Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square and co-founder of Twitter, does not have an office. In fact, he does not even have his own desk. He simply walks around the entire office for most of the day occasionally dropping in on different stand up tech tables. Dorsey substitutes the prototypical office atmosphere that most business and firms adhere to with a personal transportable computer. In an interview with 60 Minutes, Dorsey was asked if he felt like he needed his own space at the Square offices. He responded by saying that he does have his own space, in his IPad.
The ways technology can be used to enhance normal business operations can make or break the success of a firm. For example, Zara’s use of technology to create efficiency has enabled the clothing company to do remarkable things. Because of Zara’s use of its Point of Sale systems and Personal Digital Assistants, a specific type of clothing can be designed, manufactured, and delivered to a retail store in about two weeks. Gap, on the other hand, requires approximately six months for the same process to occur.
To inspire his employees, Jack Dorsey takes them to the Golden Gate Bridge. A bridge is what Dorsey expects technology to be, a connector. Twitter and Square, an application that allows small businesses to accept credit cards by swiping on a device that is connected to an IPhone, connect people and businesses and allow things to be done much smoother. I think Jack Dorsey would look at Zara’s use of technology and approve because of its connecting ability. Zara uses technology to connect the customers’ wants and needs with its employees, designers, manufacturing plants, and executives. Companies like Zara and Square are embracing technology to the fullest. Zara’s technology is not extraordinary, but its application of simple systems IS extraordinary. Dorsey, Square, and Zara allow technology to remove barriers existent in the workplace. In Dorsey’s case, his IPad use literally removes barriers, or walls, in his business allowing him and his employees to work more collaboratively. Zara’s exemplary supply chain removes the barriers between its stores and headquarters allowing collaboration between employees, customers, designers, and executives to create and deliver a phenomenal product at blazing speeds.
Now, of course, Dorsey and Zara’s approach are certainly not for everyone. There are positive and negative implications of technology in the work place. Technology is, in fact, a double-edged sword. In Zara’s case, being centralized in Spain, if something were to happen to Spain, like a natural disaster, Zara would be a loss. Also, some industries require barriers to exist in order to protect a client’s confidential information, like in financial services. For the most part, however, Dorsey and Zara’s approach to technology could be extremely beneficial. By connecting the people, places, and things associated with one’s business, collaboration through the use of technology between people would foster positive group contributions and allow people to think more organically. Jack Dorsey spends his days walking around the office resolving issues with his employees in a common work space providing an excellent example of how barriers are removed through his firms application of technology.