To start the year in which the strata world will, at least in NSW, move towards electronic voting, I found myself in the Apple store.
Met by a millennial with an iPad, my appointment that I had made online was confirmed and I was directed to the appropriate floor. My pending arrival had been radioed ahead and another 12-year-old with an even smaller iPad ushered me to my ‘Genius’ who replaced my phone, swiped my card and sent the tax invoice and receipt to me online so I had it before I’d turned to leave. I’d waited a week and dropped a grand in the process but the service was sublime.
Tonight I attend my first EGM of the year. It’s controversial of course. There’s been a proxy war over the holiday season and with the greatest of respect to the poor strata manager who’ll be counting the votes, it will be a bunfight. These meetings waste time, breed discontent, provide considerable scope for human error by even the most qualified and experienced, incite lawyers, clog the courts and more often than not leave the litigants unsatisfied: an experience far from sublime.
The first electronic vote counting app has already been released (www.stratavote.com.au) and it’s good, but like all good software it’s an accelerator not an engine. There is much more to the Apple experience than meets the eye and it’s the bit we don’t see that makes the difference; the process and product design and engineering, the recruiting, the training, the change management, the development of culture, the branding, the quality control.
For the strata experience to become sublime there is much more to be done than the passing of legislation.