Leadership in a Digital Age

Over the last few years I have grown to recognize how my experience in reflection has helped prepare me for confronting the challenges of my organization and my profession. I have come to appreciate how reflection creates and clarifies the meaning of many concepts. As the Technology and Leadership course comes to an end, I am called to reflect upon what I have learned throughout the course that can be applied to my organization and professional practice. The two technology lessons that I have come to understand from this course and will continue to apply to my leadership practice are the globalization that technology sprouts and the knowledge management that technology spurs.

Technology has had a significant impact on the globalization of business, government, and education; however, I do not believe that it has had the leveling effect that that most think. Prior to this course I did not have a full understanding if the inequality that exists in technology. It seemed to me that computers and internet access had become so common, but this is a misapprehension. The reality is that technology, and the innovation that comes from technology, is concentrated into urban centers. Much of the innovation that technology has spurred is concentrated in five megacities with populations that exceed 20 million people, such as New York, Lod Angeles, Chicago, and Boston (Florida, 2005). The geographical areas that have technology and can maximize technology and make economic gains from technology, thus allowing these areas to compete for industries and jobs (Florida, 2005). This inequity in the access and capabilities of technology usage then crates a major division between the “haves” and “have-nots” of technology, thus creating greater social disparities in innovation and economics (Florida, 2005). The social disparities that can come from technology remind me as a leader to embrace the Jesuit Charism of “Faith That Does Justice.” As a leader, I am encouraged to seek justice for those who are marginalized by technology. In my professional practice, I will keep in mind that technology is not available to all people. In a meeting, a few weeks back, a recommendation was made at my university to have all freshmen students be required to bring a laptop to freshmen Preview weekend to make it easier for them to register for their classes. At the time, I thought that maybe this would be a good idea to assist in the registration process; however, the idea of justice and the notion that there could be students who do not have their own laptop, encourages me to disagree with the recommendation and I believe that I will now speak up and out about this recommendation.

Another characteristic of technology that I have grown to appreciate is the knowledge management aspect of technology. Knowledge management is critical because learning is valuable and must be managed within organizations (Jarache, 2016). The evolution of knowledge management had moved the management of knowledge from the leveraging of explicit knowledge that involved documents and databases to third generation knowledge management in which collective knowledge is managed in a systematic way (Jarache, 2016). Technology of today offers organizations new ways to manage knowledge in systematic ways. The Jesuit value of Magis is awakened for me when I think about management of knowledge. Magis represents the challenge to strive for more. From this course, I am encouraged embrace Magis and investigate more web tools that can offer an opportunity to better manage the information and knowledge of my organization. New web based tools could potentially capture the knowledge of my organization and help solve organizational problems. In the future I, would like to further web based tools such as Edshelf, Evernote, and Remindme101. I believe that it a leader’s responsibility to in an age of technology move knowledge management to a process of leveraging collective knowledge.

This course challenged my knowledge of technology and the impact that technology has on organizations and leaders. Prior to this course, I was at times afraid of technology and often hesitant embrace the evolution of technology. I now even have an appreciation of artificial technology because of what artificial technology can do for people and organizations.

References:

Florida, R. (October, 2005). The world in numbers: The world is spiky globalization has changed the economic playing field but hasn’t leveled it. The Atlantic Monthly.

Jarche, H. (24 February, 2010). A framework for social learning in the enterprise [blogpost]. Retrieved from http://jarche.com/2010/02/a-framework-for-social-learning-in-the-enterprise/

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2 thoughts on “Leadership in a Digital Age

  1. Adrienne:
    Enjoyed reading your thoughtful post. You might be interested in looking at a Tedx presentation by Andrew Roskill. It is directed at libraries of the future but he begins and ends by setting it in the context of the growing divide between income equality/inequality and the growing divide between digital equality. His point is to challenge libraries to be more concerned with user experiences and to take from lessons from technology leaders like Amazon, Google, etc. There is a responsibility for us in all of higher education to better prepare our students and to better understand the relationship between digital literacy, digital access, and economic opportunities. Best wishes,
    Randy Roberts

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  2. Hi Randy,
    Thank you for the suggestion of that presentation, I will check it out. I agree that digital literacy, digital access, and economic opportunities are all interconnected. I do find that teaching college students about the divide that exists in digital literacy and digital access is a challenge because they have grownup in a time that it appears that technology is very accessible; however, I am not sure if they ever think of the people and places that do not have access to technology. What I find most interesting is that when students think of the people and places that are at an economic disadvantage because of a lack of access to technology, they think it is only in other parts of the globe, forgetting the rural places of the United Stated that would be considered a technology valley (Florida, 2005).
    Good luck in the future!
    Adrienne
    Reference:
    Florida, R. (October, 2005). The world in numbers: The world is spiky globalization has changed the economic playing field but hasn’t leveled it. The Atlantic Monthly.

    Like

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