Using Technology to Broaden Students’ Understanding

I recently spoke with Professor Kyle Anderson of Clemson University. Professor Anderson is a unique intersection between accountancy and technology, and, between practitioner and academic. In this podcast he discusses his approach to use technology to move his students beyond the mechanics of accounting and to develop a bigger system-level understanding. He includes practical ideas for implementing such an approach in other courses.

Hear the podcast at:

https://hub.wiley.com/community/exchanges/educate/blog/2018/01/18/using-technology-to-broaden-students-understanding?

 

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Podcast: AI for Actionable Results, Manufacturing Example

In this episode of my podcast, I interview Martin Cloake, President of Raven Telemetry. Martin has a back ground in manufacturing, engineering and is a data analytics AI guy. As we enter the era of Internet of Everything, the world is changing to data driven decision making. However, as Martin discusses, this provides the opportunity to move beyond analytics and presentation of data into the world of actionable analytics results.

 

Podcast link: https://hub.wiley.com/community/exchanges/develop/blog/2018/02/09/transforming-data-analytics-into-actionable-results

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See my entrepreneurship simulation

see my open call for podcast people to be interviewed click here

 

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Diversity of Thought in an AI World

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Diversity is often touted as a desirable attribute in the modern organization, an interesting focus is diversity of thought, that is often expressed as desirable in entrepreneurship courses. Diversity of thought is having people around you that think differently thus helping to incorporate new ideas into today’s solution approaches.

What about when we are working with Artificial Intelligent (AI) systems? Where will diversity of thought be? An AI system could possibly analyze the data, make and implement a decision or parts of it. An AI system could learn ethics and even human emotional responses to decisions and thus incorporate these factors into the decision. So where does that leave us humans? And the concept of diversity of thought?

An AI system can extrapolate patterns and inferences from its data and thus apply these patterns to new situations perhaps even considering 2nd and 3rd order consequences of its decisions. We humans have experiences that we have used to make inferences, as AI becomes more prevalent in the organizational environment, humans can continue to add value by learning from experiences not captured in data available to an AI system, for example, based on past data who would have thought 20 years ago that people wanted to text on their phones?

Humans can focus on asking the right questions for the AI to answer.

So humans might still have a role in the new AI era by approaching a decision as if there is no box while AI will consider the box. As well as understanding what the world should be going and thus ask the right questions to get the organization moving in the right direction.

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There is an entrepreneurship simulation available for educational institutions see here.

Followership is the New Leadership

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Followership is a relatively lesser used term than leadership. Lots of organizations have leadership training very few have followership training, in our modern organizations, this is changing.

Effective followers tend to be those individuals who challenge their leader’s decisions and implement those decisions keeping in mind the intent of the decision as well as the explicit directions given in the decision. Challenging the leader’s decision rationale helps ensure that the decision incorporates the realities of implementation and doesn’t become bogged down in old ways of thinking. Understanding intent or the “why” of the decision helps the follower adapt the decision nuances to the reality of the implementation situation as it evolves.

Today’s business environment tends to have more real time attributes than in decades past and thus the value of followership has increased. Gone are the days in which autocratic leaders made decisions and followers merely implemented them. Today’s followers have to be part of decision making in a real time environment partly because there isn’t time for the leader to be the bottle neck in a decision. This suggests that leadership is more about creating the setting or tools such that appropriate decisions can be made rather than making the decisions by themselves.

The top takeaway for creating effective followership:

Provide followers the decision making toolkit which includes:

–         Actively participating in the decision,

–         The rationale of the decision so they can adapt the decision to the realities of the business environment this means an implementation that can exploit nuanced opportunities and reduce mistakes arising from the decision,

–         Motivation,

–         Positive supportive organizational culture,

–         Necessary relevant information; and

–         Decision making guidelines.

This environment includes an understanding of calculated risks taken, a follower centric leadership, the information, analysis tools and decision making guidelines that the follower needs to adapt and evolve the information quickly as the decision implementation meets reality.

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Check out my ethics, project management and entrepreneurship simulations

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OPEN CALL for guests on a new podcast series.

Hosted by James Bowen and Wiley&Sons

The theme of the podcast is an exchange of actionable best practices between academics and practitioners, academics and academics, practitioners and practitioners. The podcast discussion is practical in focus conveying thought leadership ideas which the listeners can implement.

Guests will include practitioners or academics with best practices ideas for either practitioners and/or academics.

The podcast will be interview style and be approximately 30 minutes. The format will be for the guest to:

  •         introduce themselves and the issues or problem that they will be addressing in the podcast this might also cover trends,
  •         outline their best practice idea, its implications and implementation suggestions,
  •        discuss future possible directions for the issue and best practices,
  •         summarize with actionable takeaways for the audience.

Themes can include:

  •          Business topics such as project management, supply chain management, globalization, ethics, corporate governance, environmentalism, marketing, human resources, entrepreneurship, technology, strategy, leadership, organizational culture, motivation, sales, finance, accounting, investing.
  •         Structures to thought such as creative and innovative thinking, the ability to be adaptive, risk, metrics, processes, analytics, transparency, accountability and implementation approaches of ideas.
  •          Academic learning topics such as experiential learning, student evaluation, knowledge application, continuous learning, learning aids such as videos, simulations and books.

The podcast is not academic or a tutorial in nature but focuses on insights that are actionable by the audience.

If you have an interesting set of insights, drop me line.

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Role of IT in supply chain management

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The goal of supply chain management has traditionally been expressed around the right product at the right time in the right place concept, and to increase effectiveness and efficiency.

Supply chain management is more than the movement of goods and money, increasingly it’s about the value of information. Information in real time can be used to find micro duration opportunities and exploit them, and, information about goals, trends, intentions, solutions and problems can be used to create a collaborative environment.

What about the role of information technology (IT) in supply chain management?

We could argue that matching supply and demand perfectly would be a desirable goal with tremendous benefits. However, forecasts or an understanding of requirements tend to have an element of uncertainty. Thus reducing uncertainty in all elements of the supply chain, for example, in forecasts, schedules, market needs, etc is of value.

Any type of forecast or requirement could have a range of possibilities where we tend to choose the most likely possibility or value, what if we had perfect information such that we knew with certainty the actual amount or product attributes required? This would eliminate the need to link forecast values with likelihood estimates since the forecast would equal the actual outcome. While ideal and difficult to ever obtain, an IT system that reduces uncertainty around our information moves us closer to the ideal.

Therefore, a value that IT can bring to supply chain management is the ability to help eliminate the fog of uncertainty.
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Project Management in the IoT and AI Era

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PM metrics need to be more future oriented to include the ability of the deliverable to evolve and adapt.

Currently with project management we use the traditional metrics of cost, schedule, and achievable of requirements (deliverables including quality).

As we move into the internet of everything era, where AI could manage projects, many of our deliverables whether they are a house, an IT system or a marketing campaign will be expected to evolve and adapt over time.

Given that technology will make it possible that our deliverables will be more akin to a platform than a static delivered asset we need project management metrics that incorporate a measure of this new type of ability.

As a platform, we expect it to adapt over time as requirements change, for example, a house needs to have the ability to adapt to the environment, and to the occupant. In addition, our house needs to evolve to incorporate new technology as it becomes available.

As such, metrics that project management should incorporate is the ability of the deliverable, after the project has ended, to:

–         evolve over time to new innovations

–         adapt to new requirements of the user

This need to adapt and evolve would appear to hold true for many industries/professions including marketing campaigns, IT initiatives and even new product development. This suggests that PM metrics need be updated to include the future potential of the initiative.

There is an project management simulation available for educational institutions see here.

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