Technical Agility

ILD 831Week 3 11/5/13

  • Reflect on Friedman’s concept of the Triple Convergence and its relationship to knowledge management.  If knowledge is now socially developed, what is the role of leadership in knowledge management?
  • Keep the focus of your initial post and responses tied to this week’s learning objectives:
    • Describe the evolution of knowledge management as impacted by the web.
    • Discuss ways that web-based tools can improve the management of information and knowledge

Technical Agility

Triple Convergence provided knowledge management the technical agility to reach more people in a quicker fashion in a plethora of ways.  The assortment of applications and devices available that can communicate with each other has allowed users of all ability levels to connect, discuss, and develop ideas.  However, it has also made some people lazy with research and communicating in person. If they cannot find the information that they want in five minutes, they become frustrated and stop searching.  They rarely consider talking to an expert in person.  I have experienced this in my role as an academic advisor.  Students will routinely avoid talking to an advisor in person if they can manage it.  Thus, we have had to put holds on student registration accounts so that we can talk to them about their interests, abilities, and skills, and how they relate to their course of study and the individual classes that they take to complete that major.  We also talk with them about the importance of networking in person and building relationships. 

I read about the idea of “emotional agility” in the Harvard Business Review this week (David and Congleton, November 2013).  It got me thinking about technical agility and how it could be used to development a “mindful, values-driven, and productive” method of knowledge management (David and Congleton, November 2013).  When our college President takes time to visit our office and talk to the staff, that effort demonstrates that he cares about our department.  Actions speak loudly in these situations, build trust, and reinforce what was said in his speeches.  As noted by Jarche (2010), “Trust is also an essential component of social learning.  Just because we have the technical networks does not mean that learning will automatically happen.  Communications without trust are just noise, not accepted and never internalized by the recipients (p. 4).”  I like to think the act of showing care is similar to what Friedman (2007) described of platforms, that “the basic underlying operating system for innovation and production – do not change very often.  Thus, even though the mode of communication changes, the value of in-person communication cannot be lessened.

References

David, S., and Congleton, C. (2013, November). Emotional agility. Retrieved from

            http://hbr.org/2013/11/emotional-agility/ar/1

Friedman, T. L. (2007). The world is flat 3.0: A brief history of the twenty-first century.  New

York: Picador / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Jarche, H.(2010).   Framework for social learning in the enterprise.  Retrieved from

            http://www.jarche.com/2010/02/a-framework-for-social-learning-in-the-enterprise/

 

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11 Responses to Technical Agility

  1. millervr says:

    You commented the value of in-person communication cannot be lessened. I agree with your sentiments. Is this because of trust? Does the in-person communication promote trust which cannot be gained through social media outlets? Curious to hear your thoughts.

  2. kjb22162 says:

    I must say! Your remarks places everything in perspective and illustrates how much change we have undergone because of the incorporation of technology, personally and professionally. I have to admit that I too fall in the trap of wanting immediate access to data for research and tend to withdraw when I am unable to locate such. However, I don’t believe its intentional, as opposed to that’s just how things are nowadays. In today’s society, the culture has shifted from attending class and conducting research in-person at local institutions and the library to a matter of convenience, whereby completion of such at home. Of course, the benefits are centered around attempting to provide balance between work and family, all while making a concerted effort to continue pursuing educational goals which would be difficult if traditional methods were followed. While I certainly understanding your characterization of “lazy”, I do to an extent think its a matter of convenience. Our current interaction via this course is a perfect example. Creighton offers access to their online libraries; and when combined with other available electronic resources, the data which can be ascertained is voluminous.

    Having said that, you make a very good point that “just because we have the technical networks does not mean that learning will automatically happen.” The computer is nothing more than the vehicle to transmit the lessons to be learned; however, the online student must continue to commit to retaining such information long-term. By having such convenience, the results could also be troublesome, whereas learning may not be achieved. While I appreciate the online learning, I do, however, see great benefits from traditional in-person contact with instructors. In my opinion, the message is received quite differently in-person, compared to that online. Regardless, you made some very good points in your summary.

    • lybrarylyon says:

      “Lazy” is probably too strong of a word, but technology has negative side effects too. Just like the automobile has made travel to distant locations more attainable for more people, it has also contributed to car crashes, and like Denise mentioned, obesity. A good leader needs to consider how technology can help and hurt the business. As others have mentioned, security is one of the top areas to consider.

  3. lybrarylyon says:

    Yes, I believe trust is a vital component of communication. I believe it is easier to establish trust in a face-to-face interaction. Trust can be earned in on-line interactions as well, but I would think that it would take longer. In-person communication has the advantage of hearing tone of voice and an undistorted view of facial expressions and gestures. These are several of the things that separate us from the machines. Are you quicker to trust in on-line relationships, or with those who you know on-line?

    • I agree that trust is huge in creating effective wirearchies…or any learning organization, to use a Peter Senge term. Which brings to mind, has the design of this class – ILD 831 – created an environment of trust? If so, why? If not, how could it be improved? Just wondering….

  4. Denise Butts says:

    The thought that social media and new forms of technology has change the nature of work ethics is salient. In addition to fostering a culture of instant gratification, the use of computers has created a false sense of valued work interaction. I witness individuals sitting nearly a few feet apart correspond via email rather than simply talking face to face. It’s simply more convenient and requires less energy to sit at the computer and type rather than initiate face to face interaction. Are computers making us lazy? We talk about child obesity and the lack of exercise by our young people. I wonder what is causing this? Are we becoming products of our environment?

    Just thinking out loud..

    UNT_Denise

    • lybrarylyon says:

      I can see both sides of the issue. Social media has allowed people to speak up, when they may have never have done so in person. Email and other technology has allowed coworkers to communicate faster, but I believe on a more superficial level. It might be a speed vs. quality issue for some people. Perhaps technology also helps work relationships, as one can avoid long conversations the coworker who goes on and on about a certain topic, or the person that gives you creepy looks.

      You also mentioned instant gratification. My mother talked thirty years ago about how microwaves made us want everything instantly and the world just was not like that! However, I do not think she would part with her microwave. Technology might be the ultimate double-edged sword.

  5. Denise Butts says:

    Go points! And may I add that technology is like most people. We have our vices and our virtues.

    UNT_Dense

  6. You raise a lot of good points in your post regarding the three convergences. At one point I thought you were especially talking directly about me or to me. With information at our fingertips, I tend to find myself frustrated if I cannot locate what I am seeking. Although I usually do not give up and persevere in finding what I am looking for, it is very frustrating at times when technology has advanced so far. I have to confess that at times I find it easier to text or email rather than pick up the phone or discuss in person. This ability to communicate through a variety of channels has made conversing in person less likely, especially in the fast paced world we live in today.

    Although I agree that having your President regular communicate in person with college staff is needed and would improve employee engagement and productivity. This does seem to conflict with what Friedman (2007) described in the horizontalization in the second convergence. While having a leader in command, the ability to network and connect with peers contributes to innovation and development of ideas (Friedman, 2007). Do you think if the college encouraged the use of alternative uses of communication, it could increase effectiveness in certain areas? Are there minimum face-to-face encounters that must be held for each student every year?

    References:

    Friedman, T. L. (2007). The world is flat 3.0: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Picador / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

    • lybrarylyon says:

      Part of why it is effective to communicate in person is that we all know it takes extra effort to do so. It means sacrificing your time to “do” other things and “spend” time conversing with a person. Depending on the employees personal level of comfort with technology, alternate uses of communication could increase effectiveness. One of my coworkers often expresses her frustration with learning new technology as taking time away from actually working with students (the quality contacts with students). Students are generally required to meet in person with advisers once a semester.

      • Lots of nuances here. Our advisors have had some pretty good traction since moving to the use of Facebook instead of email for connections with their advisees. It had less to do with technology as it did with meeting the kids where they were….

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