The world’s increasing interconnectivity is absolutely removing some friction in the lives of the consumer (on the scale of billions), and making life a bit easier overall.
Take the beloved points and miles system that provides that extra bit of happiness for many of you consultants, for example – from the advent of online banking, to the first travel rewards program, to whole websites and apps dedicated solely to becoming the one-stop-shop for managing all your points/rewards in one place.
There are a few things, though, that have remained the same despite these ever-present technological advances, the first being the value of a real face-to-face interaction (and no, Skype, FaceTime, and holograms do not count).
Whether in a meeting, at a conference, or sitting next to one other on an airplane, there is still something about the shake of a hand, and a tangible presence and persona that enables an in-person impression to remain the most powerful. Consulting firms are known for sending their consultants all over the world to do just that, which brings us to our second fixed element: if someone needs to get from A to B, in person, they still need to hop on a plane, train, or automobile to get there.
Consultants frequently travel (to put it mildly), and we want to put a friendly reminder out there that the power of that face-to-face interaction does not end at A or begin again at B. Some of the most influential business and networking connections are still made today with the person at someone’s left or right on an airplane, or in the same car on the Amtrak Acela. With all of the time you spend traveling from one client site to another, remember to look up from finishing that deck or catching up on your emails every once in a while – many consultants bring in the next big client or facilitate their next big career move by taking advantage of the natural face-to-face interactions you may not be considering otherwise.