Summer Vacation, Fishing & My Daughter – A Realization.
During our family summer vacation, I had a stark realization of the world we live in. The world of immediacy…the world where apps are favored versus websites because they are faster and instant…the world where algorithms choose what we see in our news update based off our “profiles”…a world where patience and digging though data is becoming a thing of the past.
I realized this while trying to teach my daughter some patience by fishing off a dock at a friend’s cottage near a region typically referred to as the Muskoka’s, three hours north of Toronto, Canada. My four-year-old daughter, Tayvia, told us she wanted to “learn” fishing, so we outfitted ourselves with some rods (a Barbie® one for her, of course), some hooks, and an Ontario fishing license.
On the long drive up to the cottage, I continued to remind her that fishing is a patience game. I thought this would be a great way to not only teach her something new, but to also instill some patience and respect for the quiet time. I remember saying, “We might spend the entire afternoon fishing and won’t catch one – but we can talk and think about things.” And she replied, “Well, then we’ll only fish during supper time when they are hungry.”
As you can tell, my daughter is a very logical person and witty just like her mom…outsmarting me many times over and she’s only four! At any rate, I had been fishing before and being older, I “knew better,” feeling confident that this experience would teach her some patience, expecting us to catch no fish. She needs to learn a bit of patience for that I’m reminded almost daily of the instant access world we live in.
If something isn’t instantly available (food, TV, Netflix, ice cream, etc.) for her, it is usually followed by a big crying fit or sometimes it’s the more exciting foot stomping with a dramatic head scream in the couch/pillow move…if you’re a parent, you sure know what I’m talking about. In fact, we experienced this impatience on the car ride with her being utterly devastated to discover that I had removed the “Peppa the Pig” episodes from the iPad® and they weren’t available that instant—forcing her to watch “Despicable Me” three times…and after many tears, she finally obliged. We only threatened twice to “turn this car around” and thank goodness we really didn’t have to.
At any rate, after getting settled at the cottage, we got to the store for worms and went down to the dock. I remember continuing to prep her during this process that “fishing is a patience game.” After only three casts, she pulled in a nice little sunfish and told me, “See daddy, this is easy…is it a salmon, can we eat him?” Go figure, after all of this prepping, she gets one within the first five minutes…come on!
On the drive back home, I started thinking about how I basically failed to use this experience as a way to teach her patience in order to open her mind up that some things in life won’t be “instant.” Instead, I ended up teaching her the value of luck.
After uploading our pictures when we returned home, I came across the picture of her holding her sunfish and realized a couple of things. My daughter is not the only person that lives in this “now” instant world. I realized that we, as adults and industry professionals, also live in a world of instant access. We don’t want complicated things to use; we just want them to work, be easy, and provide us stuff when we need it.
We live in a connected world where we are hit by data everywhere we look. In industry, it’s exponential how much data is within plants and utilities, and if your plant is all connected, watch out…you’ll need a lot of patience to figure out what it all means! Funny enough, I realized that this entire experience of teaching my daughter how to fish is what we’re reducing in industry with our new software components. We’re delivering solutions to allow workers to be impatient; not requiring them to learn how to fish…and they like it. It’s about hiding the complexity, and making the software more intelligent and capable of delivering the information instantly to the person who cares about it.
In fact, this is the transformation that’s delivered when customers adopt Real-time Operational Intelligence (RtOI) solutions, and when you connect big data and analytics to mobile devices, something that GE calls Predictivity. In a nutshell, it’s about turning your workers into action-oriented problem solvers who are supported by intelligent data versus fishing for answers in the big sea of data.
Now, some workers will get lucky and find value in their current seas of data, like my daughter and her fishing experience, and others will not but will continue to favor fishing. But the large majority of workers now expect real information and tend to be just as impatient as my daughter–only wanting to spend five minutes to get the fish! Now let me know if you like to fish or live in a world of immediacy?