As a boy, I used to go to the local grocer with a few bob in a knotted handkerchief, get a standard bag of goodies, bread, butter, and a few chops in return. The grocer knew what my Mum had sent me to get, and she knew about how much it would cost, and any discrepencies were fixed up later.
Those days are gone, the days when there was a personal relationship, when people were the centre of business, and trust was not something we thought about, it just was there.
In today’s terminology, business was social.
What replaced it was an industrial model where scale and machines dominated. It does not matter much weather you are thinking about cars, supermarkets, or farming, the analogy holds, just the timing changes a bit.
Impersonal, disconnected, and trust has disappeared, which is perhaps the greatest loss.
Now however, the people seem to be making a comeback.
The advent of social media was at first just another “mechanical” thing, it offered scale and access with little humanity, but as it has evolved, and the platforms developed, so have our behavior patterns and expectations.
Social media is becoming a “humanity enabler” that offers the benefits of scale and automation, but that is enabling the reconnection of people. Trust is also making a comeback, just think about the value you put into the reviews on Amazon or Ebay, whilst you do not know anybody who has done the reviews personally, they are way better than a paid advertisement.
I do not see the pendulam swinging back again, as we are becoming so re-engaged with people, but I guess it will, and those that see the inflexion points first will be, as usual, those that have the opportunity to make the most of them.