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Wednesday, 14 August 2013 08:08

Leaders and technology literacy

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The government’s increasing reliance on technology to engage with the public, provide services, and streamline back office processes means that leaders of today and tomorrow must have a firm understanding of how these technologies work. With developments like cloud computing and social media gaining prevalence, we must push ourselves to build a more comprehensive knowledge base.

Technological literacy, of course, goes well beyond knowing how to use a computer or type up a tweet; it requires an understanding of what technology is, how it developed, and the ways it can be used to communicate, solve problems, and improve our lives in many aspects.

It’s easy to see, then, why is it important for leaders to build technological literacy into their knowledge base. Important decisions involving these technologies must be made on an increasing basis – decisions which cannot be left to IT workers who may not be in a position to make them. Leaders who have little understanding of technology cannot effectively advise or create policy relating to it.

Yet acquiring these skills is not a simple task. In the past decade, we’ve made leaps and strides in the area of technological advancement, and it’s not always easy to keep up with the changing times. There is little question that managers should learn as many skills as they can for themselves; but in the event that they have not acquired the necessary knowledge, what options do they have?

Technology training courses for executives are a possibility, should organizations be willing to support such initiatives financially. Failing that, there are always IT professionals in the office whom leaders can turn to for an explanation.

Do you think technological literacy is adequately addressed in the workplace? Is it something you think is important? Let us know in the comments.

Read 1577 times Last modified on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 08:18
Amy Allen

Amy Allen is a freelance writer and editor with Where magazine in Ottawa, and a former intern and staff writer with Canadian Government Executive magazine.

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