Technology can be cold, complex and impersonal.
Indeed, that is what any form of technology is: An algorithm or code that is neither self-aware nor capable of compassion, empathy, tact, decency or the slightest degree of emotional intelligence.
That definition does not, however, square with the interpreters of technology – the designers and “digital artisans” who humanize products through the power of touch and the integrity of trust – thereby transforming our smartphones and tablets into an all-in-one, voice-activated assistant (with the gender and accent of our choice), who will tell us the weather, recite the names and numbers of our friends and coworkers, and like, follow or tweet our views about everything from the newest mystery novel to the latest live performance from our favorite musicians.
Now, apply that same sense of personalization to web hosting, domain names, and virtual servers and dedicated servers. Imagine how something as simple as attentive care and professional responsibility can give clients the peace of mind they want and the comfort they deserve to receive.
Think of the dividends that would accrue to such a firm, in comparison to the popular conception of server farms where, but for a lone maintenance worker or security guard, the high-decibel whirl of air conditioners and the synchronized sounds of rotating fans operate in perpetuity; out of sight, and out of mind, with no one to ensure the security and performance of your website or business.
The exception to this rule, and an example individual executives would be wise to study, is LCN.com: A UK-based provider of the services referenced above, with an international clientele of entrepreneurs, private companies and public organizations.
(A disclaimer: I am not an employee of, nor am I a consultant to, LCN.com. My comments are the result of my own research, according to my own standards of excellence and customer service.)
I cite LCN.com for two reasons.
First, any business that emphasizes the importance of assistance, of helping people with issues both major and mundane, is a business worthy of respect. It is a sign, a verbal cue from a technical expert or a customer service representative, that a positive attitude redounds to the benefit of workers and clients alike.
Secondly, if a company can humanize the very materials that power technology – including lithium, mercury, aluminum, iron, copper, titanium and zinc – then it can do just about anything.
A Lesson about Leadership: Invest in Your Identity
The lesson about LCN.com may also be a three-letter abbreviation for Leadership, Community and Networking.
That is, when a business has this trio of strengths, and when those advantages refine and distinguish a brand from the competition, a company will have an unmistakable identity.
Every executive should aspire to achieve this goal because, though there may be trials and setbacks, and errors and challenges along the way, the emergence of an identity – the appearance of trust rather than the illusion of credibility – will earn so much goodwill, and increase a company's overall financial value, that the results will exceed all manner of conventional expectations.
The principles of LCN, and the efforts of LCN.com, are a pathway to success in the marketplace and sustained support from the public at large.
Furthering these ideals by investing in a company's identity should be a priority for every executive. The alternative is, after all, a dead-end of mediocrity and anonymity.
We know what every executive should do, which is what every company must do.
We also know why every executive should pursue these things because we understand why every company cannot flourish without these things.
Leadership starts now.