Article by Mark Gregory:

As I go about my daily activity I can’t help but notice (as I am sure you can’t) the ever-increasing use of technology as part of our daily routine.

How the human race has gained a new appendage that is morphing into an extension of our anatomy, the mobile device! I was recently working in Ghana and was amazed by the prevalence of this mobile technology in areas of society where my western paradigm would of spent the funds required to operate a device on something more deserving.

The statistics that are flying around with respect to the use of this technology are also staggering. In a 2012 study by PA Consulting they concluded: Every 60 seconds on Facebook there are, 510,000 comments, 293,000 status updates, 136,000 uploaded photos. Out of 6 billion people on the plant, 4.8 billion have access to social media. 4.2 billion own a tooth brush. (not sure how they established this one, but I like it). In total 30 billion pieces of content are shared each month.

So what? I hear you say. Well the point is our use of this technology has become habitual. Morning, noon, night and every five minutes in-between. Which means there is an opportunity here to help people develop and for businesses to understand that development or for those (normally badged as finance) to assess the ROI of such development.

In my simple mind development at its core is about asking people to formulate and be consistent in the application of new habits. ‘I used to operate this way, in the future I am required to operate a new way.’ A new habit requires three elements knowledge (why do?), skill (how to do?) and attitude (want to do?).

This is why organisations like Slimming World and Alcoholics Anonymous are so successful. They do not just offer knowledge and skill but offer attitude by creating a community. The use of technology has over recent times become common place in the learning and development space with online training, webinars, surveys etc. Or in other words the knowledge and skill elements of habit generation. It is however in the attitude space the habitual nature of our technology usage can be really powerful.

For example what if I could offer my boss, my peers or colleagues real time feedback on how they are developing as a leader or conversely I was receiving feedback. What if I was able to receive helpful hints, tips, messages of encouragement or powerful stories of success on my development journey, my colleague’s development journey or my organisations development journey?

(Technically in app world known as “pushings”, when you receive data, adverts etc.). All this 24/7 with a few taps on a smart screen or laptop keyboard. Could I resist the urge to look when the little icon appears? And if I did look could it help me form and maintain the attitude to formulate and sustain new habits. My consistent mirror through dialogue anytime anywhere. I could be part of the community, the in crowd, those in the know and those who are doing it!