Leading in an digital world

This course has opened my mind to issues about technology as a leader I had not realized. Weinberger (Weinberger, 2011, Chapter 1) spoke about knowledge overload and as a leader; our responsibility is to make sure people can filter through it in order to retrieve the information they need for their position. Many people assume that you can find anything on any subject on the Internet. This is true but unfortunately, you will also get information that you may not want and trying to sift through so much information is daunting. It is imperative for leaders to make sure their employees have some type of training in how to use the Internet to locate the information they need. My leadership has acquired on a digital arm that has made me more aware of the importance of the Internet and the knowledge I can gather from it. My goal is to make the digital world work for my organization and assist in helping it to be successful.

One of the most fascinating things I will retain from this course is the way the world of work has changed over the next few years (Lindzon, 2015). With the rapid development of technology, trying to keep up with it is going to be not only a personal project but an organizational one also. Organizations will have to navigate the digital world in order to maximize the benefits it can yield. This may also mean partnering with other organizations in creating or improving on technology that could benefit both organizations. Organizations like American Online (AOL) and Time Warner combined resources, but that partnership did not end well. In order for organizations to share technology resources, they must be moving both organizations in the same direction (James, 2016). The last thing I took away from this course is the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and future jobs.

Technology is developing at such a fast pace that organizations have employed the use of artificial intelligence. This not only saves the organization money and labor, but it also enables the organization to have a better safety record (Smith & Anderson, 2014). As a leader, technology can assist me in managing training sessions for employees using technology and the Internet. Leadership in the digital world means being abreast of how the web can further enhance my organizations and the skill set of the employees. However, leaders of the digital age must also be aware of not abusing the system, i.e. emailing employees after hours and expecting them to respond to work issues. My personal leadership style has changed due to the information I have acquired in this course, and now I am more conscious of how to obtain information from data warehouses and the web.

References

James, M. (2016, April 21). Walt Disney Co.’s ABC sells its Fusion stake to Univision, exits joint venture. Los Angeles Times . Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-disney-abc-ends-fusion-univision-20160421-story.html

Lindzon, J. (2015). Six ways work will change in 2016. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com

Smith, A., & Anderson, J. (2014). AI, robotics, and the future of jobs. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/06/future-of-jobs/

Weinberger, D. (2011). Too big to know . [Kindle]. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.kindle.com

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12 thoughts on “Leading in an digital world

    1. Thank you Dr. Watwood,

      I thoroughly enjoyed the course and learned another facet to being a leader in the digital world. On the news this morning the discussion was Prince and people kept saying they here “hit up on DM” about his death. My husband sat listening and finally asked me what “DM” stood for and after approximately three seconds I said, “DM stands for digital media.” He went what and I said it’s the new name for social media. He said you could not have known that I said it was a term that I came across in a reading for my technology and leadership class. Thank ou for the education and I hope you enjoy living in Virginia.

      Sheila

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  1. Shelia-

    I echo many of your feelings as far as how this class has opened my eyes to the many uses of technology as a leader. As I reflect on my experience in the class thus far I cannot overstate how important i think it is to always stay on top of technology and advances to be able to use them properly and not miss out on opportunities as a leader. I believe I have missed out on many opportunities as a leader due to my fundamental lack of technological knowledge and my passive resistance to change. Moving forward using all of the tools available technologically including the internet will enable me to better serve my staff and the stakeholders of my organization. I appreciate all of your comments this semester and I look forward to continuing our journey together, I am sure we will meet again!

    -A

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and I too feel like I have missed out due to lack of knowledge. I will be making it a practice to read some of the tech blogs and visit websites that are discussing the latest news around tech world. Your blogs have given me much food for thought over the past seven weeks, and I look forward to being in another class with you. Enjoy your weekend.
      Sheila

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  2. Cup of Tea,

    I share your concerns about expecting employees to respond to emails and texts once the traditional work day ends; however, for someone who is a business owner or in a professional occupation, does the work day truly ever end? While I dislike answering calls or checking email in my home, it is expected in Koch Industries, as the company provides employees with corporate phones. Even when on vacation, employees are expected to remain connected to their jobs, prompting some of my peers to leave the United States in order to remove themselves from the ability to connect digitally, if possible. If not, many of us would be similar to the example Weinberger (2011) lists, where the White House employee responsible for the President’s Open Government Initiative returned to 2,267 unread emails after being on 6-weeks maternity leave. While this example is extreme, similar results occur for those of us who ignore work emails or tasks when out of the office.

    Chris

    Reference

    Weinberger, D. (2011). Too big to know. New York: Basic Books.

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    1. Chris,

      I do understand your situation but as leaders it is up to us to set examples. I know when I return to working I will have no less than 500 emails to address concerning any number of issues I will need to handle. However, I informed everyone that while I was out I would not be checking emails so someone else will have to step up and take the lead. Surprisingly, I had a number of people who were willing to do just that. These are people who rarely get the opportunity to take the lead on a major project, and they are enjoying the position. I feel that if given the chance people who normally do not take a leadership role will do so. If it is impossible to say no, then delegating one or two hours, a day may be the way to go for someone whose position dictates they cannot be unavailable. Just a thought I do not have any real solutions that would work in every situation! Have a wonderful weekend.

      Sheila

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  3. Hi Shelia,
    What a term it has been for you! Congratulations at reaching the end with a strong blog post. I was impressed at your dedication to this course in the face of a difficult surgery and recovery.
    One thing that stuck out to me in your final blog post was your discussion of artificial intelligence. Being a health care provider and teaching in this field, I have been following the integration and predictions for IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence in medicine for quite some time. It is interesting to me to see the variety of applications this system may provide to the future of health care. Additionally, it has been equally as interesting to observe the diversity in reactions, some very positive and some the opposite, to this technology.
    I recently read an article suggesting instead of saying AI stands for ‘artificial intelligence’, we should think of it as ‘augmented intelligence’ (http://www.hhnmag.com/articles/6561-ways-artificial-intelligence-will-transform-health-care). This means that rather than viewing this technology as something that makes up intelligence, we should view it as something that starts with data that we provide, and then is able to provide insights to that data. This can be an empowering view that allows organizations to be transformed with this intelligent analysis. What are your thoughts on this perspective?
    Kristin

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    1. Hi Kristin,

      I agree that AIs provides insight by reviewing data, but it does make one wonder what happens when we push the envelope in technology. There’s an organization that is developing an AI that is going to be life like and difficult to tell the difference between them and a human being. The name of the organization working with this technology is SXWS (CNBC, 2016), and the video is on YouTube. It is a little frightening because their goal is to have AI’s working among us in everyday life. I do like the name of augmented intelligence instead of artificial intelligence.

      Reference

      CNBC. (2016, March 16). Hot robot at SXSW says she wants to destroy humans [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0_DPi0PmF0

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      1. The actor Morgan Freeman is hosting a new show on National Geographic called “The Story of God.” It has been on a few weeks. As he travels the globe crossing cultures and centuries there are some fascinating links to technology. For example, two women are developing robotic technology with the hope of downloading a person’s memories. One of these women is facing end of life and they are compelled to pursue this technology to, in my words, keep their relationship active after the one dies. In another section, one woman shares her thoughts about cryopreservation. She too, is terminal and decided that she wants to have her brain (versus full body, the other opportunity) cryopreserved so that some time in the future when technology makes it possible she can “come back” although she does say she has no idea what that means.

        I am not sure what I think about either of these approaches – they certainly do not fit my beliefs; however, there are many people who want to believe that technology is the holy grail of eternal life. One has to wonder if technology is filling a spiritual void. This is way out there on the edge for me, but technology is pushing all of our boundaries!

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