The Final Blog for #ISYS8621
Why I like being being different:
This class was supposed to be different. Starting from the syllabus, my initial reaction to this class was, well that’s weird. We read a lot of articles, two books, had some great class discussions, and learned from one another through presentations. We held our own topics for learning about in class. #starlink #greytech #captcha #polkadot #AR #VR #IoT #cyber #art #…well there were a lot….just to name a few. We learned about different topics of digital transformation that I probably would never have learned about unless it was in the Wall Street Journal. Learning from one another, even just for 8(plus) minutes opened my perspective to other types of technology that were not showing on my horizon. Taking a different approach to learning opened up new and interest perspective for me, and I appreciated getting to know each of my classmates by observing and commenting on their presentations.
Why I don’t like being different:
I needed two memes to really encapsulate the feelings I have with arguing against change. While I think there is value in both this “different” model of instruction/learning, I also really like the traditional MBA style classes. I feel like I’m yelling at new technology and that my opinions about the positive effects of a traditional MBA style class are worthy of a few eye-rolls.
While being different is great, there are key a lot of benefits I’ve seen in other classes that were absent these past 12 weeks. Personally, I’m a big fan of case studies and seeing how companies or organizations went through real and actual change. Coming off of one of the, if the not the biggest disruptions to the workforce, digital transformation, and increasing use of digital tools, ever, I was hoping to expound on the effects, future behaviors, and potential blue ocean strategies that companies have or might exploit exploited in the future, and how that will have an effect on future graduates and management leaders.
What I Have Learned
This is how I felt about three weeks ago. Perhaps a bit internally pessimistic about the way the class was going, I was overcome at the end of class with a feeling that helped explain this entire class. That class we had gone into another small group discussion and I really felt that, finally…all the pieces are coming together in this class…but for very different reasons than I thought would be apparent. I enjoyed getting to know my classmates. I knew their twitter handles and have read their blog posts. I had seen them present in class and I had heard them discuss various (FAANG, rrr MAANG) topics in class, but finally I was able to piece everything about them together via in person discussions, together. Personalities were finally shining through, some of our guards had dropped and real personal interactions had started.
I learned that behind the twitter handles, the in-person twitter feed discussions, and the presentations, and the value of this class was with each other. Which, during this period of separation from the pandemic and working at home, showed me that there is extreme value for me to find relationships with the people I work with past only work. Before the pandemic, companies set up their offices to encourage interactions outside of a meeting. Netflix has personal interactions baked into their philosophy to create innovation and ideas. Google tries to have lines at the cafeteria so that people engage in conversation with someone they wouldn’t otherwise. And, yes I still think there’s value in getting together with two of your work besties and beating that absolute ___ out of a printer out of sheer frustration.
So What’s My Main Takeaway?
In a class centered around #digitaltransformation I’ve learned that there are a plethora of ways to transform. Each of our guest speakers touched on different topics about how their job or industry has transformed. You don’t have to be totally digital, you don’t have to be totally cloud based, you don’t have to be on the edge…companies need to transform and keep up with the pace of transformation in their competitive market, but overall, we need what’s best to increase shareholder value. In this past class, what increased my shareholder value were the personal interactions I had with my classmates. If I could change one thing about this class it would be to try and expedite those bonds earlier in the semester. Maybe it was just me, maybe others formed those relationships before I was able to…regardless I’m happy I was able to. I’ll bring this lesson with me to my next venture, which happens to be a technology company. I’ll remember that the fruits of this class were not just the academic topics learned, but the bonds and interesting interactions between classmates at snack time….Wait…was snack time discussion my design?! Did Professor Kane know what he was doing all along?! Did I just get catfished?!