The Internet provides nearly limitless possibilities for enhancing work productivity and our personal lives; the only limitation is our own creative thinking, patience, and imagination. Therefore, it is humbling to realize that my own lack of technical knowledge concerning the possibilities available in the digital world may have hindered my ability to lead and develop my employees. Fortunately, this course provided an understanding of the value that can be created, both at work and at home, by using the vast knowledge stored on the Net and interacting with its millions of users to share ideas. Listed below are my three key takeaways from Technology and Leadership:
a) Excel in connecting talented and creative employees: entrepreneurs, innovators, and intellectuals, when in persistent contact with each another, are able to share thoughts, motivate one another, and brainstorm problem-solving ideas more efficiently than any individual(Florida, 2005). The leader in the digital age must empower innovative thought through the recruitment of individuals familiar with sharing ideas across the Web. This also requires the leader to have an understanding of technological means to connect remotely, constraining the leader to seek new methods to share and manage knowledge and to establish the technical means for effective communication on the Net. Networking, according to Weinberger (2011), is the new strategy of connecting and knowing.
b) Be able to filter and manage knowledge for relevance and accuracy without reducing the amount of information available: leaders must filter data so as to not overwhelm employees already over-saturated with information(Weinberger, 2011). However, this does not mean that leaders choose what information employees see or limit them to certain media. Rather, it suggests leaders empower employees by encouraging the sharing of knowledge; providing access to data that may require subscription fees; encourage employees to be creative innovators and knowledge seekers; and create shared data sites that are not burdened by dated information or ineffective search engines (Davenport, 2015).
c) Remain open-minded and forward-thinking concerning how the Internet is changing leadership, business, and personal lives: as employees are exposed to more sources of knowledge and interact nearly instantaneously with peers around the globe, leaders must remain authentic and transparent while increasing active listening skills(Husband, 2016). As Jarche (2013) points out, supervisors not familiar with working in the networked world will likely cause friction and bottlenecks by decreasing the tempo of networked employees sharing knowledge and brainstorming ideas.
The internet provides businesses and their employees the capability to conduct work 24-hours a day, communicate across vast distances and time zones, and frees knowledge from traditional physical confines, such as libraries and universities (Weinberger, 2011). The amount of information available to any employee connected to the Net provides seemingly endless opportunities for creative and free thinking. Therefore, leaders must create, or host, work environments that welcome individuals to meet, share ideas, and create solutions (Martin, 2015). Despite all of their other myriad duties, leaders in the digital age must be familiar with the capabilities of the Internet and constantly seek technical means to remain relevant in the interconnected world.
Davenport, T. H. (2015, June 24). Whatever happend to knowledge management. The Wall Street Journal.
Florida, R. (2005, October). The world is spiky. The Atlantic Monthly, 48-51.
Husband, J. (2016). What is Wirearchy? Retrieved from http://www.wirearchy.com
Jarche, H. (2013, November 5). Networks are the new companies. Retrieved from http://www.jarche.com
Martin, M. (2015, December 4). A deep dive into thinking about 21st century leadership. Retrieved from http://www.michelemartin.com
Weinberger, D. (2011). Too big to know. New York: Basic Books.