Friday, April 27, 2007

Make Technology Your Ally

I have been called a dinosaur when it comes to technology. Many business colleagues of mine have expressed frustration that I don’t personally email them. The fact is, I think technology has become a huge aide to doing business. My company, Buena Vista Custom Homes has been quick to add the latest in construction industry software to manage our overall business. We were also the first to launch a state of the art website, winning the award from our trade association (The Home Builders Association of Metro Portland) for the best web site by a builder. And now, I am blogging?

My personal philosophy is this. As an entrepreneur and CEO of a company I look to my job as providing overall direction for my company. I know this, many of my employees personally send hundreds of emails daily. I look at my role as providing the vision for my company and then managing oversight. My work at Buena Vista Custom Homes often requires me to be away from my desk. And when I’m in my office, there always seem to be so many other tasks to address: phone calls to return, plans to review, meetings to attend, etc.

To be totally honest, I appreciate not being tied to my computer. I know colleagues who can slip into a frothy panic if separated from their email for too long. For me, rather than wasting valuable time slogging through all those communications, I rely on my assistant to relay the messages that require my immediate attention.

Plus, given my curious cast of mind, I know I could very easily get myself mired pursuing this or that question. I would challenge that many business owners or high level managers make this very mistake, thus falling into a myriad of details which hamper overall productivity.

Still, there is obviously a great deal more to the Internet than email and the occasional search. So “this dinosaur” is learning, wanting to enjoy the myriad benefits of the Internet without letting it distract me from my goal of building quality, state-of-the-art homes. My advice is embrace technology, but don’t let technology embrace you.