Redundancy is often a dirty word. It suggests wasted of time, energy, and resources, which is why most enterprises seek to eradicate redundancy when and wherever they find it. But corporations shouldn’t confuse redundancy with collaboration. Two resources completing the same task is often something different altogether: accretive collaboration.
For instance, firms in oil & gas, insurance, inspection, manufacturing, and other industries often rely on a dwindling population of seasoned field staffers. Because senior employees have more experience (and all the institutional knowledge), their teams often want them deployed to every field case. Send the best expert, solve the problem fastest (or so the logic goes).
But these experts are tiring of the travel and stress of being in the field. And with far fewer of these precious resources than of their young successors, the companies that rely on seasoned experts need a way to use their experts to hasten the readiness of their newer employees. Collaboration, of course, is the key!
Experience tells us that apprenticeship, mentoring, and other in-person collaborative work patterns are very effective in bringing new staff up to speed. When a trainee asks a mentor “hey, take a look at this and tell me what you think,” the teachable moment will be always be superior to flipping through a service manual.
But for many companies that have so much to gain from this collaborative training, implementation is a challenge. Two heads are better than one, but sending two heads to every job site brings crushing inefficiencies. How can these teams unlock productivity gains beyond what in-person, one-to-one training and mentorship can offer?
Enter smart glasses. For teams of field workers in demanding environments, smart glasses allow businesses to lever up their most precious resources–senior experts–across many front-line field workers. Whether an insurance adjuster, oil rig inspector, or equipment service technician, a field worker can use smart glasses as their digital portal to the entire organization’s expertise.
By sharing live, first-person video of the challenge in front of them with a remote expert, they can get instant help from whichever expert they need, regardless of time and place. On the back-end, senior staff in an expert “command center” can aid many junior colleagues over the course of a day. On a “number of solved cases” basis, they’re far in the office than they are out in the field. And because they are replicate the “over the shoulder” mentoring experience virtually, they’re simultaneously transferring that expertise to the next generation of talent, simultaneously.