Technology Marches on in The Big Apple

I continue to share the many changes we see daily in so many aspects of our lives. It’s many times difficult to keep up with them all. Many individuals and organizations have fallen from grace for this very reason. We must strive to constantly enhance our ability to deal with change as we are impacted by so many critical factors:

  • The economy
  • New technologies
  • Competition
  • Government regulations
  • New products and/or services
  • Customer requests and demands
  • Unexplained chaos such as 9-11, utilities, weather damage

I’m currently spending a couple of weeks in New York City presenting seminars in the Empire State Building. Our focus is on change and how it impacts our customer service efforts. This critical factor is currently a very decisive factor in determining the success and/or failure of so many organizations across industries.

While working with any of my clients, I always try to observe anything that I might share, barring confidentially, with other clients as well as our blog readers.

The Empire State Building is world-renowned for its unique ability to control the growing number of visitors that arrive daily to make the trip to the 102nd floor observatory. As many as 20,000 people a day make this trip to enjoy a view that is unequaled. On a clear day, visitors can see as far as 80 miles away!

It’s amazing to observe the employees in this building. They treat the building as though their own names graced the entrance. Their pride is very evident and their performance certainly reflects that fact. They’re very talented and experienced in handling a growing challenge in a world-class building in one of the largest cities in the world.

Consider the challenges they face in maintaining this colossal American culture icon:

  • It has 6,500 windows and 73 elevators, and there are 1,860 steps from street level to the 102nd floor.
  • It takes less than one minute by elevator to get to the 86th floor where an outdoor observation deck is located.
  • The building houses more than 1,000 businesses and has its own zip code.
  • More than 15,000 employees work in the building each day.
  • The building has 70 miles of pipe, 2 million, 500,000 feet of electrical wire, and about 9,000 faucets. There is approximately 17 million feet of telephone wire servicing the building.
  • Approximately 15,000 people work in the Empire State Building.
  • It costs about $4.5 million to light the building each year.

Fortunately, they also have high-tech, state of the art technology at their disposal. The Empire State Building is currently undergoing a $550 million dollar renovation. Part of that major project includes its elevators. You’ve heard of “smart cars” … well, you’ll soon see “smart elevators” when you visit this favorite tourist destination.

In theory, these elevators are a technological marvel. They save energy and people’s time by grouping passengers going to the same floor in the same elevator. After you punch a button in the lobby telling the computer what floor you’re going to, it directs you to one of the elevators. You step into the elevator and let it to do the rest — there are no numbered buttons to push inside the car. The smart elevator already knows which floors all the passengers are going to, and it simply displays a list of the stops it’s going to make.

I imagine people will still sometimes reach for nonexistent buttons to push, and visitors will have to get an elevator re-education course. It’s going to be interesting to see how visitors react to the many interesting changes coming to this popular attraction.

It’s so reassuring to know that behind all of the new technology is a very talented, experienced, and dedicated staff which will make the many transitions much easier to deal with for the masses that visit daily.

If you’re in the neighborhood, you should really stop by and marvel at the many enhancements gracing this global icon. I’m really enjoying my two-week assignment here and always look forward to returning.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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