Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some might call it intentional ignorance; the capacity to know better, and do worse.

While there is a definite need to not become overly bonded to technology, the time for ignoring technology or remaining ignorant has passed. Business professionals, leaders, managers, and decision-makers in positions of authority, must become functionally literate with the use of technology.
The fear some associate with progress, is no longer a reasonable or rational consideration. Having a fundamental knowledge of how to access and use various applications, including those in social media, is no longer an option, but rather a requirement if an organization is to progress.

YouTube™, Twitter™, Facebook™, LinkedIn®, and other social media outlets are fast becoming the mode of connectivity used by industry professionals. The business professional, leader or manager who only use their computer to surf the Internet, and check email, are doing themselves and their organization a disservice. That type of analog mindset will not gain ground in a digital world.

From the standpoint of being a good steward of the resources provided, the lack of full utilization of technology, should be frowned upon. Furthermore conductivity between and among groups, using current technology, allows faster and more concentrated information networking and sharing among stakeholders.

Regardless of the age, gender, or technological aptitude, every professional should have the fundamental knowledge of how to use email properly, as well as wordprocessing software. In addition to the baseline technology, the professional seeking to advance the organization or their own personal standing, should also familiarize themselves with networking web-based applications. Such applications might include Evernote™, Microsoft One Note®, Box™, or other web-based information/documentation sharing applications.

An underlying concern for information safety and security cannot be overstated, yet with appropriate safeguards in place, and the application of common sense practices; such as not uploading classified, critical, or confidential on the net, these concerns can be met. Putting practical policies in place and educating the members of the organization regarding their required use, as well as appropriately addressing violations, will further protect information. These principles, though common sense, are founded on proven leadership practices.

It should be recognized, however, that even with all the additional safeguards put into place, the possibility of information compromise or loss is just as possible in the digital environment as it is in traditional physical environment. Corporate espionage is more about compromising the weakest link in the security chain, people; rather than overcoming physical and electronic security barriers. This is where the educating the workforce becomes an essential key to asset protection across the spectrum of technology.

The use of technologies such as FaceTime™, Skype® , AnyMeeting, and other web conferencing tools can conserve organizational resources, including time money. The turning point for many comes when technology is seen less as an albatross and more like a tool used to take advantage of opportunities. A common example is the cell phone, many of which come standard with capabilities that would rival yester-years’ desk top computer. Instead of looking at it as a single function device, to make and receive calls, the forward thinking professional can envision using it as a calendar reminder, a memo pad, a portable camera, clock and more!

Traditional businesses reliance on a ‘younger‘ generation to be better versed on how to use technology to improve the business, has proven to be unrealistic. Although some youths are experienced as to how to access some of the popular social media streams, and rapid communication venues such as texting; they lack the knowledge, experience and desire to effectively connect across the spectrum of age and abilities. An example is the continued use of the psuedo texting language, which while appropriate for some demographics, comes across as unprofessional, and illiterate gibberish to others. In industries where connecting clearly with customers, perspective consumers and stakeholders is an essential component, using indecipherable communication is counter-productive.

The motivation needed for sustained work effort, although increasing in today’s youth, is still largely absent across the board. The notion of “good enough” has a different connotation everyone, where as the quest for excellence or striving for perfection, has never changed. The question then is how does one create individual interest in learning to leverage technology to grow a business or enhance an organization? It begins with the realization that “not knowing” is just as unacceptable as “good enough.” An anonymous author famously defined a conclusion as the point where you got tired of thinking. ~ Anon

It is the wise leader, who combines yester-years’ work ethic, with today’s technologies to successfully lead their organization through tomorrow’s challenges.

Dr. Matthews