We live in an amazing era of technology-driven transformation that’s redefining how we sell, market, communicate, collaborate, innovate, train, and educate—all in an amazingly short period of time. With that said, though, we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that the future is a human future. And when it comes to humans, it’s all about relationships and trust. If you don’t have trust, you don’t have a good relationship.

But trust isn’t something you give and receive freely. Trust is earned through universal values, such as honesty, integrity, and delivering on promises. These types of values are true in every country and every culture all over the world.

Today we’re more connected to others than ever before thanks to the mobile Internet being on our phones. In fact, right now well over 2.5 billion people are connected to the Internet. At any one time, 30% of the world’s population is going online. And over 70% of the phones sold last year were smart phones, meaning that people have television, radio, and Internet access in the palm of their hand. 

Make no mistake: The human factor is more important for business success than ever before. For example, I know companies that have had breakthrough technology, yet they failed because they neglected the human factor both internally and externally.

I’ve also seen companies using older technology, what we might call “legacy technology,” and they beat out their competitors because of their focus on the human factor.

So how do you leverage the human factor, and is there a way to do so today better than ever before? The answer is yes! And if you’re in human resources or in charge of training employees, you are now in a position to transform your career by adding amazing new value to your organization because of the positive impact new technology can have on the human factor.

Earlier I mentioned that we’re transforming how we sell, market, communicate, collaborate, innovate, train, and educate over a short period of time. All those processes involve people. Without people, none of those things happen.

Let’s look at education and training specifically, which are often reduced, and in some cases eliminated, when the economy is down because they cost money yet we all know they are essential for companies to do, especially in a time of rapid change and transformation. I recently had an executive ask, “What if I spend a lot of money educating and training my people and they leave?” My response was, “What if you don’t, and they stay?”

Training and education are prime ways to leverage the human factor. It is increasingly easy to see that over the next two years, we will be transforming how we educate and train people using mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.

Realize that we now have the ability to do just-in-time training, which means instead of taking everyone out of work and putting them in a classroom to train them to do something, they can now learn while they’re doing the task. Most educators agree that if you can learn something while you’re doing it, you’ll learn it better.

Additionally, we can now deliver advanced simulations on not only mobile devices, but also on today’s gaming systems. For example, an Xbox 360 is a perfect tool to deliver three-dimensional photo-realistic advanced simulations to train workers—all while making it fun and game-like. This is one small part of the overall trend of gameification.

By using these two training and educating tools, you can raise the bar on the human factor in your organization. Remember, in times of rapid technological transformation, it’s the human factor that will win the race.

Daniel Burrus