In my first ever blog post for #ISYS8621 about Twitter introducing Birdwatch, I used the tweet below to show the less serious side of Twitter. The tweet made reference to a Nickelodeon classic, Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. Here we are a few months later and many ISYS8621 classes wiser and I am making my own survival guide. My survival guide focuses on a few tips I have learned along the way from ISYS8621 in class and in practice, that have related to strategies we have learned in digital transformation.
Tip #1: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room”
Throughout my time at Boston College, I can confidently say I was never the smartest person in the room, and that is the beauty of having the privilege to study at BC. This tip also does come with a little secret as well, I’m actually an undergrad in the Class of 2021. I am so grateful to have been able to take this MBA course and learn not only from Professor Kane but the MBA students who are not only are extremely well educated, but also experienced. Learning about different topics and strategies for organizations to transform digitally is one thing, but hearing about how students experience digital technologies and transformation with their organizations has been one of the most beneficial parts of the class for me. Not having experience beyond two summer internships, one being via zoom this past summer, I have benefitted greatly and feel as hearing from other’s first-hand experience has enhanced my education on this topic.
As for how this applies to organizations digital transformation, as Professor Kane shares in Chapter 8 of the technology fallacy, continual learning and curiosity are key to driving organizational transformations. The ability to allow employees to learn and grow from each other, as seen successfully done at Salesforce, is key to setting up for success.
Tip #2: Culture is king
I’m not going to lie, I for most of my time at Boston College was a culture skeptic. I always thought it was just a buzzword and didn’t really make much of a difference in organizations. Let’s just say that that view has made a full 360. I now am a huge believer in culture, and think that our classroom this semester was the perfect example of how leadership influences culture and how good culture makes a huge difference. From the get go Professor Kane had great energy and made it clear that the class was going to be interactive and we would all learn from each other. Knowing his values of participation, engagement, and our opinions, the class responded extremely well and the culture in the classroom continued to build. Not only did that come from Professor Kane, but from students as well, as when everyone in the class participated and showed thought inclusion, I felt drawn to engage as well. One of my main assessments of classes I take is how often I look at the clock, and even from 7-9:30pm on Wednesday nights, after I have already sat through 4.5 hours of class, I barely ever checked to see how close to the end of class we were. All of this, I believe can be attributed to the culture built in the classroom not only by Professor Kane, but by other students as well.
As for digital transformation, as read about in “The Technology Fallacy”, culture needs to be intentional and lived throughout every aspect in the organization consistently. Culture is key in many situations to driving digital transformation, and as seen from our classroom, having a leader that provides vision and purpose and empowers people to think differently is vital (Chapter 7). Culture is not just a buzzword and there is much behind the term that can add value to not only our classroom, but organizations.
Tip #3: Be Consistent and Take Risks
Last November, before registration started, I saw that Professor Kane was teaching a Digital Transformation class. Professor Kane is one of those professors at BC you constantly hear great things about, especially being interested in tech. I had even more interest in taking a course with him before graduating since my roommate Sara had been a research assistant for “The Transformation Myth”. I reached out on a limb to see if there was any crazy chance he would let an undergrad senior join the course, and here I am. I knew there was no harm in asking and am so thankful I took the risk of looking crazy to think I could take an MBA class to reach out.
In the classroom, Professor Kane has stressed the idea of a consistent course load that would pay off in the end, and as I write my final blog I can without a doubt say that it did. The class was also consistent in engagement, especially in Twitter discussions where we rarely let a minute go to waste. This consistency also set the precedent of engagement in the class and allowed the class to learn from each other. Consistency can be translated outside of the classroom to digital transformation when speaking of building culture and organizational change. One of the quotes I live by is, “How you do anything is how you do everything”, and this quote ties in well with Professor Kane’s “The Transformation Myth”, which spoke about the need for consistency of a strong culture before disruption to best adapt.
Overall, this has by far been one of my favorite classes during my time at Boston College, while I am obviously sad to graduate, it is classes like these that make me feel a little more prepared for whatever life and my career will throw my way.