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The independent voice of the global moving industry

Wisdom without control

Jul 14, 2017

The moving industry is one that lends itself nicely to family businesses. Dad buys a van and works all hours and mum does the books on the kitchen table and brings up the kids. When little Johnny is old enough to have muscles he joins the firm, serves his time as a porter and, when the old man dies or becomes decrepit, takes over as the boss. Repeat. It’s been like that for generations; but I wonder if the time has come to look differently at retirement.

In the past it was easy to convince yourself, as a business owner, that you were being useful if you could still carry a pack four up a flight of stairs. When that became tricky you could stay in the office and direct operations, sound in the knowledge that you always knew best. Of course, you can still do that if you like, but you could be doing more harm than good.

We have written many articles about technology. There’s one in this issue about Blockchain that I urge you to read. People always tell me that the physical side of the business will never be replaced by a computer. True, I suspect, but that doesn’t matter. It’s the processes that lead up to the move that are key to success, not the moving itself.

I wrote last month about the abuse of social media and how I believe it will ultimately fail owing to greed, corruption and the impetuousness of youth. I read so much on social media that is unwise and seriously damaging to companies’ brands, posted by their own people. Other technologies, perhaps Blockchain, might be open to similar abuses as they become mainstream. We need to somehow balance knowledge, ambition, creativity, and wisdom. They don’t usually come in the same wrapping.

Because technology dominates so much of how we work, I believe that the point at which we all cease to be an asset and become a hindrance, is coming earlier. Technology moves too quickly to play catch up. I suspect, there are many people out there who should, if they really have the health of their businesses at heart, be stepping back and letting a newer generation, who might know less about moving but a lot more about the clever stuff, have a go. They might still need your wisdom, but not your interference and definitely not your control. Not an easy trick to pull off.

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