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Last Sunday night I attended the Phillies-Mets game and witnessed first hand an example of the power and value of mobility in our lives (and by extension our businesses). At about 9:45 PM a visible and audible murmur went through the crowd. Simultaneously it seemed, every person in the stadium was frantically reading and sending texts and emails on their smartphones. Of course it was the news regarding Osama Bin Laden.
What happened next was the fascinating part. Chants of U-S-A U-S-A erupted throughout the stadium. The players looked up at the stands in bewilderment. Why were people suddenly doing this? Why were people cheering something that obviously had nothing to do with the game? There were no announcements made on the scoreboard and of course the players didnt have their phones with them in the dugouts.
As I reflected on what had just occurred it hit me just how important mobility has become to our lives. How efficiently information can now percolate from the bottom up to reach everyone instantaneously with little need for top-down information distribution and control. It also became apparent how bewildering the world is when you aren't connected.
So, if you are wondering about the value of mobility to your business, think about your companies employees in the dugout and your customers and competitors up in the stands cheering and chanting and you dont have the slightest clue what any of it is about. Bewildered is no way to run a business.