What is Technology?
The best definition for technology that I’ve found comes from the dictionary:
- Technology – The sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of their civilization. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
The phrase “social groups” acknowledges that people are a critical part of developing and
applying technology. “Provide themselves” indicates that technology is closely linked to the context
in which it is used, and deals with artifacts that people or systems create. “Material objects” implies
tangible artifacts or outcomes (e.g. processes, products, tools). And because civilization is defined as
an “advanced state of human society,” technology, therefore, is concerned with advancing human capabilities.
Using this definition as a baseline, note that quality systems (e.g. ISO 9000, CMMI, even David Allen’s GTD!) are technologies, and social networks are a foundational concept for both quality and innovation to take root.