We should be grateful that we realized some of the human values that we had diluted consistently since decades, are not irrelevant, even now
There is a popular couplet in Odia Bhagabata that every child in Odisha is taught. Roughly translated into English, it means the good and bad of (about) a creature (person) is known (remembered) at the time of its (his/her) death. This can easily be extended to anything, that comes and goes naturally, including a year.
So, when we look at social media posts expressing ‘happiness’ that the year 2020 is coming to an end and at the numerous memes doing the rounds depicting our difficult and tough times in 2020, even though in humorous ways, we know what this year meant to us.
Of course, what has happened to the acceleration of digitization in organizations—that we have discussed almost in every single issue and meeting since then—was a positive sign. But that is the clear and present part.
We should also be grateful that we emerged out of this not just stronger but hopefully, realizing that some of the human values that we had diluted consistently since decades, are not irrelevant, even now. Hopefully, our society, business, and technology—in that order—would not let this opportunity go for them to apply in their everyday lives.
Think about how the life came to a standstill after lockdown. Think not just about the cleaner air and birds in urban skies, but also about the renewed interest in the neighborhood kirana store, or about the new compassionate attitude towards coworkers struggling to make their networks connect to Zoom or Google Meet or MS Teams. We once again realized the value of ‘we’, ‘our’ and together. In tech terminology, we called it collaboration. But the excessive usage had made that an emotionless technology possibility. The value of those emotions returned.
If you are in Delhi or Mumbai, you probably saw migrant workers walking with their baggage and even small children on their shoulders. For a moment, it was a feeling of shame at ourselves. But beyond the first feeling of shame, came back a resolve to do something about it. While that has got diluted with time, some of it led to lasting solutions, using technology.
I could give many such examples. But you get the point. Right?
It is not just about the increasing value of technology—that, though is not a small realization—but also about ethics, compassion, teamwork, and applying our knowledge and capital to a cause that is not of immediate benefit to ‘us’, but to the larger society.
When we think of society, it is beyond the known business metrics. One constant tussle between business and the establishment about greater good to society is manifest in regulation. Our CIO&Leader December 2020 Cover Story is by platform guru, Sangeet Paul Choudary, roughly based on his latest work on regulations of platforms. Please share you feedback.
Wishing you a Happy New Year 2021!