Tech Fluency

Contributed article by Yvonne Burton of Burton Consulting International and Silicon Valley Alliance Associate.

Technological fluency is a major part of global business skills and in the age of remote work, the need for companies to have Tech Fluency has become more and more apparent. I work mainly with Japanese companies and although many major corporations are proactive in utilizing technology to the fullest, I find that an equal number are not. Whether, small, medium, or large, many Japanese companies are behind in using technology tools for maximum benefit and suffering for it.

This first article provides a general introduction to the theme,  a look at what is missing and the state that a lot of companies found themselves in when the pandemic propelled all of the world into remote work. Some companies seamlessly adapted, but for many others, it was and continues to be more of a challenge. Going forward, I will be writing more on this theme and what companies can and should be doing to increase fluency.

‘Tech Fluency’ was first published on JapanCulture-NYC where, as Business Editor, I write a bi-monthly column. I am re-posting the complete article here.

Technological Fluency

That is a mouthful. I call it Tech Fluency.

What is Tech Fluency?

Let me define it by looking at its components.

Technology: Techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives.

Fluency: The quality or condition of being fluent. In addition, it is also defined as the ability to express oneself easily and articulately. It is usually applied to languages.

In this article, I am taking creative license and applying fluency to the language of technology to describe the level of proficiency and/or comfort in using the technological tools and applications that are needed to perform work responsibilities.Continue reading

Make Smart Mistakes To Achieve Impossible Goals

Originally published on Forbes 14 Oct. 2014.

Author: Kimberly Wiefling

Like most kids, I was taught to avoid mistakes. Perfection was the goal, and errors were punished—sometimes with lower grades, and occasionally with a swat on the behind. Imperfection wasn’t rewarded in adulthood either, where a narrow definition of beauty left me wishing I had a supermodel figure and a more attractive face. Then came the innovation era in the business world. Suddenly we were supposed to cast off years of perfectionism and become wildly creative.

Unfortunately, a famous NASA study showed that the typical 98% creativity scores of five-year-olds falls to a mere 2% by the time these same children become adults. Creativity is messy! The creative path is dotted with imperfection and temporary setbacks, sometimes called failure. We learn to avoid mistakes, and thus stop expressing our creativity, in order to survive in our families, at school, and at work.

Here are five ways to breathe new life into the creativity with which you were born. (For the rest of this, please see the full article on Forbes here.)

How To Get Motivated To Achieve

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Motivation is the reason you get out of bed in the morning. You’re motivated to go to work and earn money to enjoy living. Sometimes this motivation can suffer a setback and not always because of a perceivable reason. There isn’t always one clear reason why your levels of motivation dip, and it can be the culmination of a few factors. For the times when you can’t quite put your finger on the cause, you’re best off to implement a healthy lifestyle and to get out and enjoy your time more often. As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a sad boy,” so endeavor to enjoy yourself as well as work hard. You need to maintain a balance if you’re going to stay motivated and determined to succeed.Continue reading

Think Smart Not Hard: 52 Key Principles to Success and Happiness

Here’s an excerpt from a great new book chock full of wisdom. Enjoy! – Kimberly

“A lack of motivation holds some people back as well as a desire to stand up and dust themselves off when they fall. They think it isn’t worth the effort, that it’s too much work.

It’s so much easier to spend weekends marathoning the latest season of the hottest new drama or liking the endless stream of cat videos on social media. To those people, it’s a conscious choice to trade in their hopes and dreams and become a voyeur of someone else’s.

Not to say anything’s wrong with unwinding at the end of the day for some much-needed R&R, but, make no mistake, if you choose to indulge in someone else’s dream instead of living your own, it’s a choice you’re making. You must decide for yourself if you want to watch someone else live his or her desire or if you want to live your own.

Continue reading

Wellbeing Doesn’t Always FEEL . . . well . . . WELL!

Here’s how I’m facing this year’s daunting challenges. Who’s in? – Kimberly

With all of the hatred unleashed in the 2016 US elections, I’ve been struggling to regain my send of wellbeing. Then I remembered . . .

WELLBEING ISN’T NECESSARILY EASY. Sometimes I fret that “wellbeing” will be misinterpreted as “Life should always be easy.” How dull would that be?!! My work mostly involves tackling challenges that most people claim are very difficult, highly unlikely, or darned near impossible, and I find the work absolutely exhilarating! Yes, I feel quite “well” when I’m in the midst of such circumstances, meeting tough challenges while shaking in my boots, staying committed to results that seem unattainable. Wahoo! For me, wellbeing isn’t endless days of paddling a lazy canoe toward my ultimate resting place (RIP). While I sometimes enjoy the tranquility of a quiet stream, I’m sure I’d go completely bonkers if I had to experience peace, calm and tranquility every moment of my life. Truly.Continue reading

What is Design Thinking? A Powerful Methodology for Projects, but NOT “Thinking About Design”!

(Originally posted on projectconnections.com)

Why do simple and effective approaches to getting things done often become obscured by jargon? For example, way back in the last century when I worked at HP we experienced big changes in the business environment. 20140515-einstein-quote-kwiefling Although layoffs are common at HP these days, back then everyone I knew believed that HP had a “no layoff” policy. As offshoring became commonplace, it became clear that the lifetime employment contract was no longer viable. Executives and HR people started using terms like “career self-reliance” and “workforce resilience” — fancy phrases used to convey a pretty simple message: “You’re on your own when it comes to career development and job security.” Unsurprisingly, thousands of people were laid off over the next few years. Being laid off didn’t bother me nearly as much as seeing the reality of our situation needlessly obscured by buzzwords. I strongly believe that the terminology used in communicating the changes was unnecessarily complicated and indirect. Complex doesn’t necessarily mean complicated. I prefer to follow Einstein’s guidance to “make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

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Similarities Between Parenting a Newborn and Project Management by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

crazy-baby-milk (This article was originally published on www.svprojectmanagement.com)

(Posted anonymously on behalf of a program engineering manager at a fine, upstanding organization where it would  be  best if his name was not used.)

Things are going well on the home front. I am beginning to draw a lot of correlations between parenting a newborn  and  succeeding at work. A few examples: Continue reading