An Open Letter to Luddites: Master the New Technologies Or Else

Imagine a delivery driver at the beginning of the 20th century. He delivers goods using a horse and carriage. His company scratches together the money for an automobile. But the delivery driver refuses to use it, saying, “I don’t want to learn to drive one of those things. What’s wrong with a horse and carriage?

Or imagine this: It’s the early 20th-century and a company installs a telephone. Imagine a person in leadership resisting the phone, saying, “I’m phone illiterate. I’m just not good at the phone.” So this leader asks the young people around him to take his calls, relay the message to him, wait for an answer, and then call back on his behalf.

Just reading those two scenarios you realize how ridiculous both of these ideas are. You aren’t going to continue to make deliveries using the horse-drawn carriage once the automobile is available. You aren’t going to resist the telephone, either. Why, then, do so many resist new technologies?

If you aren’t learning to use the new technologies at a very high level, you’re hurting yourself, your company, and your clients.

Hurting Yourself

You can’t be productive and efficient without using the new business tools. You can’t do the work necessary to your job without being efficient at email, web-based software programs, cloud-based software programs and, yes, social media.

If you can’t use PowerPoint to share ideas, if you can’t use Excel spreadsheets to share financial ideas, and if you can’t share these documents using the cloud, you’re standing in your own way at work. If you can’t connect with your clients and prospects where they live on social media sites (oh, yeah, they’re already there), then you are preventing yourself from succeeding at a higher level.

You cannot succeed without mastering the tools of the trade.

Hurting Your Company 

Your also a burden to your company.

Your company is full of nice people that can help you with your work. But it isn’t the nice people at work’s job to do for you what you should be able to do for yourself. They have their own work to do, and your lack of ability with the modern tools of business can’t be allowed to make others around you inefficient.

It sure as Hell isn’t your sales managers problem that you can’t, won’t, don’t like, or don’t believe you should have to use your sales force automation. Or generate your own proposals. Or generate your own price quotes.

Your lack of ability and desire to learn the tools hurts your company.

Hurting Your Clients

Your inability to use the tools is a burden to your clients, too.

The fact that you can’t use the digital tools to provide them with the documents and information they need makes you difficult to business with. They don’t want you to bring them another stack of paper.

It’s not their problem that you don’t know how–and refuse to learn–to send them a calendar invite. That’s how your competitors send them invitations to meet.

Can’t have a meeting online using GoToMeeting, Skype, or VSee? This is equivalent to not being able to have a phone call because you don’t know how to use a phone. Seriously.

So you don’t like social media? Fine. But your competitors do. And they’re actually connected, listening, and engaging with your clients online.

But, wait! It only gets worse. You can’t program your own website? You can’t create and edit pages on your company Intranet? You can’t record and edit audio and video content on your own? You’re falling woefully far behind.

Take classes. Hire internal trainers to teach you (not to do the work for you). Learn to find your own answers on Google and YouTube.


What technologies do you resist because they make you uncomfortable?

What technologies do you need to gain in competencies to improve your effectiveness?

Which technologies do you believe you can ignore?

Do you believe that any technologies have replaced older technologies?

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