Month: December 2013
I chose to participate in ILD 831 in order to be exposed to technologies that can help me as a leader. I have always been a little slow to engage technology and usually would only use it if the technology was essential to my job. Case in point, back in 1996 I began working for a company that had me traveling overseas and staying in those countries for three to five months at a time. I was assigned a laptop, an email address as well as instruction on how to fill out expense reports, time cards, and daily engineering reports. The laptop was an old Toshiba Tecra that weighed about ten pounds………And one hundred pounds after carrying it through the airport! The battery life was about thirty minutes and did not have much hard drive space on it. I never thought much of the laptop and certainly did not use it for anything but business purposes.
But then I found out that non-business people had email addresses and there was this thing call the World Wide Web. Suddenly I started understanding what everyone was talking about, and I then began to realize that I had a lot to learn. Fast forward to 2013 and now I am learning even more about technology by taking part in the new world of blogging, using smart phones, as well as doing research on software that has helped to flatten the world.
I researched Skype® during week two of ILD 831 and found out some amazing facts. Skype® is a communication tool that provides voice, video, and text message capabilities. It is a software program that can be downloaded to a PC or MAC and operates as a voice-over-IP service (VoIP) (About Skype, 2013). Skype® originally started as a peer-to-peer sharing program for voice connection. The premise was that with an Internet connection anyone in the world could use a microphone and speakers/headset to talk to one another (Aamoth, 2011). Microsoft purchased the rights to Skype® in 2011 and embedded Sype® in the newly released XBox One® as a video communication application.
Through the past eight weeks I have researched and found that a lot of technology was created before an actual use for that technology could be realized. As a leader I have to recognize how to use current technology effectively but still also keep an eye open to the future. Even though some technology may not be at a point where it can be useful does not mean that the technology should be abandoned.
Many leaders I have been studying all became extremely successful by taking advantage of newly developed technology. Some leaders also used technology in a ways the inventors never dreamed of in order to create a leap in their industries. All of my research has given me the conclusion that the bottom line is that leaders need to embrace technology. I have traditionally been slow to embrace technology, now I am seeing the risk with not being on the cutting edge. If I do not maintain a healthy development of technical knowledge, I am doomed to being left behind and becoming obsolete. The last eight weeks have been an exciting, eye-opening, scary, hopeful, and informative journey. My curiosity has been ignited and I am looking forward to seeing what new technologies I can learn about and apply to my role as a leader.
Aamoth, D. (2011, May 10th). A Brief History of Skype. Retrieved from Time Tech: http://techland.time.com/2011/05/10/a-brief-history-of-skype/
About Skype. (2013, November 2nd). Retrieved from Skype: http://www.skype.com/en/about/
Please take this time to pause and remember the bombing of Pearl Harbor seventy-two years ago and forced the entrance of the United States into World War II. No longer do we seem as a nation to want to honor the memory of the men and women that died during the Japanese attack that devastated the United States and plunged us into that war. As a descendant of of Filipino mother, World War II has a special significance for me. Please help me honor the memories of all of those brave men and women that fought in World War II to secure the freedoms that we enjoy today. Thank you.
President Franklin Roosevelt’s radio address to the nation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0PW1Jhuu2Q
The predominate theme throughout this course has been how leaders that embraced technology ended up becoming very successful. Looking at trends in the KPCB Internet Trends 2013 slide presentation I am seeing nine countries ranking higher than the United States with Internet usage (Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, & Byers, 2013). Those same countries are representing emerging markets where the cost for employees and materials is quite a bit less than in the United States. Friedman discusses how leaders in the United States found success by utilizing the resources in emerging market countries (Friedman, 2007). It is important that leaders are constantly scouring and looking for cutting end technology to help make their organization stay a step ahead of the competition.
I currently work for a Biomedical Company that is always looking for the next big thing. My organization spends hundreds of millions of dollars on research and design with the hope that we invent an instrument that will change the landscape of the Biotechnology Industry. As a leader in my organization I have stated that “we are on the verge of a diagnostic instrument that even our customer do not know they need yet” to my fellow co-workers. I feel that this statement is the epitome of my view of technological leadership. How many leaders had the vision that others did not and created a business out of a need that consumers did not know they had to have? Companies like Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, EBay, and Turner Network Television all had leadership with a vision that changed the world. Their vision created new industries that led others to create more world changing inventions.
An example for me is the invention of the smart phone and how every incarnation of the phone revolutionized the world. The first phone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in the 1870s (Alexander Graham Bell, 2013). Then a little over one hundred years later Martin Cooper and his team at Motorola changed the world again by creating the first cell phone (Anjarwalla, 2013). In 1993 the smart phone came on the scene and again revolutionized the world (Reed, 2010). It took one invention that was reinvented that continued to change the way the people lived their lives. With smart phones came the capability of multiple ways to communicate with others via talk, text, email, visiting websites, and video conferencing. The future of communication continues to change to even now having Samsung creating a wrist phone (Galaxy Gear Smartwatch, 2013). It is interesting how many incarnations of the phone will occur in the next decade.
As a leader I try to stay tuned into the latest technologies that can affect my organization. By continually interacting with my customer base and seeing what they are trying to accomplish and asking what they would like to accomplish, I get ideas that can lead to a new breakthrough. I also read technical articles online, technical publications, as well as visit Biotechnology Conventions. The National Institutes of Health (N.I.H.) is another resource that I use to see what is cutting edge in the Biotechnology Field. I also look to related fields to see where some of their technology may have an application in my industry. I have always said that en electron behaves the same in Semiconductor Industry equipment as it does in Biotechnology equipment. I never consider barriers in technology because it is being used in a different industry.
Alexander Graham Bell. (2013, December 6th). Retrieved from Inventors: http://inventors.about.com/od/bstartinventors/a/telephone.htm
Anjarwalla, T. (2013, December 6th). Inventor of Cell Phone: We Knew Someday Everybody Would Have One. Retrieved from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/07/09/cooper.cell.phone.inventor/
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.
Galaxy Gear Smartwatch. (2013, December 6th). Retrieved from Gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/galaxy-gear-smartwatch-review-potential-miles-from-re-1431208144
Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, & Byers. (2013, May 29th). KPCB Internet Trends 2013. Retrieved from Slide Share: http://www.slideshare.net/kleinerperkins/kpcb-internet-trends-2013?ref=/
Reed, B. (2010, June 18th). A Brief History of Smartphones. Retrieved from Tech Hive: http://www.techhive.com/article/199243/a_brief_history_of_smartphones.html