Common Outlook Consulting Inc. New Perspectives
July 2014 - Issue # 14-07

Founder's Message

Gone too far?

Is it really true we've given over our time, energy, ability to focus and stay on topic, and our most precious relationships to a machine - simply because we can hold it in our hands?

Well, if we take the example of the Toronto doctor who cradled his cell phone between his neck and shoulder while giving a patient an injection (responding indignantly when challenged about it); the countless caregivers and parents who "chat" via text message while ignoring children; the people who text/email during an in-person verbal conversation, while standing in the middle of the sidewalk - or worse yet - while driving, then "yes", our use of the machine has gone too far. 

We need to experience the unutterable freedom that comes when we turn technology off.

To do that, we first need to determine whether we're its master or minion.  We hope this month's article will help do that - just in time to let you break free for your summer holiday!  





There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.  
~ Bertrand Russell




Turn the handheld off. And rediscover the indescribable sense of freedom - knowing you are unreachable.



Coming Up  


"Thanks for the Feedback".  In August we review a new book from our friends at the Harvard Negotiation Project on how to receive feedback well. Deep, honest, funny, and helpful.



Often in the history of technological innovation, the design of a machine determined its position in our lives: the car to the garage and roadways; the assembly-line to the factory; the telephone and answering machine to our wall or desk. Most of us probably haven't given this much thought, but it makes sense that the physical properties of the machine have a foundational impact on how - and where - we use it.

So it was that without really thinking through the possible ramifications, we embraced the wireless-computer-that-could-make-calls-and-fit-in-a-pocket machine. And unwittingly took it everywhere we went - including our bedside table and other not-to-be-named locations.
Mesmerized, we give it the attention we used to give to the world around us - to a family member, a neighbour, a colleague, or a friend. We interrupt conversations ("Just let me get this"); forget our own children ("You can't find Little Suzy?!); zone-out ("But Officer; I was just sending ....").

It's time we learned how to make technology work for us instead of the other way around. Techno-experts like Douglas Rushkoff, who initially extolled the virtues of digital technologies, are now saying...  Read more


Peter Hiddema

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