Given near-universal web access, ubiquitous personal net-connected portable devices, and the widespread use of social technologies, can companies still keep their information “secret”? As a manager, what should you assume people outside the company know?
A: In our social media age, a world of speed and as its happening immediacy, personal inter-connectedness and global reach, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are tools of tremendous power. These tools also pose problems. A few keystrokes can magnify intolerance or bullying, spread a falsehood or incomplete story, often with dire circumstances. Therefore, in today’s society, it is difficult for companies to keep their secrets.
A manager should assume that most activities about their company’s operations will be made public, whether or not the information is inflammatory or entertaining will determine if the issue needs to be addressed or ignored.
How would you respond to Bernie Ruben’s three questions about how IVK should respond to emerging technologies?
A: I agreed with the responses from Juvvani, Gordon and Barton regarding these three questions. Doing nothing about this blog post might be the best course of action as to not bring more attention to what should be “white noise/boring” information. The information should remain contained. Contacting the blogger or address this in anyway will only make the information spread more quicker. Gordon suggests protecting the private information inside IVK by law. Therefore, when signing the employment document, it should be stated in the contract that the leakage of relevant private information is prohibited.
What advice would you offer to Barton to help him break the cycle of constant firefighting? Is Barton becoming like Davies? Is this inevitable?
A: Barton needs to identify who in his team can take a lead role in handling these issues that keep emerging. He needs to do this in order to allow himself to be more proactive than reactive. While his team addresses the immediate problems, Barton can work on generating solutions to prevent these issues from arising again in the future. Otherwise these fires will continue to pop up and delay progress.
As IT increasingly penetrates into our daily lives, do you think younger employees might think about and do work differently than earlier generations? If so, what kinds of difficulties or opportunities might arise from this difference?
A: Absolutely. The newer generations will certainly turn to technology for solutions to problems. The generation has been raised their entire lives with new and exciting ways to generate instant results via technology and they will demand the same for their work environment. The opportunities will be improved work efficiency from the speed and accuracy that the transition from human based work to technological functions will provide. This automation process will generate a greater level of productivity from technological investments versus the slower human based performance. The downside of this transition will be a far greater public awareness of an entity’s business operations and exposure risks will be greater from an increase in shared information.
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