Reflecting upon the course

As I reflect upon the past weeks in this Technology and Leadership course, I am struck by how quickly the past weeks have gone. I am also amazed at the many enriching conversations took place that made me question my views. One example occurred early on in class as we discussed whether or not the world is flat. Many of the comments I read on other’s blog shared their reasoning as to why the world is flat. Florida (2005) stated in his article that the world is spiky given the technological advances between developed and third world countries. While I see both views, I wonder if the world can be likened to mountains. With mountains, there are foothills with areas of peaks and valleys. Some peaks are higher than others.

montana-mountains

Aside from viewing the world as flat or spiky, I also began to appreciate more the role of leaders within the ever-changing technological landscape. In my previous courses, I have always viewed leadership existing as leaders and followers. I never considered how various factors like that of technology could greatly impact how a leader leads. Especially due to the technological advances of computers, smartphones, and even programs that streamline work processes. Today’s employees are well connected and can acquire information right at his or her fingertips. With so much incoming information, leaders are now faced with a growing dilemma-how to change his or her leadership style or become irrelevant.

This week’s reading by Michele Martin was quite enjoyable as many excellent points spoke to me. First, I loved at Martin stated the following, “My personal belief is that everyone is a leader and that everyone’s job is to help that inner leader emerge” (Michele Martin blog). I completely agree with Martin and feel that it is important to help others discover his or her inner leader. I have studied leadership in various classes over the years and I remember years ago being flabbergasted at the idea that everyone is a leader. The reason for my thunderstruck response is because most of the leadership courses held leadership as this golden goose egg worth acquiring. Due to this feeling of inadequacy, when my professor told the class that we are all leaders and we exhibit our leadership in various ways, my eyes were opened. There was no unseeing what I now was able to see. I remember thinking through how each classmate exhibited leadership traits within our class dynamics.

Also this week, I read Umair Haque’s (2013) article on how to be a leader and not a wannabe. I especially liked the point about how leaders inspire others. Taking Haque’s views in combination with Martin and I realize how important it is for leaders to acknowledge the changing environment and how technology is impacting it. Secondly, leaders will need to be aware of how to adapt his or her leadership style. As Martin suggests, leaders must welcome participation from everyone and no longer view leadership as a top-down approach. In other words, leadership should take a more team based approach.

Unity is strength - teamwork concept

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A technological event horizon (no turning back)

After viewing the videos and conducting the reading this week, I feel as if I have entered into a matrix where my brain downloaded so much information. I am in processing mode right now.

matrix

The Corning videos (I only found one online) show a future that is not too hard to imagine as a real possibility. In the video shared, glass that looks like glass can show upcoming schedules, television, and more while allowing a user to indicate what he or she would like to view.

The list of emerging technologies has various sectors listed with technologies that have recently emerged. One thing that I found interesting is within construction. I have a friend who I was recently conversing with who is pursuing a graduate degree in construction. In his possession was a pair of glasses that could be programmed to allow someone to see a 3-D model of a house. The same individual went on to talk about how drones have been used to take pictures of a location so plans could begin being assembled.

Lastly, in Kevin Kelly’s Ted Talk, artificial intelligence will lead to more automation as redundant tasks can be turned over to robots to do. One thing that stood out to me was Kelly’s discussion on how the best work is done when humans and artificial intelligence collaborate together. Kelly proposes that many work sectors will begin to see a technological shift in the near future.

I have highlighted videos and readings from this week, but what all does it mean? Why is all this important? First, the reason for sharing a bit about the videos and the readings is because technology is impacting much of the work already being done. Technology allows us to connect while being physically apart whether by a few miles or thousands of miles. Knowing how technology is impacting work sectors allows leaders to determine how best to lead. Leaders need to make time to explore what technologies are emerging within his or her field. Leaders should also be open-minded to possibly thinking outside the box on how technology can help better the department or organization.

For leaders to stay current on technology changes, there are ways to acquire knowledge on what new technologies are impacting work though list servs and other means. Leaders should remain open-minded to new technologies that could drastically impact their bottom line.

Digital Ethical Issues for Healthcare Administrators

 

I apologize for a late post this week friends. I was on the road traveling to two different conferences that were both focused on healthcare.

Hand writing So Many Things in To Do List, vector concept

The first conference was in Scottsdale, AZ and from here I traveled to Washington, DC was where I asked to be a panelist for a session. I tried to have my post submitted on time, but realized quite quickly that a bit more time was needed given how little free time I had available. I am happy to report that my speaking session went well. Now, let us transition into digital ethical issues for healthcare administrators.

Before jumping into the healthcare I would like to revisit the definition of ethics as Gerd Leonhard discusses that ethics are beliefs that manage an individual’s or group’s behavior. It is important to revisit this definition because of its role in relation to digital ethical issues in healthcare.

Healthcare has experienced many changes within the United States since its inception. Healthcare, within the United States, began in the 1920s when hospitals noticing that their services were not being used frequently. A Baylor hospital created the very beginnings of a small health insurance program to encourage consumers to invest a little in their healthcare. Eventually, this program Baylor created became popular and went on to become Blue Cross (NPR, 2009). Decades past, then in the 1960s, Medicaid and Medicare were established to help provide care to the young, disabled, and elderly. Healthcare relied heavily on paper charts and nowadays, technology.

How has technology impacted the U.S. healthcare system? Immensely. As mentioned earlier, paper charts were the norm. Doctor’s offices had shelving to hold all the charts in alphabetical order. As technology progressed, healthcare shifted to integrated technology into the medical practice. When I worked at a community health center, the federal government offered funding to incentive centers to begin switching over to electronic medical records. (Below is an example of a vendor used in the health center I worked for). Technology within healthcare allowed for telemedicine, or the idea of doctors providing care to patients in remote areas via technology, continues to increase especially in rural areas.

nextgen

With the integration of technology, comes training for the staff to ensure they can properly use the software to provide care to patients. With the use of electronic medical records staff have access to many patient charts literally at his or her fingertips. Privacy of patient charts is imperative and many trainings within healthcare organization stress the importance of keeping information confidential. One such law is HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, safeguards medical information. What this means is that patient information cannot be shared unless it is to provide direct care. For example, two different doctor’s offices may share a patient’s chart information as it relates to treatment. A violation of HIPAA would be if a nurse shared a patient’s personal and medical information with another staff person that was not involved directly with the patient.

Correct access to patient charts

One challenge with technology that healthcare administrators encounter is ensuring that staff are accessing the charts he or she actually needs in relation to medical care. Limiting access to certain areas within electronic medical records for staff is cumbersome. Healthcare administrators want to trust their staff to do the right thing, but some staff may get nosy. An example of this occurred when I worked at the health center. There was a staff member who accessed her husband’s and daughter’s medical charts without their permission. The administration staff, myself included, found out because the employee was sending messages through the charts to the doctors. The employee should have been fired as policy stated that would be grounds for firing. Instead, the employee was allowed to continue working at the health center.

Hacking

Another challenge is hacking. Safeguarding patient files by encryption or password protection does not fully guarantee that the medical information is safe. Insurance companies, medical practices, and countless others have become victims to hacking. Ransomware is a growing hacking technique that gathers information and, for a price, will release the information back to the rightful owner. Healthcare administrators must proactively ensure that their electronic medical records system is protected by working with their IT vendor and having processes in place in case a hack occurs.

Mobile technology

Aside from hackers, many medical practices use laptops, tablets, and other mobile technologies to practice care. Mobile technology allows healthcare providers to carry the patient information with them wherever he or she goes. One downside to mobile technology is that the equipment could easily be misplaced or stolen. Back in 2012, a Massachusetts organization had a laptop stolen from one of their providers. The laptop was not encrypted which led to the organization paying over $1 million dollars to settle their violations.

In conclusion, healthcare has seen a drastic change in how it is practiced due to technology. While technology allows for innovative care to be provided, there are many ethical issues that can greatly impact the organization. Healthcare administrators work to ensure that patient charts are protected and use properly by staff. Outside of health administrators control is hacking which has the potential to halt medical care in its footsteps. Lastly, mobile technology allows providers the flexibility of taking computers, tablets, etc. with them wherever they go, but can be used to access patient files if not carefully protected.

Networked Workers

Networked workers bring many opportunities and challenges to an organization. Below are some opportunities and challenges I thought of. Opportunities of freely available internet access:

  • Access to information-by having access to more information, could help problem-solve/create opportunities for organizational growth. As Weinberger (2011) highlighted in earlier chapters, Google is at the fingertips of employees to where knowledge is sought outside of the organization.
  • Increased collaboration-having more individuals that can work together on projects can lead to new ideas and efficiencies.
  • Being able to work wherever-having access to freely available internet allows for access wherever, whenever.

At my job, we work within a cloud-based system which allows us to access all our work files/projects wherever we are. I live a good drive away from our office and if the weather is ever bad, I can work right from home uninterrupted.

networks

Challenges of freely available internet access:

  • Leaders have difficulty leading others with influx of information coming into the organization. With so much information coming in, leaders have to redefine their role and how they will lead others.
  • Workers can work wherever and not have to be present in the office. An example of this was in Yahoo’s article on banning telecommuting.

Marissa Mayer, who works as the CEO of Yahoo, ended telecommuting and was met with opposition from employees. Research suggested that there are both pros and cons of telecommuting. If productivity is what is being sought, then ending telecommuting could lead to additional productivity.

I recently read an article about Michelle Peluso, the Chief Marketing Officer, at IBM recently made an announcement ending telecommuting by requiring staff to move into one of six offices or leave the company. IBM has experienced declining profits for many quarters and the hope is that by ending telecommuting, this will shake things up. What is interesting to me is that the article specifically called out that is shake up Peluso is doing compares to what Mayer did at Yahoo.

Weinberber, D. (2011). Too big to know: Rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room. New York: NY.

 

Hyperlinked World

When listening to Weinberger’s (2014) talk, one thing that stood out to me was when he discussed how we hack the future with what we build. Throughout history, humans have bundled tools out of the anticipation of need. To elaborate further, humans think we may need a tool that cuts so we bundle multiple tools together just in case there is an opportunity that use that tool. Anticipation of useful tools is how we approach the future and has been how the future is approached (Weinberger, 2014). Weinberger then went on to provide an example of how technology has changed from in the past to how it is now. In the past, there were filters (limits) on the books that would get published. Nowadays, there is still filtering, but more books are being published and are accessible online. The increased publications leads to a huge plethora of data accessed through technology. Weinberger shares how books are limited by space. Authors seek to address the anticipation of the reader, but books remain static. As a writer, you have limited space and try to address what the reader wants to know and what they may already know.

Technology allows for authors to have dynamic dialogue with readers and respond in real-time. Books do not allow for such dynamic conversations to take place.

books

Husband’s concept of wirearchy states that there exists an interconnectedness within technology that allows for two-way dialogue to occur.  There is no hierarchical structure to communication like there may have been at one point in time. In other words, communication has changed through technological advancement.

The implications for leadership based upon the readings and videos, seem to suggest that leadership, much like technology is evolving. Leaders will now need to be aware of how technology is impacting the work environment. For example, in my organization, technology i.e. internet is used daily. As a reminder, the organization I work for is a small nonprofit healthcare organization that exists to help all seven health centers within Nebraska. My organization is hyper-connected in that we all have access to a work computer, a laptop (when traveling), and our personal phones are used for work so we are able to be contacted in a few ways. Technology is used to provide webinars and to also communicate with others.

Lastly, the Gartner News Analysis (2010), the Gartner (2014) Building Successful Digital Business, and FastCompany (2016) help flush out the previous ideas concerning how businesses are and will be impacted.

What was most interesting to me is that in my professional role, I provide training and technical assistance to the health center staff. One area I specialize in is workforce which impacts HR staff. According to FastCompany (2016), HR will transform itself in 2017. While utilizing big data is suggested to help transform HR, I personally do not see this process being used within the health centers because of the time it would take for the follow-through. In many of the health centers, the HR staff are the only ones that specialize in the work that he or she does.

Most recently, I lead a HR call that focused on recruiting and retention of staff within the health centers. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has been a great resource for me. I recently stumbled upon an article that discussed Siri (from Apple) being used to help recruit employees (Meyer, 2017). The thought behind it is to help identify potential candidates for open positions. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) would then interact with candidates. I wonder if this is the change the FastCompany article thought would happen?

siri

 

Will knowledge set you free?

As I reflected upon this week’s readings, I agree with Weinberger (2011) when he argues that knowledge lives in the network because technology is heavily relied upon to answer questions, provide up-to-date news reports, and more. Knowledge, is no longer accessed by a small number, but through technology can be made readily available anyone and everyone. The way in which information is gathered has changed dramatically over time. When I was younger, I recall going to the library and having to learn the Dewey decimal system in order to find the books I wanted.

deweydecimal

 

Now, information is available literally, at one’s fingertips which brings me to a knowledge management. As Dixon (2012) highlighted, knowledge management has transitioned over time.

Knowledge management, is it dead? I think knowledge management is almost dead. Is the internet to blame? Yes, I think the internet is to blame for knowledge management’s slow death. I concur with Davenport’s observation that the internet seems to have a direct impact on knowledge management and its disappearance over time.

web-links

Leaders, in today’s world face many challenges when leading others-from managing other people, leading an organization/department, and more. Due to technology’s role in the workforce, leaders must know how to juggle the impact technology has on the organization and staff. Leaders need to be able to know how technology can improve processes and when it may be necessary to consider making adjustments to processes. In regards to knowledge management, leaders must be willing to help with knowledge management when needed. By this, I am referring to the leader being aware of knowledge management and working in conjunction with it. Technology will continue to influence the workforce in one way or another and leaders need to be prepared to juggle both technology with being a leader.

 

Weinberber, D. (2011). Too big to know: Rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room, New York: NY.

Productive Technology programs

The tool I have this week is Canva (2017) which is an online software program that allows users to design visuals like that of posters, flyers, presentations, Facebook banners, web banners, ads, and more. Canva is a free tool where users can access tutorials, pictures, and backgrounds to create products. Canva also contains photos and templates that users can pay for, but most products are free. As a program, Canva is easy to use allowing for those who may not be very creative.

Full disclosure: have used Canva a handful of times, but never invested time to investigate what the program has to offer. I have used Canva to create banners for newsletters so as to add a photo to make the newsletter engaging. As I have learned more about the program, I am fascinated by the types of visuals that can be created from one program. The graphics are clean and professional looking. Within the healthcare arena, Canva is a practical tool to use to create nice business appropriate products that can be geared towards multiple audiences.

The downsides to using Canva were challenging to identify only because the software is well packaged. The two downsides I identified. The first is that the free templates allow for multiple users to use them. Users that access the free templates could very well see the same template used by others making the design less unique. The other downside is that Canva only offers online tutorials. Some individuals may need more engagement than clicking through online tutorials. When I visited a couple courses, users are to click through and interact with the program. For those who may be auditory learners, they miss out on listening to someone walk through the tutorials.

After learning more about Canva, I was curious to see what other tools exist for those within the healthcare environment. In my work, I provide training and technical assistance so I lead phone calls, webinars, and in-person meetings. One challenge I encounter is that I try to make webinars engaging but it is difficult at times. The difficulty typically comes with the topic and how much information must be addressed. Poll Everywhere is a free resource that allows for participants to answer questions in real-time using their cell phones. Typically, most staff I am training, have their cell phones with them or they are using their cell phones while I am presenting. I think using Poll Everywhere would be a great way to capitalize on the fact that participants have their phones on them.

Speaking of ways to use phones, I randomly checked out Kahoot which is an online game-based program that allows for learning to be done while making it fun. In Kahoot, questions are entered and once a game is created, participants will get a code to use to log in and answer the questions. I struggle with checking comprehension and making sure that what I am sharing is read by staff. I think Kahoot will help me do my job better.

Friendman, Florida, Bostrom oh my!

What state is the world in? Is the world spiky or flat? As I completed the reading for this week I thought I knew the answer and I find myself unsure. I am unsure because I understand where each individual is coming from. In Thomas Friedman’s (2005) synopsis on why the world is flat the biggest argument made derives from the interconnectedness of the world. Distance no longer is a barrier as technology bridges people together by leveling the field.

On the other hand, Richard Florida proposes that the world is spiky based upon the population, economic activity, innovation, and scientific advancement. In Florida’s (2005) article, there are many spikes in developed nations and even more valleys in less developed countries. When reflecting upon both readings, I find myself agreeing more with Florida (2005) than Friedman (2005) because there are many locations worldwide that have more advantages than others due to a high population density. With more people in shared spaces, ideas can grow and foster to become more.

Aside from the physical state of the world, technology has greatly impacted the world we live within by becoming more accessible. I recall when I was in elementary school, the one computer for our entire classroom was an Apple computer with a green screen (like the photo below). Computers, over time, have become thinner and faster. Cell phones, once clunky and large are now able to fit into pockets. With the easy accessibility of technology, employers now have policies limiting/monitoring technology usage. With previous employers, personal technology was not allowed to be used during work hours. Limiting an employee’s personal use of technology is nearly impossible nowadays. In my organization, all employees have cell phones that are used for both work and personal usage. To provide a bit more information about my organization, we are a small nonprofit that provides training and technical assistance to the health centers within the stateapple-computer of Nebraska. Technology is a key instrument used to help staff retrieve files within our Cloud. Webinars are used to educate health center staff on new pertinent information. There have been a few days when computers were down and when this happens, no work is accomplished. Staff are unable to move projects forward without technology.

One final thought I have on technology is this. Technology has also allowed for artificial intelligence to prosper significantly. In Nick Bostrom’s (2015) presentation, he discusses how artificial intelligence could be as smart as a human and could even become much smarter, possibly even self-aware. Bostrom goes on to say assert the importance of controlling the artificial intelligence AI) so that the AI is smart, while also being safe. As I listened to the video, I thought of Tom Simonite’s (2016) article on chip designed to help facilitate deep learning within artificial intelligence. The chip allows for faster processing which would help achieve the deeper learning being referenced. I highly doubt controlling artificial intelligence is achievable.