It’s a concept that is of no surprise to consumers. Buying goods from eBAY or Amazon is commonplace and unless the purchase is bulky enough to be collection only then the location of the seller is of no concern.
In business, there are some forerunners who eulogise on the benefits of teleworking and have a network of customer service representatives using leading edge technology to answer queries; and in the respond and repair sector every customer-facing representative is, quite literally, out on their own.
The quote in the title comes from a paper written by O’Brien et al in 1992 and shows that nearly 20 years ago, someone writing an academic paper had already recognised that where you conducted your business was going to be the least of your worries. Not having read all of the paper, it’s difficult to know exactly what aspect of business the authors were talking about. You would hazard a guess, given the timing, that maybe outsourcing was involved, or even the beginnings of the teleworking revolution since the Internet didn’t really start to take off until 1996/97.
But their words now look very prescient. A business in Delhi may have the same issues as one in Dallas, a clinician in Sydney will share issues with one in Stockholm. Until now, unless they happen to have met one another at an international conference, exhibition, training course or something similar, they would be unable to connect, compare notes and find solutions that transcend national boundaries.
Social media networks have already shown that business people like to connect with other business people. Why do they do it? Because there is safety in numbers. Just as we talked about yesterday in the post on Consensus of Subjectivity. What businesses need to do is to understand how to harness the power of this desire for connectivity and sharing, while embracing an individual’s need, or desire, to work somewhere else other than Head Office, and that by building a relationship with someone on the other side of the world may just be the answer they need to deliver impeccable results locally.