Don’t Forget to Turn Out the Lights…

What is digital transformation? | The Enterprisers Project

I can’t reflect on this class, without reflecting on my whole MBA experience as this is my final assignment for my final class in the program. While the MBA journey started for me three and a half years ago, coming back to the school I went to for my Bachelor’s Degree gave it a bit more of a surreal feeling. I had been on campus in between for sporting events and to see younger friends, but it felt different coming back as a student again. I felt like a fish out of water with all of the unrecognizable faces passing me by as I went to Fulton. As time went on through the program, I was able to meet a bunch of new people and learn from professors who worked in the “real world” and had a good idea of what we need to know to succeed in our professional careers. While the transition to being a student again took some time, all of the momentum came to a screeching halt just over a year ago. While I navigated through the past few semesters virtually, I was not enjoying the experience of finishing the degree remotely.

When perusing through the course list last November and looking at Digital Transformation, I thought “that might be useful since I work for a company that tries to drive digital transformation”. I also saw it was in person, which made me very excited given it would give me one last chance to get back to campus regularly. Finally, the clincher was being able to have a professor that I had early on in my Freshman year, which kind of made it feel like everything would come full circle. In a way it did. One of the first things I said to a classmate when we walked out of the first class was “I had Kane my Freshman year and he said, ‘My goal is not to teach you the skills to be successful for today’s job, I want to teach you the skills to be successful in the job you have 4 years from now,’ he gets it.” It is a line I have paraphrased and used when coaching, so it has stuck with me for over a decade at this point, and I am glad to see he still uses a variation of it.

Starting the MBA program, the recommendation was to take Managing People and Organizations first, to help build a foundation with how business is run. I think this class should be the capstone course for the MBA program. While the technology itself may or may not be relevant in 5 years what I have learned is that with every changing technology we need to be adaptable, taking in all of the relevant information and then being able to think about information that doesn’t even exist yet. There is a lot of great things technology can provide for us, but there is also a dark side. Weighing both sides of the ledger is important and this class has shed some light on the positives and negatives on all the technology that exists today and provides a framework for how to evaluate the technology of tomorrow. While I work in the tech industry, and therefore could tangibly see a lot of what we discussed in my day to day, it wasn’t so much the technology classes that resonated as much as the classes discussing a digital organization. Technology will affect all of us in how (or where) we do our work. Even if we don’t find it important now, to get where we all want to be, understanding these concepts are so critical.

Business Transformation Survey

Finally, the class itself was awesome, I think part of it was everyone being so darn excited to have human interaction for the first time in a year (at least that was part of my excitement), but part of it was that the class was as much relevant as it was interactive. Even though I was not involved in too many of the Twitter threads, it was pretty cool to see some of the class’ conversations be so invigorating that we had businesses respond to us and obviously being able to connect and work with our peers back and forth on our own time and not just in the two-and-a-half-hour block is how people work in today’s world and proving that social media can be an integral part of how we work. Many classes are either lectures, or case studies, which, while interactive, feel like business history instead of how you would approach a problem today in the current corporate climate. This class allowed us to see the benefits and risks of AI and discuss it, as it was happening live. We discussed how even though the crowd produces mostly crap, opening up ideas to the masses will give you better ideas than if you don’t. Additionally, the sharing economy gives many opportunities to maximize usage of possessions like your car and your home; it also leads to new business models where we trust individuals instead of corporations, making those reviews that much more important. While I was in the block chain course this semester as well, NFTs were such a hot topic we discussed it just as much in Digital Transformation as we did in that class. It allowed for a better, deeper understanding of what is relevant and important today so we can apply it ourselves, or understand how and where new technology can be applied going forward. It was a perfect way to keep things fresh and relevant.

All in all, this was one of my favorite classes at BC, while circumstances certainly helped put a halo around the class, I truly believe this was one of the more valuable courses I was a part of in the program thanks to everyone who was in it. Congrats to everyone in the Class of 2021 and go eagles!

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  1. Longbg · ·

    Well said, Ryan. This class really put you in a different mindset on how to view technology in the future to come. I found myself overcoming a lot of fear and bias towards the evolution of these economic trends. The material and ideas represented focused your attention on how to change with these trends and also how to become a force of change in your organization. It forced you to challenge the accepted practices and really focus on what disruptive force would need to be incorporated into a firm’s strategy.

  2. I agree that this class should be a capstone to the MBA at BC. The idea that this class teaches you how to approach disruption is very true. We learned about many different types of technologies but more importantly we learned how to approach learning those topics. Going forward I will use that to guide how I think about things in the workplace and my personal life.

  3. For several years, I had students both for the first class as freshman and the last class as seniors (Luke K. fell into that category). I don’t think I’ve ever had a freshman and the last MBA class, though. So, you are in a category of your own! I’ve found that the “teach students how to learn” strategy has held up pretty well for 10 years in this field!

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