How to manage the effects of technology on our lives


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Description of the current characteristics of society and technology and hoe ancient Greek wisdom may help you manage technology.

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How to manage the effects of technology on our lives

  1. 1. How to Manage the Effects of Technology on our Lives John Kyriazoglou, CICA, M.S. B.A (Hon) John Kyriazoglou is a certified internal controls auditor, and international IT and management consultant in the public and private sectors. He is Editor-in-Chief for the Internal Controls Magazine (U.S.A.), on the Board of Directors of Voices of Hellenism Literary Society (U.S.A.) and has published widely on corporate controls, IT management, IT auditing, performance management and Ancient Greek philosophy. He is the author of several books, published by How to Manage the Effects of Technology on our Lives ‘Societies are not static. They change over time. The most obvious changes result from economic and social processes that are constantly in flux’. Raymond Chandler (2012) The first two decades of the 21st century has brought upon all of us an array of perplexing issues and problems which are, by their nature, difficult to manage and resolve to any level of satisfaction: Issues and problems of the 21st century • • • • • • • • • • Continuing world financial crises New technical and scientific developments Starvation of over a billion people across several continents Increased religious, ideological and technology-based terrorism New corporate insider and cyber threats Organised crime operations across many countries Parallel and informal economies with very few government controls Ecological disasters along with deforestation and pollution Increasing regional wars and upheavals New corporate governance, compliance, accountability and reporting regimes, etc. All these impact our life-style (modus vivendi, in the sociological vernacular) and operating mode (modus operandi in the sociological vernacular). The new life-style forces upon all of us a new set of operational factors and transactional characteristics in our societal and human interactions, a new socio-economic operating mode. This set of social interactions is permeated and driven by several socio-technical factors and functional characteristics. International Journal of Professional Management Volume 9, Issue 1, 2014 ISSN 20422341 1
  2. 2. New modus operandi • • • • • • • • • • Globalisation of markets Liberalisation of markets Services economy Lack of governance controls in international fiscal and financial markets, transactions and activities (ACFE 2010 Global Fraud Study) Very fast developments in the fields of information technology, communications, biology, medicine, management, etc. Information plurality, diffusion and potential information over-loading, as well as the increased role of knowledge on a global scale (Johnston, 2012) Increase of the leverage and focus on the needs of customers, the so-called customer-focus approach in all dealings New developments and trends (Galileo Report-The World in 2030) Jan. 2012, as well as new risks on a global scale (World Economic Forum, 2011) Differentiation of the needs and increase of the expectations of better provision of services to citizens, the so-called citizen-based service approach in all public-sector exchanges and transactions Reduction and de-strengthening of the traditional government model of a large central organisation to a model of organisation based on a decentralised approach. The question is what drives and permeates all these? My answer is – technology. Many of us have voluntarily moved to an acceptance of technology as something sacred and trusted, no matter what, but technology is not necessarily all good. What has happened to our previous views about what we hold sacred? This isn’t just about religious or cultural backgrounds. Things that were held sacred in the past mostly ultimately derived from nature. But currently, nature has been desecrated and technology has become the sacred thing in its place. One of the illusions which most mass media and modern marketing has put across to people all over the world today is the belief that technology gives you more freedom, but more freedom to do what? Those who have money have freedom and opportunity. Technology makes it possible to acquire knowledge of the whole world. In that sense, technology has opened up a new world of freedom. But technology has not found answers to our most fundamental issues in our life. • • Where do we come from? What is the point of living? The philosophy of freedom brought by technology disregards these questions. It has destroyed social structures and the system of the philosophy of our life, our concepts of modern society, divinity, and the meaning of our existence in the universe. Technology is omnipresent and a key determinant of economic and social growth. There is, however, no broad understanding of what in its fullest consequence is meant by the term technology, and by its practical manifestation in the typical business enterprise and our modern society and cultures. International Journal of Professional Management Volume 9, Issue 1, 2014 ISSN 20422341 2
  3. 3. Away from the designing engineering and supporting services, there is little understanding of what the essence of technology is, and how it should be understood from a lifecycle perspective, i.e. from conception to retirement, abandonment and ultimate deconstruction. This shortcoming is known to have led to a manifest lack of technological literacy, from schools, to universities, across societies, and also in boardrooms. It also leads to poor technology decisions, with a major impact upon sustainability. An immediate result is that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) are typically treated as the full manifestation of technology in the typical company. But even if ICT is the central component, directors and corporate managers should understand that sustainable technology constitutes a wider reality than recording the carbon footprint or the impact of ubiquitous PC networks, web-enabled services, or large corporate data centre. Technology incorporated in practical solutions does not lead or add to more human wisdom. Technology also obliges us to live more quickly, and to spend less time in inner reflection. It gives the impression that you can know what you must do without any thinking. We no longer set aside time after an experience to think about it, consider, and reflect. We have replaced reflection with reflex. Everything depends on reflexes. The only thing technology requires you to do, is: Don’t think about it. Use your reflexes. Because of its efficiency technology leads to more power, but also to more dangers. For efficiency is everything. All else is peripheral. If you do not use power wisely you will end up doing more harm than good. So, how can we control technology for our benefit? Man is a social animal, and has learnt from ancient times to live in communities. The family, however, is the group that provides a safe life full of love and security. Family helps shape our personality, and our lives, teaching us the value of love, affection, care, truthfulness and self-confidence, and provides us tools and suggestions so we can find success in life. Family is a place where you can be yourself, where you are accepted for what you are, where you can be tension free and everyone is there to help you. Family encourages you when you are surrounded by problems. It helps you survive through tough times and bring joy and happiness into life. They help us make strong relationships and bonds with others. The family helps to bring decency and dignity into our lives, which is necessary for a happy and balanced life. One of the most important aims of our life is to build a successful and highly rewarding career. Our families help us in creating a strong future, and gives valuable perceptions about career possibilities. It not only guides us in choosing the best but also financially helps us to cover the expenses of education. Thus it helps us in making a good future. Today, most people, including senior and middle managers and professionals, don't realise the importance of the family. They prefer to spend most of their time with their friends. But when they are surrounded by problems, it is generally the family that helps. It is important to value and invest in the family. It is difficult, if not impossible, to live happily, survive and prosper without the support and long-term bonds of a family. Parents are considered to be the most valuable thing for all human beings. We have an obligation to honour and support our parents, and to support, love, provide for, and educate our children. It is our responsibility because we brought them into the world. International Journal of Professional Management Volume 9, Issue 1, 2014 ISSN 20422341 3
  4. 4. The family has long been honoured. The Ancient Greek thinkers said: ‘Every person must honour his (or her) parents’ (Aeschylus), ‘Family is the cell of life’ (Aristotle), ‘The person who does not take care of his (or her) parents is an enemy of both people and Gods’ (Dimosthenis), ‘There are three rules to be followed by anyone who wants to be right: To love his (or her) parents, to love other human beings and to love what is just’ (Euripides), ‘We should behave towards our parents the same way we would want our children to behave towards us’ (Isocrates), ‘Correct education is one therapeutic way for our soul’ (Plato), ‘There are three bases that contribute to a child’s good upbringing: Nature, education and exercise’ (Plutarch), and ‘Education comprises the festive activities of the soul, as it includes many games, events and activities that support and improve our souls’ (Socrates). The meaning of this analysis for people including managers to manage technology is that: • • They should take into consideration the fact that families are most important for their employees and associates, They should be more considerate when they see that their inordinate demands may, many times, conflict with the family life of their subordinates and associates, and They, therefore, should seek a more truthful and harmonious balance between their thoughts (what they instruct that should be done in absolute terms) and expectations (what is likely to be done by others). References 1. ACFE 2010 Global Fraud Study, available at: 2. Chandler, Richard (2012): ‘Galileo Report-The World in 2010’, page 3, 3. Galileo Report-The World in 2030, Jan. 2012, at: 4. Johnston, David, Governor-General of Canada (2012): The Diplomacy of Knowledge, Globe and Mail Newspaper, Feb. 17, 2012, 5. Kyriazoglou, J, 2013, Ancient Greek Pearls of Wisdom for the 21st Century (see 6. World Economic Forum, January 2011, Global Risks, 2011-Sixth Edition’, International Journal of Professional Management Volume 9, Issue 1, 2014 ISSN 20422341 4