ILD 831 Week 4  The Changing Nature of Work

Reflect on how the nature of work is changing due to the web, and implication for leadership.  In particular, what take aways do you take from Shirky’s talk and leadership in today’s world.  Is “open” a given in leadership today?  Keep the focus on the impact of the internet on your workplace and discuss ways that web-based tools can improve communication, work flow and productivity.  Describe the impact of the internet on your workplace.  Discuss ways that web-based tools can improve communication, work flow and productivity. 

Shirky (2012) aptly described how “Cooperation without coordination” is gaining strength.  Shirky (2008) noted, “the pattern of aggregating individual contributions into something more valuable has become general” (p. 252).  The economics of this movement have allowed the “brilliant, but erratic” to contribute more often (p.250).  Shirky (2008) described the open source movement as “an ecosystem”.  This changes the landscape of business and government.  Leaders lose the ability to filter out what they think is important or not important, and the people themselves decide.  Shirkey (2012) shared the example of Martha Payne, the Scottish student who photographed and blogged about her school lunches.  School administration tried to silence her voice, but the sheer number of calls the school received standing up for Payne caused the school to rescind their forbiddance of photographing and blogging about the school lunches.

 Gartner (2010) discussed how to operate in a “business ecosystem” in which “the collective” of informal groups that are linked via a “common interest, a fad or a historical accident” (p. 1) are becoming a force to be aware of.  Both authors used the term ecosystem to describe what was happening regarding information in the world.  The keyword defining an ecosystem is community.  Community can refer to a political unit or a group who share a common interest.  Both divisions have greater power when the individuals act together as a community.  Thus, leaders today should be cognizant of and “mindful about the scope and reach of interconnected markets and flows of information.  Understand how and why people are connecting, talking, sharing information.  Be prepared to listen deeply, be responsible, be accountable and be transparent (Husband, n.d.).”


Gartner. (4 August 2010). Gartner Says the World of Work Will Witness 10 Changes During the Next 10 Years [Press Release].

          Retrieved from

Husband, J. (n.d.) Wirearchy [Blog].  Retrieved from

Shirky, C. (25 September 2012). How the internet will (one day) transform government [Video].

          Retrieved from

Shirky, C. (2008).  Here comes everybody:  The power of organizing without organizations

          Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated:  New York, NY.



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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.


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


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



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A memory like the elephant!

Review your selected Web 2.0 tool and discuss:

(1)   What is it?

The Evernote logo is an image of a gray elephant on a green background.

Evernote is a tool to organize information and have access to it via electronic devices.  It has the capability to store a variety of content, including images, handwriting, text, spreadsheets, etc. and then find it easily as needed.  Evernote’s getting started page purports that “its true power lies in its ability to synchronize your notes with the Evernote on the Web.  This allows you to create and find your memories on virtually any computer, web browser or mobile phone.” (How to use Evernote, chapter 6, How sync works).

Evernote was in private beta use in April of 2008.  According to Brett Kelly (2013) one of Evernote’s best features is that it can take a photo of a “wine label or a street sign and search for the text within the image?” (Evernote Essentials).  He goes on to describe it as a “notebook . . . designed to be with you for your entire life.  You won’t ever have to worry about it filling up or about accidentally misplacing it . . . a ubiquitous digital notebook which syncs to the web and across all of your devised that can capture, store, and index just about any type of data you can throw at it.” (2013, Evernote Essentials Introduction).

(2)   How might it be used for your leadership situation (education, healthcare, business, non-profit, etc.)?

Evernote can be used to document tasks, goals, professional growth and development notes, list questions to ask in meetings, and note creative thoughts (retrieved from  For people who have the StrengthsQuest (Rath & Conchie, 2008) themes of Input and Learner, Evernote is a much needed tool.  These are two of my signature strengths and I find myself collecting information to use later.  However, my “filing system” leaves much to be desired, as it is difficult to locate what I am looking for when I want to use it.

(3)   What are downsides to using it? 

Kelly (2013) noted that remembering how you filed your information would be the most challenging aspect of the tool.  He recommended that “when you add something to Evernote that you absolutely expect to need at some point in the future, try to imagine the circumstance in which you’ll need it and which words you’re likely to use when trying to find it.” (2013, p. 154).


Kelly, B. (2013).  Evernote essentials.  Brett Kelly Media, Inc.:  Fullerton, CA.

Rath, T. & Conchie, B. (2008). Strengths based leadership: Great leaders, teams, and

          why people follow. New York, NY: Gallup Press.

Social Work Tech.  (2013). Using Evernote for clinical social work.  Retrieved from

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Expressive Capability

Friedman (2007) learned from Jaihirth Rao that “Everyone has to focus on what exactly is their value-add” (p. 15).  What do we have that no one else has to offer?  Florida (2005) noted that “We see its effects in the political backlash against globalization in the advanced world . . . urban and rural . . . now have very different, often conflicting political and lifestyle values . . . creating destabilizing political tensions” (p. 51).  Friedman (2007) answered Florida’s (2005) critique when he noted that “those who get caught up in measuring globalization purely by trade statistics—or as purely economic phenomenon instead of one that affects everything from individual empowerment to culture to how hierarchical institutions operate—are missing the impact of this change.” (p. x).  Shirky (2009) pointed out that when people have nothing left to lose they fight back against tyranny, as in the example of how the Chinese people protested after they learned of the bribes that public officials took rather than have schools constructed according to safety codes.  All of this reminds me of “The Hunger Games” trilogy that have riveted the attention of the American public.  I believe it has struck a chord with people, as they see the few who have everything and the many who struggle to live. Friedman and Florida’s works are still relevant today as the United States congress has shown recently that it is willing to shut down government to prevent access to healthcare insurance for all.

In the workplace, we have continued to craft social media policies as technology advances.  As Shirky (2009) recommended, we are trying to find out how to make the best use of this media.  The “expressive capability” (Shirky, 2009) of one displeased customer can spread everywhere in a quick fashion via social media.  I work at an undergraduate residential institution of higher education.  The Master’s degree programs have embraced on-line classes, but the undergraduate classes have limited on-line availability.  Students are asking for more on-line classes.  Despite resistance from some faculty and staff, I believe more on-line classes will be added in the future.

My town was hit by a tornado in early October.  We were fortunate that it hit the industrial area of the city and missed the college and downtown.   Social media was an important tool in the aftermath of the tornado, as the cell towers were overwhelmed.  It allowed quick communication between families and friends.  Some people in their haste to be the first to upload images of the tornado took unnecessary risks.  At the college, we had to reexamine our disaster response plan, as the storm struck too fast and the text based notification system was not used.  Perhaps the lesson here is that social media is powerful, but other methods of communication are vital as well.


Florida, R. (2005). The world is spiky: Globalization has changed the economic playing

          field, but hasn’t leveled it. The Atlantic Monthly, 48-51.
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.

Shirky, C.  (2009, June).  How social media can make history.  Retrieved from TED:


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How far you go …

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong, because someday in your life, you will have been all of these.

~George Washington Carver

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