some friends, to play and simulate each and every story or adventure.
I saw a TV series from New York – well, I stapled lots of funny coloured piles and put them on the old grey basic plate and then chased thiefs with my little Mattel police car throught the narrow streets. I heard something about the Apollo mission and just started to built the needed rocket and of course a fully functional space station to live on the moon and prepared the next stage – flying to the mars. Whatever it was, I could build it with some simple coloured bricks.
Why ? Because all components followed the same principles and basic functionalities, fully adaptable to each other. The rest was up to my imagination and creativity, of course.
Now back to business.
When was the last time you did rethink your profession and tried to make it as easy as LEGO or ARA ? What I don’t mean here is to tidy up your desk and organise your staff.
I mean to really simplify your particular profession to make it adaptable to the current or future needs. I mean to really break it down into small colourful bricks of skills and abilities, of specialties and commodities. One of my impressions here is that when trying to do so we tend to misunderstand personality and complexity. We mix up our own personal job modifications with the core principles of it and therefor blow it up to a certain extend. Some people even say that if we cannot put our job discription into an elevator pitch of 30 – 60 seconds we are not focussed enough. I wouldn’t go that far but there is a true moment in this thought. My feeling is that making our life and job easier and more adaptable to current needs can be a lifesaver for our future businesses.
Project Ara puts it all together. The basic function is located in the main frame. Now if you need to store more you choose for more GB. If you want to make better photos you choose the bigger and better camera. If you like to listen to music you buy the bigger and better loudspeaker. Doing sports – well you choose the Gyrometer and GPS tracker for sport apps. Its all easily adaptable to the very moment and the current needs and wants. If your environment changes, well then you exchange some of the components accordingly.
Can you do this with your job if someone or something “outside” changes the rules, say inventing disruptive products that ruin your current PnL ?
Can you easily plug-in new ressources, certain know-how, skills, techniques, organisational setups ? I think that in a world moving so fast and businesses changing so much their directions it is a nessessary practise we should all undertake – making our jobs outcome more attachable to other’s, reducing complexity and increasing flexibility with useful standards ( for sure not boring ones – we are no sheep and need diversity, but that’s worth another post.. ) , open our minds for complete other organisational constructions and offices.
We could do more research on the “edges” of our work environment and try to estimate our “modules” that we need next and plug them in into our main frame.
If you agree or disagree feel free to leave a comment.
If you haven’t played with LEGO yet – borrow some bricks from your kids – it’s worth it 🙂