“Make it relevant for your audience”, “It should be something my staff can relate to” and now “It must be IT-related.” Don’t you just love oxymorons? Isn’t it so significant that the word “moron” is embedded in “oxymoron”? The word had its origins as a technical word to describe “adult with a mental age of between 8 to 12.” Now, if a person has a congenital condition or is afflicted with some disease, then exhibiting the characteristics of a moron is something that goes with the territory. However, for people who are not known to be so afflicted, there is absolutely no excuse for behaving like a moron.
So what am I grumbling about?
About IT, of course. More specifically, the irritating penchant for using terms like “IT-related.” What on earth is that? Does IT serve us, or are we serving IT? Sounds to me like we’ve exalted the Tool above the Craftsman. Mark Ritson shares about this from time to time. “Digital marketing” is an oxymoron. The “digital” is of course “IT-related” and is supposed to support marketing, not replace it! Similar idiocies abound in other areas of life. Have you ever been asked to give a talk at a school and admonished to use “school or classroom-related” examples? Smoke still billows from my ears just thinking about that! School is not life. Classrooms are not life. School is supposed to prepare one for life! Unfortunately, that’s not happening as far as I can see. Not in elementary schools, not in MBA courses. We need to change a few paradigms where schooling is concerned. A big one is to do away with schooling and start educating people as we ought to have done all along. Conceptual breakthrough there!
So what about relating?
We need to realize that everything is related to some degree. What is important is how they are related. IT is meant to support business operations. It is meant to support life by making things more convenient. Let’s stop serving the needs of IT and start using IT as it is meant to be used. Artificial Intelligence is yet another oxymoronic spawn of this kind of thinking. If it’s artificial it’s not intelligent and if it’s intelligent it’s not artificial. Live life. Help people. Use things. And help the IT-related become IT-relating.