Here is one of the things that has become astonishingly clear over the past seven weeks—the leader of the future must embrace a responsibility to become increasingly more engaged in technology. The challenge is how much the leader of the future needs to know about technology to be an effective leader. The internet and social media platforms and tools are fundamental to leadership in technology. The influence of the internet and social media on our personal and professional lives are undeniable (Weinberger, 2011). Before taking this course, as a latter-end baby boomer, there were just certain areas of knowledge regarding technology and social media that I was content in not knowing. From the beginning of the information technology era through knowledge management, experience management, and idea management, having a staff member with the knowledge and skills to keep pace with technological advancements was enough (Dixon, 2009). Being a late adopter in pursuing knowledge in information technology tools and platforms has me in the mode of playing catch up as I begin a new career where most of my colleagues are ten to fifteen years younger and have a higher degree of explicit and tacit knowledge and skill in information technology.
Technology Reality Check
The truth of the matter is, there is no catching up. Because technological advances are occurring daily in practically every field, there is literally too much for any one leader to know (Weinberger, 2011). As such, leadership behaviors that foster participation and inclusion, harnessing the collective knowledge of human capital positions an organization to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace. In other words, building cognitive diversity and enhancing the wisdom of the crowd systematically converts knowledge and ides on a personal and organizational scale to valuable intellectual capital (Dixon, 2009).
Traditional hierarchies that operate from principles of command and control, the chain of command, and unity of command are a threat to increasing organizational adaptability and diffusion of technology. In many government, tenured organizations, and institutions, much of its talent in information technology exists in lower ranking positions in the organizational structure. The percentage of personnel competent in the internet, technological tools, and social media platforms generally diminish the closer you get to the top of the pyramid. The emerging principles of wirearchy (Husband, 0000) and leaders as social artists (Martin, 2015) offer non-traditional solutions to organizational management which maximizes idea management and diffusion of technology. Wirearchy is based on the four elements of transformational leadership: knowledge, trust, credibility, and results. Socials artists embody characteristics whereas leaders and followers inspire one another through participation, empowerment, inspiration, activism, vision, and collaboration. Collectively, these leadership attributes prevent the chain of command from stifling creativity and innovation of an institution’s human capital.
Global and National Leadership Challenges
One of the global challenges of leadership in technology will be leveling the playing field or increasing the global “spikes” in parts of the world where access to technology in from minimal to non-existent. Additionally, in parts of the world where technology is highly accessible, some communities are deprived of technology education and tools due to socio-economics. National and community leaders who take these issues on as quality of life initiatives will position themselves and the communities to be greater contributors to their communities. Public education in low income communities in America do not have the resources and capabilities to establish a level playing field in education and training in information technology. If this trend continues, it will not only have in impact on those adversely impacted by the disparity, but will also impact the future workforce and competitiveness of America globally. Technology deprived Americans will have lower paying jobs or be unemployable. Advancements in science, intelligence, and military innovations may also be hampered.
Continuing Training and Education
Increasing in knowledge, skills, and abilities in technology is essential to my personal and professional growth in leadership. Through ILD 831 I have gained knowledge that I did not have. I know the fundamentals of creating and managing a blog. I have knowledge of the top 100 technology tools and a basic understanding of the functions and features of ten that I may not have ever researched on my own. However, there is still so much more to learn in order to take advantage of all technology has to offer in my former career in the fire service and in my new career in church administration. The future is both exciting and scary when we consider to possibilities as presented in the two Corning videos. Sharing increases our capacity to benefit from the blessings of technology, but also increases our vulnerability to cyber criminals and reduces our privacy. How much to we need to learn and how far do we go in sharing. Who knows? It’s too big to know.
Corning’s A Day Made of Glass, Part 1. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qmwdbhsbVs.
Corning’s A Day Made of Glass, Part 2. Retrieved from http://youtu.be?SJZv8sllZpc.
Kelly, Kevin (July, 2011). Six Major Trends in Technology. NExTWORK. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/zXPfSrmzLoO.
Dixon, N. (2009). Conversation Matters: Where Knowledge Management has been and Where It’s Going-Part Two. Retrieved from http://www.nancydixonblog.com/2009/05/knowledge-management-where-weve-been-and-where-were-going—part-two.html
Weinberger, D. (2011). Too big to know: Rethinking knowledge not that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Wirearchy, Husband, J. (2016). What is wirearchy? Retrieved from http://wirearchy.com/what-is-wirearchy/.