Been working in a number of clients offices over the last few weeks and it dawned on me, not sure why – it just did, that nearly everyone was carrying around cups of coffee with them. It’s one of those behavioural shifts that creeps up on you and must have been part of the corporate culture now for quite a few years. It has replaced the notepad or the corporate brochure as that ‘comfort blanket’ that we carry around to us between meetings and offices (the iPad will soon replace this so maybe a coffee holder fitted into the iPad or tablet will be the next round of innovation!).
Anyway, the point of my musing is that it also dawned on me that we treat coffee the way we now treat content (or ‘big data’ – not sure what that is about but didn’t we always deal with structured and unstructured data or content from many sources?). Many years ago (sounds like a nursery rhyme) coffee shops would be few and far between on the high street and squeezed in between the purpose of the visit to the high street, shopping (or browsing). We sat down in the coffee shop, consumed the drink in crockery provided, with spoons, napkins etc. Once finished these were then removed, washed and ready for the next customer. We left the shop with our business conducted and there was finality to the ‘event’ with no residue effecting the environment.
Now coffee shops are everywhere. In many cases they mask the reason for a visit to the high street. We have coffee on the move; it’s a mobile experience that requires more accessories that are thrown-away items. We leave litter and rush taking slurps that leave a bad feeling at the end of the day.
Content is providing a similar experience. It becomes more easily available and consumable everywhere; it’s rushed and starts to create more noise; it leaves us with litter and residue that someone eventually we need to clear up; and I sense it provides a far less rewarding experience.
I’m sensing that as we start to look at the consequences to the environment of millions of coffee cups and accessories that litter our high streets we will see the demand that we change our behaviour for the benefit of the environment. Indeed we may even start to savour it more. The same with content. As organisations move towards enabling the workforce to contribute and generate content and data we will be looking at how we introduce behavioural change to ensure we don’t become lost in the noise, clutter and litter of content everywhere.