Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Are there limitations to finding solutions to CSR 2.0? Look at your keyboard before typing the answer

Invented in 1873 the QWERTY keyboard we still use today was designed to overcome mechanical limitations of the 19th century.

With what today would be described as antique mechanics, the arrangement of the keys was designed to avoid jamming when two or more adjacent keys were pressed in quick succession.

Nearly 60 years later, in 1932, new technology eliminated jamming and allowed a more efficient arrangement of the keys. This new arrangement proved it could:
– double our typing speeds
– reduce our typing effort by 95%.

But this new faster, more efficient keyboard was never adopted.

Based on short-term thinking at that time, there was too much vested interest.

The QWERTY model ruled.

The processes, the people and the technologies – across manufacturing, sales, training and the ‘business of typing’ – that had been built around the QWERTY model for over 60 years, were ‘too entrenched’.

Too entrenched at what cost?

When thinking about solutions for Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility we need to learn from the 19th century handicap built into much of our 21st century technology.

78 years later we are still feeling the effects of an inferior solution.

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