Hardware is important. Physical infrastructure like roads and the electrical grid, machines like drills, buses and computers, even your office space – all of this is hardware.
All else being equal, better hardware is better. It’s worth replacing bad hardware, but it’s often slow and relatively expensive to change.
Software is the non-physical stuff that runs on the hardware and makes it useful. A road network can get by with almost no software – with car drivers who make it up as they go along – if very few people use it. But it works much better – and has capacity several orders of magnitude greater – with better software.
The software of the road network includes the rules of the road, signalling conventions, and a way of enforcing the rules of the system. Better software helps us get to where we’re going faster, more safely, and with less stress.
Mixed up in this software are countless opportunities for generosity, kindness and grace – letting someone in, not cutting someone off, patience in a queue. The software can make them more likely, but there’s no code that can guarantee them… which is a shame, because they make everything better.
What software runs your organisation, and is it time for an upgrade? It might help you achieve a lot more with the same hardware.
Could you do with adding more kindness and grace? They’re infectious.