The Technology Spectrum

Mitch Hobish Growth, Leadership, Productivity

I came across two apparently unrelated items today that I managed to relate.

The first has to do with what could be a major discovery in the realm of particle physics and its impact on our understanding of the underpinnings of reality: Scientists at CERN have announced that to a greater than 99.9999+ percent level, they have detected the long-sought Higgs Boson (the so-called “God Particle”, because—according to the Standard Model in this area—it is everywhere and is responsible for the phenomenon we call mass). Using the phenomenal technological construct, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and its huge detectors, teams of thousands of people have worked together for years to come to this point. Even if it’s not the Higgs Boson, the particle in question is a true discovery.

Quite at the other end of the technology spectrum is this item, which describes how a very tired legislator in North Carolina caused the institution of legislation to allow “fracking” in her state, even though she had long fought against it. The cause was, simply, because she pressed the wrong button on her voting panel, apparently owing to extreme fatigue and subsequent inattention. Because of legislative rules, she could not undo her wrong vote.

In both cases, the technology worked the way it was supposed to. However, in the case of the LHC, not only the technology worked, but it worked because people paid attention to the tiniest details, and worked together to get a fascinating result. In the second case, the technology worked, but the result was not what was desired, because of one person’s inability to pay attention.

Draw your own conclusions.

Questions: How dependent are you on trusting that you and others with whom you work will pay attention to details? What remedies are in place to rectify problems that will arise, should such attention not be paid? How do you ensure that everyone does their job to the best of their abilities?