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”.
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.