ILD 831 Week Eight Assignment

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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.

References

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/

 

Albert Einstein Quote

Rememberance of December 7th, 1941……A Date That Will Live In Infamy

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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.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/07/pearl-harbor-ceremony-marks-72nd-anniversary-bombing/

President Franklin Roosevelt’s radio address to the nation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0PW1Jhuu2Q

Pearl Harbor Anniversary.JPEG-06a4e

ILD 831 Week Seven Assignment

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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.

References

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

ILD 831 Cyber Bullying

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With the massive growth of users on social media platforms, cyber bullying has become a real problem. The perceived anonymity of comments can lead individuals to say or do things that they would not normally do (Cass & Anderson, 2011). Cyber bullying has been as the root of teen suicides and has become a hot topic even with President Obama (Shepperd, 2011). The U.S. Federal Government as well as State and Local Government have gotten involved to try to deter bullying on the Internet. The social media giant Facebook® has tried to deter cyber bullying by creating tools to address online harassment (Siner, 2013). Even with the increased awareness and the countless prevention programs, cyber bullying is still a serious issue amongst teens and young adults.

The United States Federal Government defines cyber bullying as “bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying (sic) include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles” (Cyber Bullying, 2013). There are currently no Federal Statutes for cyber bullying. However, States are enacting their own cyber bullying statutes based on the federal definition of cyber bullying. With many statutes enacted by states, some states are tougher on cyber bullying than others and some states have not passed legislation to address online harassment. Only nineteen states have passed legislation for cyber bullying (State Cyberbullying Legislation, 2013). Of the nineteen states to pass legislation, California has passed the toughest laws against cyber bullying (Nelson, 2013).  The Department of Education has been instrumental in helping states to create policies as well as laws to prevent online harassment (Cyber Bullying, 2013). Over half of teens and young adults have reported that they have been victims of cyber bullying; and about the same number of teens and young adults have said they have participated in cyber bullying (Cyber Bullying Statistics, 2013).

With cyber bullying statistics on the rise and the teens and young adults moving into adulthood, will online harassment continue with them? Is there some a point when individuals outgrow this sort of thing? An article I found recently seems to uphold the fact that even adults find cyber bullying an acceptable way to act. In Georgia a group of moms would use Facebook® to make nasty comments about babies they considered to be ugly (Williams, 2013). Although most of us find this reprehensible, there are segments of society that are okay with this type of behavior. With the freedom the Internet gives to make comments, so many people now feel they have a voice and want to make that voice heard. Just looking at Yahoo articles, there is an area to post comments and to respond to other’s comments. Sometimes these comments are constructive, but most are negative and argumentative. But as a leader how do I create an environment that is free from cyber bullying?

I am not sure there is an answer for this. I know that creating policies in the work environment can deter most cyber bullying, but what can be done in the public sector? Every state has policies against bullying but only a handful of states have laws against cyber bullying (Cyber Bullying, 2013). Is it because there is so much gray area or that the Internet is so difficult to regulate? Even China is finding it hard to completely regulate the Internet, and their government is considered a totalitarian government with the ability to shutdown things they deem inappropriate for their citizens (Tanquintic-Misa, 2013). But even China suffers from individuals using the Internet to attack political policies as well as other individuals. So there seems to be nowhere where cyber bullying in some form is not present. I feel that by teaching proper online etiquette instead of just creating punishments; perhaps cyber bullying can be lessened. I do believe it is human nature to be critical of others, but it is how that criticism is directed that makes a difference. What do you think?

References

Cass, C., & Anderson, S. A. (2011, September 27th). Poll: Young People Say Online Meanness Pervasive and Serious. Retrieved from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/27/poll-young-people-say-onl_n_982834.html

Cyber Bullying. (2013, November 25th). Retrieved from stopbullying.gov: http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/

Cyber Bullying Statistics. (2013, November 29th). Retrieved from Bullying Statistics: http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html

Nelson, N. (2013, November 6th). Cyberbullying Laws – How Fast Are States Adapting? Retrieved from Chapman University School of Law: http://www.lawschoolblog.org/cyberbullying-laws-how-fast-are-states-adapting/

Shepperd, S. (2011, March 10). White House Conference Tackles Bullying. Retrieved from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/03/10/obama.bullying/

Siner, E. (2013, November 7th). Facebook Takes On Cyberbullies As More Teens Leave Site. Retrieved from NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/11/07/243710885/facebook-takes-on-cyberbullies-as-more-teens-leave-facebook

State Cyberbullying Legislation. (2013, November 29th). Retrieved from UNC: http://www.unc.edu/courses/2010spring/law/357c/001/Cyberbully/state.html

Tanquintic-Misa, E. (2013, November 29th). China Heaves Sigh, Says Online Rumour Crackdown Successful. Retrieved from International Business Times: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/526012/20131129/china-internet-online-crackdown-facebook-twitter.htm#.UpjFEScyGAY

Williams, D. (2013, November 13th). Moms on Facebook Bully Baby Girl’s Appearance. Retrieved from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/12/facebook-moms-bully-baby/3511169/

ILD 831 Week Five Assignment

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Friedman discusses the huge monetary savings that companies enjoy by outsourcing their redundant tasks that can be done cheaper in lower income countries.  He also explains that monetary savings should not be the only motivator to outsourcing work to other countries (Friedman, 2007). I completely agree that saving a few dollars should not be the motivation to look overseas for resources. However, as a leader I have to weigh in on the benefits currently and in the future. By being able to expand the organization’s knowledge base by going to outside of the current workforce, new ideas may change the direction of the company. The old adage of “thinking outside of the box” easily applies when individuals of differing backgrounds are added into the mix. Based on culture, education, and background people view life through a different prism. By sharing multiple points of view issues can be resolved faster, new ideas created, and new direction discovered. If creating a multinational solutions team and still saving money can be accomplished at the same time, then as a leader I am obligated to move the organization in that direction.

One thing I find interesting is that in the research Madden and Jones conducted, is that “nearly half of all Americans do at least some work from home” (Madden & Jones, 2008). I wonder if the data collected included those that are using their evening hours to complete projects or catch up on emails, yet the individuals are not work-from-home employees. I feel the Internet has made it so the amount of hours worked in a day has increased dramatically. No longer can an employee simply go home for the evening and then pick things up in the morning. As I travel around to do my job I find myself catching up on things when I get to my hotel room. Counting flights, visits to a customer site, and then doing catch up work in the hotel, I could be in a seventeen to twenty hour day. The scary things is with the use of in-flight Wi-Fi I can also do work in the air if need be. I have actually conversed with an engineer to troubleshoot an issue she was experiencing while I was flying. To me, the monopolizing of my time has become the hardest thing about the advances in technology that has allowed me to work at a remote employee.

A friend of mine, that is a corporate lawyer at IBM, and I were discussing my Ed.D. program last weekend. I told him that I was currently reading The World is Flat 3.0 and told me he had read the book several years earlier. What was fascinating to me is that he had intimate knowledge of the things that had taken place when IBM started their businesses in Bangalore. When I asked him about IBM starting their outsourcing in Bangalore he said that it was a much bigger headache than what they anticipated. The interfacing with the Bangalore engineers was very difficult as the protocols used by IBM were foreign to the Indian engineering team. It took a long time for the operation to overcome the many setbacks that occurred during the start up. The assimilation process did not take as long but there was still a lag over the engineering groups that were operating in the U.S. Eventually the cost of the India operations began to increase due to the demand for higher wages from the Bangalore group. Although the wages were still considerable less, the increase in wages and operating costs began to cut into the IBM profit margin. Based on my friend’s conversation, not every venture going into an emerging market is as rosy as Mr. Friedman makes it out to be.

There are a few pros that go with employees having free access to the Internet. Ease of research is the first one that comes to mind. Being able to Google a subject and have instant access to the answer is a huge advantage to an employee. The employee does not have to waste precious time tracking down the answer and the organization saves money by being able to maximize the usage of the employee. Another advantage is having remote employees for the organization. Having remote employees allows for the organization to operate in many time zones and can put a local presence in many countries. The instantaneous sharing of information is another advantage employees receive with free access to the Internet. The company can easily distribute information via email, a company website, and on a company Intranet if the organization has a Virtual Personal Network (VPN) set up. By being able to send out information effortlessly, the organization can keep all employees informed. Training can also be performed via Internet and I participate in online training with my company all of the time. The training can be something as simple as learning how to fill out the newest expense reports to compliance training.

There are also some cons to employees having free Internet access. The urge to view social media sights such as Facebook and MySpace distract employees from getting work accomplished. Studies reveal that companies have millions of dollars in lost productivity time with people doing social media at work (Woodward, 2013). Some employees may even use the free Internet to view porn sights. This is a huge issue and I have attended compliance training (online no less) at my company to address this particular issue. At my organization an employee will be fired if they are using a company computer and/or company Internet access to view porn. Sharing of vital company information is a big risk with employees using the Internet. Every year I have to participate in a security refresher training course that discusses proper usage of the Internet when discussing the company’s proprietary information on the Internet.

Turning challenges into opportunities is the goal of every leader. I would work to harness their desire for social media by having a social media site for the organization. Although it is not as personal or provide them the freedoms as with their normal social media site, it would give them an opportunity to share ideas, ask for assistance, and discuss issues. I am not a social media person so I am not too privy to all of the ins and outs of social media. My information comes mostly from the articles I read and the conversations I hear about social media. So I may be totally off base with this idea. What do you think?

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.

Madden, M., & Jones, S. (2008). Networked Workers. Washington D.C.: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Woodward, D. (2013, November 20th). Research Claims Social Media Costs Millions in Lost Productivity. Retrieved from Director: http://www.director.co.uk/ONLINE/2011/05_11_social_media_productivity.html

ILD 831 Week Four Assignment

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I am a prime example of how the flattening of the world has changed how I do my job. I work for a company that is global with major offices in thirty-five countries, three major offices in the United States, with the main headquarters located in Carlsbad California. Because of the speed of the Internet, cell phones, video conferencing, Virtual Private Network (VPN), and capabilities of sharing extremely large files I can be located anywhere that is near a major airport and still do my job. There are no restrictions for my location like when I first started working my first job when I got out of the Navy. Not all jobs at my organization provide this flexibility, but working in the engineering field doing customer support allows me to work more from home. I have to be located near a major airport in case I have to fly to a customer site or back to our corporate offices if travel is required.

The flexibility to be located anywhere in the world and do engineering work is a benefit to my organization since there can be work constantly occurring 24/7. As Friedman discussed about how workers in the U.S. would be finishing work and the workers in India would be waking up to take over the project we too have this working in our favor (Friedman, 2007). I have taken over some troubleshooting issues from fellow engineers in China and Japan when they are finished for the day. I’ve also provided support when they have gone into a weekend when it is still a workday for me in the United States.

As a leader I see the tremendous advantages to a flattened world when it comes to customer support. Having the ability to work on an issue twenty-four hours a day by sharing the information between engineers located in different time zones so when one group is at the end of their day another group takes over is a great example of getting the most for an investment. The amount of downtime a customer has to experience is lessened and this means a happy customer that is willing to invest more money in instrument purchases as well as purchases of service contracts. There are often situations that one or two persons in the world have experienced the issue and can share their expertise. This sharing of knowledge between different groups is an example of spontaneous work where the individuals are becoming more proactive to problem solving (Goasduff, 2010).

It is interesting that Mr. Friedman discusses how Ireland was an example of the benefits of the government making it easier to do business in a country (Friedman, 2007). Ireland had a huge boom in the economy while he had written the book, but it has since gone into a major recession. High unemployment returned to Ireland in 2008 and residential homes have lost fifty percent of their value (Irish Economy, 2013). Perhaps this is an example of a country that tried to attract too much business too soon. Friedman discussed how the Irish Government invested in educating the population, reducing business & property taxes, and making Ireland very attractive to high technology companies (Friedman, 2007). Although the Irish Government could not have predicted the slowing down of the global economy, if they had not taken a “go for broke” attitude perhaps their economy would be in a little better shape. I was in Ireland just two months ago and the locals are still suffering with a slowed economy. So as I read Friedman’s text, I am a little wary of all of the incredible successes experienced by all of these countries opening up their economies to technological advances hoping that this will be the cure all for their economic woes. Like the dot.com bubble bursting, will the flattening of the world create another bubble burst? Are we experiencing some of that now? When traditionally cheap labor is being outsourced to cheaper labor, when will it stop? Like Friedman discusses, there are factories in China that are undercutting each other and the profit margins are very small (Friedman, 2007). How can the world continue to sustain the profit margins becoming nonexistent yet still create manufacturing?

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.

Goasduff, L. (2010, August 4th). Gartner Says the World of Work Will Witness 10 Changes During the Next 10 Years. Retrieved from Gartner: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/1416513

Irish Economy. (2013, November 14th). Retrieved from ESRI : http://www.esri.ie/irish_economy/

ILD 831 Week Three Assignment

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The following questions will be reviewed on this week’s blog – 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?

Friedman discusses Triple Convergence in three phases. The phases are: The ten world flattening events occurring, the creation of the platform used by the ten world flattening events, and the ability for emerging countries to collaborate like never before plus the creation of horizontal versus vertical hierarchies (Friedman, 2007). All the events lead to the creation a more level playing field when it comes to global partnerships and collaborations.  

The articles from Nancy Dixon about the Era of Knowledge Management were very enlightening. The growth of the knowledge based philosophy from a few keepers of knowledge to the sharing of all knowledge regardless of an individual’s position was informative. The old adage that knowledge is power seemed to fit right in with the first era of knowledge management were only a handful of individuals had the actual knowledge. I am actually a subject matter expert at my organization and my company’s protocol is to send out the information with the “school model” (Dixon, 2009). So I can see both sides as an individual that maintains the knowledge vault for my products and the individual who wants to make the knowledge vault accessible to everyone.

As a leader I would have to determine how to utilize the vast knowledge that my team would possess and use the world flattening platforms to get that knowledge out to the front line troops. Without the quick, easy, and affordable way to share vast data knowledge we would still be stuck in the first era of knowledge management. The ability for front line employees to share real-time experience with each other, fellow employees located throughout the world, as well as management is only possible with the reality of triple convergence and how it has shrunk the world. My leadership role would allow me to encourage employees to share their best practices, issues they’ve encountered, and quick ways to overcome issues that occurred.

Making the sharing of knowledge social acceptable in a business environment may be a difficult paradigm to break. The amount of hackers as well as individuals attempting to gather secret information makes senior managers wary of sharing too much information on a broad basis. Even Friedman discusses how only non-critical software related jobs are outsourced to India but the key design and critical information jobs are still maintained in Europe and America (Friedman, 2007). So as a leader I would have to ensure the security of my organization by monitoring information that is being shared with remote employees.

 If a leader does not understand the concept of getting the best product for the least amount of resources, then that leader will not last too long. But if the leader cannot maintain control of the resources being shared, the organization can suffer from theft may go out of business. It is a fine line to walk with sharing information and why there are many organizations that require compliance training as well as proprietary knowledge contracts.  

 

References

Dixon, N. (2009, May 2). Three Eras of Knowledge Management. Retrieved from NancyDixon.com: http://www.nancydixonblog.com/2009/05/where-knowledge-management-has-been-and-where-it-is-going-part-one.html

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.