The Last Course – Dessert

The Internet has changed the way we think, discover, and engage with others. The changes have had enormous impact on our ability to connect with people around the world. Friedman’s flat world concept highlights the power of technology as a mechanism for equality and commerce, yet in contrast Florida’s (2005) explanation of a spiky world highlights the disparities that exist because of technology. As leaders we must adapt to the changing technology, filter the large amounts of information, and develop others to succeed in this ever-changing environment.

Internet offers a variety of web-based tools that can help organize, filter, and priorities the massive amounts of information and connections that we work with daily. Tools such as Yammer, Facebook, and Twitter can help create community that fosters greater connections and communication. A professor at Baylor University found that students that joined a class Facebook page had a more positive experience and greater academic success than the students who did not participate in the social media group. This example highlights the advantages of connecting people through web-based tools.

This course has highlighted the many tools and systems available through technology to foster internal and external communications. These forms of communication come with risks that need managed. Leaders need to consider ethical issues such as copyright, cyber bullying, and cheating. Leaders need to work with followers in a team environment to set policies that maximize the benefits of technology and limit the abuse of technology while focusing on the mission of the organization and the greater good.

As leaders we must also be mindful of the disparities that exist regarding technology. The lack of access and skills can inhibit someone’s ability to prosper and succeed. This means providing access to the Internet for those that do not have access and providing training and professional develop to build technology skills and capacity for future success. Schwartz explains the importance of access and participation in the education system. Leaders have a role to play in advocating for equality when it comes to technology.

Moving forward I plan to use social media connections, blogs, professional organizations, and a team approach to keep up on the changing world of technology and the effects of those changes on my organization and the greater society. This course will help me ask better questions, adapt to change, develop others, and foster open communication in a digital world. I look forward to the next “bite” in digital dining! I hope you enjoyed the “food”.

Reference:

Florida, R. (2005). The world is spiky. Globalization has changed the economic playing field, but hasn’t leveled it 2005: 48-51. The Atlantic Monthly.

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3 thoughts on “The Last Course – Dessert

  1. “As leaders we must adapt to the changing technology, filter the large amounts of information, and develop others to succeed in this ever-changing environment.”

    I think this speaks to a new way of educating the next generation of technologists and leaders. Because technology changes so quickly, we need to focus on teaching youth how to filter through masses of information for the important nuggets, how to create networks of trusted advisers to learn from and how to lead through change. Teaching just one programming language to future computer scientists will leave them outdated in their skills in a few years. Teaching them proper coding structures and theories will allow them to adapt to whichever language syntax is in vogue. Because of the speed of technological change, we need to ensure future leaders have the skills to identify the needs of their organizations and tools that will benefit their organizations instead of focusing on educating them on how to use or implement specific technologies.

  2. I hope this is not the “last course” in your dining journey, but simply the end of one series, with new courses to come! As mgmoreno7 noted, we have moved from learning “things” to learning how to learn, and recognizing the lifelong learning opportunities ahead.

  3. You bring up an important point about “access.” As inhabitants of an ultra-connected world, we forget that there are areas of the world that have little to no access to technology. In addition to preparing our future generations with the necessary skills they will need to be successful, we must also devote attention to the “valleys” as Florida refers to them. Your statement, “Leaders have a role to play in advocating for equality when it comes to technology,” particularly resonated with me this week. I think “advocacy for equality” is an area that is often times overlooked as a responsibility of an effective leader in today’s wirearchy. We must be cognizant of that and work diligently to improve the less connected areas of our world. Thanks for sharing!

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