The task was this: Students are supposed to do an extemporaneous wherein they would try to connect two seemingly unrelated topics. Each student was given 10 minutes to prepare, and a minimum of 10 minutes to do the speech. My first thought was, "Yikes! 10 minutes is far too long!" Since I had the most difficult statements, I had the option to "Call A Friend". I chose Ms. Rhea, since she has always been my partner in class, at least for this term.
The Statements assigned to me:
- While a company's information environment will be the site of most management initiatives, it's always rooted in the broader organizational environment, including the overall business situation, existing technology investment, and physical arrangement.
- I am not as smart as people said a few years ago, and not as dumb as they say now.
Measurement Criteria for Grading:
- What is the significance of the topic in your life/career?
- How are you going to address the topic to be for your advantage?
- What benefits will it give you?
- How do you make it beneficial for others?
As I had discussed in the class, the one word that links the two statements is this: KNOWLEDGE. Of course, since I had to make use of the 10 minutes allotted me, I had to tell a story of my geeky childhood, my geeky college life, and equally geeky work life. By the word "geek", I did not mean that I did nothing but study. I believe the word for that is "nerd".
By "geek", I meant that I had the tools since I was a child and I knew how to make good use of them. I was the kid who had cool dot matrix reports while the rest of the class either submitted handwritten or typewritten reports. I made use of Print Shop and Print Master and since I was the only kid in class who had a PC -- green monochromatic monitor and 5+" floppy drive -- I was able to dazzle my teachers with my hi-tech presentations. I didn't have the best grades (or brains) in class, but the teachers noticed that I had smarts because they probably didn't get bored reading through my reports. In high school, I was also the first kid to have a colored printer.
This trend of impressing teachers with my hi-tech reports went on in college. I didn't enroll in a computer course because back then I only wanted to get into UP, and we all know that UP isn't exactly a school for the PC savvy. While the rest of my classmates traveled from one UP campus library to another, sometimes it'd be UP Diliman and sometimes it'd be UP Los Baños, I traveled less. I was also the first person in my block to have access to the internet. We already had it back when it first arrived in the Philippines, when 30 hours cost about a thousand bucks. I simply had the tools and I knew how to use them. And a lot of people thought I was so smart to have gotten so much information in nearly 1/4th the time it would've taken me.
How I dealt with schoolwork is basically the same as how I had fun. I was a gamer. The same tools I'd use for schoolwork are exactly the same tools I use for entertainment. I would dissect a game and analyze it, turn it inside out. I loved this hobby so much that I ended up doing review websites dedicated to gaming (and mostly anime/manga). Well, back then, I was also one of the few people in my country who actually knew HTML. It was this same zeal for dissecting games (and programming in general) that got me a job as a Gameplay Specialist for Level Up! Inc. Basically I was hired for my knowledge. I was hired for my adept use of the existing technology that the company had invested in. That was my role in the company's information environment.
Unfortunately, you can't always be smart or on top of things 24/7. Being in IT, one can tell when one is becoming obsolete. Our technology advances so fast that if you do not know how to cope, you'd end up with a stagnating grey matter. To rub salt into the wound, there were a lot of managerial decisions that I felt were in violation of my principles as a gamer. Somehow, I felt like I was hired for my knowledge but now the knowledge itself isn't enough. I did not like feeling like I was dumb, since I could only see one perspective. I mean, all my life I believed I was smart and resourceful, even if I'm not really as smart as everyone thought I was. To suddenly feel obsolete is just downright depressing. Especially when the kind of work you do plays a huge part in the company's information environment.
My solution? I had to step back, and try to understand the business from a whole new perspective. What is the overall business situation? What are the subcomponents that align our information environment to the rest of our organizational environment. The only way I could be of use to both myself and the people I work with is if I had another level of understanding. That was the first step in the process, realizing my shortcomings and trying to strengthen it by strengthening my natural skills. Thus comes the Master in Information Management, which is only the beginning, I suppose. The application is the next big step in finding out if I have indeed learned anything at all. Once I grasp this, I believe I will be a better, more productive part of our organization and that would benefit me and everyone else.
So what happened to the extemporaneous? I was able to finish my speech at the 10th minute, and I asked Ms. Rhea to wrap things up at the 11th minute. I only hope that I made actual sense. Next journal entry would be about the evolution of Quality Processes. We've only discussed a bit of it after the pre-test yesterday, but we'll be doing the full blown report next week.
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