Net, Leadership and the Future.

Weinberger (2011) argues that books are limiting and narrowly focused. Books fail to show the complexity and diversity and divergence of perspectives as the Net shows. What I got from Weinberger’s (Weinberger, 2014) talk is that the Net and big data give us the luxury of inclusiveness. This allows us the opportunity to see that knowledge is not edited out and lost or narrowed due to limitations of space (in books and old data) or focus (in books), but included. Weinberger sees this as very advantageous because a lot of knowledge that may be ultimately meaningful can be lost through filtering out. This is no longer necessary. Filtering only means that we need slightly more clicks to reach the information we need.

Husband (n.d.) defines wireachy as “a dynamic two-way flow of  power and authority, based on knowledge, trust, credibility and a focus on results, enabled by interconnected people and technolog.” He argues that this emergent approach to work is changing the organizational relationship and structure in the workplace. Thus, the traditional hierarchy model’s “command and control” is giving way to the “champion and channel” (Husband, n.d.) approach. This invites a leadership approach that is less authoritarian, and more socially collaborative in the Net across organizations, time zones and national boundaries. One of the skills that leaders and workers will need, given the diminishment of authoritarian and status-based authority will be emotional intelligence.

Gartner’s (2010) predictions about the nature of the work place in the future are reasonable. Due to advance in technology, the work that will be expected of humans will be the non-routinized ones because the routinized can be mechanized. Those with developed emotional intelligence will be in a better position in a work place that is fluid and not based on hierarchy.

From Gartner’s description, the workplace, highly influenced by the New will be quite effective. Technology will drive this effectiveness, and swarms (teams) will easily emerge to respond to urgent tasks. The network engendered by the Net will help people be more effective by collaborating across previously difficult divides. However, this work place has its weaknesses. This weakness includes possible stress and over-work since technology makes people work more. Furthermore, it may blur the divide between a work and family/private life since work may be done from anywhere. The fluidity of the work place where teams (swarms) emerge and disappear may not encourage deep relationships in the work place and may discourage fulfillment that comes with these types of relationship. This can cause more turnovers.

One of the immediate impacts of the changing workplace environment is the fact that workers are being expected to learn more and more new skills to help them become relevant in a workplace where technology is becoming more and more important. Dishman (2016) points to this. From my experience and those in my organization, people are seeking out relevant training in the Net and taking these trainings online.


Dishman, L. (2016, December 15). These are the top 5 workplace trends. FC LEADERSHIP. Retrieved from

Gartner identifies six. (2014, May 21). Gartner. Retrieved from

Gartner says the world of work. (2010, August 4). Gartner. Retrieved from

Husband, J. (n.d.). What is wirearchy? Retrieved from

Weinberger, D. (2014, October 22). David Weinberger on the power of the internet. Retrieved from

Weinberger, D. (2011). Too big to know: Rethinking knowledge now tht the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from


12 thoughts on “Net, Leadership and the Future.

  1. I agree that books limit and narrow are the focus but at the same time, I think audio books could be given new life if there was a way to keep information in the book current. The internet is a wonderful tool but sometimes there is so much information to filter through it is hard to find what we need. Books did filter information down, but you also received the information you needed. I know that search engines like Bing do help in the filtering of information and hyperlinks also narrow that search more but I wonder if there is a way for people to have the ability to narrow the search down even further and then be able to separate what is real. I have no idea if this is possible but I wonder if audiobooks could provide us with the ability to narrow information that has been fact checked. I do not always trust what I read on the internet but have no real way of verifying.



    • SONeal,
      A dilemma of the Internet is an overabundance of information and the quality of most of this information is questionable. It will help us a great deal to be able to identify the quality of the information we receive online. Currently, the responsibility is on the user to assess the information they receive and make appropriate decision. I hope, that this challenge will encourage the emergence of online systems that may help in the verification of the authenticity of information.

      Currently, I try to cross reference information I receive from the internet with other credible sources of similar information. This will help me make a value judgment.

      I have not made use of Audio books a lot. I, however, have found digital books quite useful in searching for themes and things within the book. This helps to ensure that knowledge, even if narrowly focused, can be assessed.

      Thanks for your comments.


  2. You mention that Emotional Intelligence will be a key aspect of a successful leader. Daniel Goleman, the father of emotional intelligence, defines the concept as a combination of four factors: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and relationship skills (Goleman, 2012). As we become a world that is more focused on technology and using our devices, why does emotional intelligence become such a necessity? I’m curious about your thoughts.


    Goleman, D. (2012). Daniel Goleman introduces emotional intelligence [video]. Retrieved from


    • Andrea,
      Thanks for your remarks and reference to Goleman (2012). Robbins and Judge (2016) also talk about emotional intelligence and point out that it is perceived to enhance collaboration and effectiveness in the work place. Emotional Intelligence will become more valuable as we become more dependent on technology for many reasons. Husband (n.d.) argues that in a world characterized by the interconnectedness of the Internet, there will be a lot more reliance on group/team work. Gartner (2010) refers to it when he talked about the concept of “swarming” as work teams that easily converge to solve a problem and immediately disperse when the work is done. These collaborative team efforts definitely require a lot of emotional intelligence in leaders whose role will involve moderating and bringing together these teams. Also, Husband (n.d.) explains that the Internet will encourage a working environment where positional authority, status and hierarchy will be deemphasized. This will need leaders who are very perceptive and are able to lead and motivate others through their emotional intelligence. Furthermore, human relationship may be adversely affected because, people may spend more time connecting through the Internet and less through face-to-face to face encounters. The art of relating is leant through social encounters. When this diminishes due to the amount of time spent on technology-based work environment and social networking in our smart devices, this skill may diminish, making it important for leaders who have these skills to be sought. Such leaders will also be needed to help animate work-groups and coach their teams to develop this vital soft skill.

      Thanks again for your remarks. I wonder if this is any helpful.


      Gartner says the world of work. (2010, August 4). Gartner. Retrieved from

      Goleman, D. (2012, April 22). Daniel Goleman introduces emotional intelligence. Big Think. Retrieved from

      Husband, J. (n.d.). What is wirearchy? Retrieved from

      Robbins, S. P. & Judge, T. A. (2016). Essentials of organizational behavior [Kindle version]. Retrieved from


      • Absolutely! I completely agree with you. While we connect more online, we will still need to talk with others and work together to solve problems. Showing that we have empathy and care about people – more than just about their work tasks – will go a long way to preserving the social aspect of work, which is one of the key aspects of any job! Thank you for your thoughts!


        Liked by 1 person

      • Andrea and Edletech:
        I am learning something from your discussions of emotional intelligence. Do either of you believe that EI will be increasingly important because technology can cause social isolation? At least is seems many people use technology as their most frequent means of communication.
        Randy Roberts


  3. Hello Edleltech,

    You are correct that the internet is a double-edged sword. The web allows people to search for information without filters and to make their own decisions about what is worthy and/or valuable information without the benefit of book authors or editors as suggested by Weinberger (2011) in chapter 6. However, as you pointed out this direct access to web based material leads to information overload and extra work for people since they have to spend additional time serving as their own editors. I know all of us have started a search on the web only to come up for air hours later after following dozens of hyperlinks to not only go off track but finding ourselves reading from a web page that has nothing to do with our original search, a phenomenon some term going down the ‘Wikihole’. Like you and as Dishman (2016) points out, I am also seeing employees in my own agency seeking out more on-line training as a way to stay competitive. Analytics are also starting to make inroads at my organization in addition to the role they can play in human resources as suggested in Dishman’s (2016) article. I am a fan of analytics and encourage its use at my agency since to me, the information is usually readily available for the taking and can provide feedback for me as a supervisor on the needs of my team members along with providing metrics for our successful and non-successful programs. Are you seeing anything similar to analytics and/or big data at your own organization in line with Dishman’s (2016) forecasting trends? Ben Hammer


    Dishman, L. (2016, December 15). These are the top 5 workplace trends. Fast Company. Retrieved from

    Weinberger, D. (2011). Too big to know: Rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room. New York: Basic Books.


    • Hammer,
      Thanks for your comments. Ordinarily, our organization does not make use of analytics. We have a lot to learn in this area. I know that our Director of Communication does use it sometimes to understand the traffic and interest on our website. The advantages and importance of analyzing the available data is much. But it can raise ethical concerns about using the information from peoples’ online behviour without their knowledge. Also, using these information to influence the decisions of persons without their knowing. Do these bother you as well?


      Stedman, C.. (n.d.). Data analytics (DA). SearchDataManagement. Retrieved from


      • Hi Edeltech,

        It does not present an ethical issue for me if the analytics we are collecting includes information such as sites visited, likes for certain blog posts, and tag clouds that track the popularity or unpopularity of a keywords on websites. To me, this is public information since most users understand that there is no inherent right to privacy especially if they are using a workplace computer or mobile device. Ben Hammer


  4. I, too, agree that books limit and narrow one’s focus, which can be a good and a bad thing. I also agree with your stand on emotional intelligence, which is becoming more and more necessary in today’s workplace, where workers know their worth, regardless of their place in the organization’s hierarchy. Do you think the Gartner and FastCompany predictions helped the issue, or did they confuse it?


  5. Thanks for your post. I found a number of the predictions made by Gartner (2010) quite reasonable. Some are trends that are already emerging. For instance the talk about “Pattern Sensitivity”, “My Place”, “Working with Collectives”, “Weak Links”, “De-routinization of Work” quite relevant. The drive to use the data are available on the net are already driving business. Online marketing is making use of these data to predict behaviour and do more targeted markettting. HR of companies are using these information for hiring purposes (peoples’ face-book and online accounts are routinely searched before being employed). Swarming is a reality today. In my organization, I just commissioned an artist to create a work of art for one of our institutions. Before casting, the artist wanted to find out if I am satisfied with the mold. I went to see the work yesterday. I had some concerns and I took a picture of the work, and shared it in organization’s twitter handle, and also shared it with others, around the world, who know a thing or two about art. They sent in comments and I immediately shared them with the artist. Some confirmed my concerns and others helped disabuse me of the concerns I had. I found this consultation and real-time feedback very helpful. This is a case of Swarming (in a little way). Thus, I found Gartner helpful, not confusing. It is interesting that the many of the trends it described over six years ago are becoming the norm today.

    Also, the suggestions it gives (Gartner, 2014) are relevant to the trends it posits. The suggestions emphasize the need to be prepared technologically for change in trends and its impacts on business (opportunities and threats).

    I found the predictions made by Dishman (2016) of Fastcompany reasonable especially the prediction that HR will transform itself and rely on data much more. I find it a bit strange that Fastcompany holds that though there will be automation of work but jobs will not be lost. It sounds ironic (and I know that there is concern that automation of work will lead to unemployment). Similarly, I do though the wage gap between men and women may reduce (based on the data Fastcompany presented), the gap between the wealthy and the poor has continued to increase. Even technology has continued to spur, not reduce this. SO, I do not understand how the wage gap, in the broad sense, will reduce.

    Thus in general, I Gartner and Dishman’s Fastcompany do not confuse issues for me, but, they do raise some questions for me based on what I know.


    Gartner identifies six. (2014, May 21). Gartner. Retrieved from

    Gartner says the world of work. (2010, August 4). Gartner. Retrieved from

    Dishman, L. (2016, December 15). These are the top 5 workplace trends. FC LEADERSHIP. Retrieved from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s