Module 9 — Leadership, Ethics and Outcomes & Module 10: Course Summary – Conclusions & Recommendations

A recap of the final fifth week modules for ICS 698 Problems in Information Systems Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
“Advanced Research & Development Management Seminar” as taught by Dr. Jay E. Gillette, Ph.D. at the Center for Information & Communication Sciences, Ball State University, Summer Term I 2016.  

Objectives for Module 9:  Leadership, Ethics & Outcomes

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. Identify key elements of Professional Ethics for R&D Management and Technology Leadership contained in the following handouts: CICS Values as Ethics, Oath of Hippocrates, The Hippocratic Oath Today Meaningless Relic or Invaluable Guide, UXPA Code of Ethics and the Johnson & Johnson Credo
  2. Formulate an opinion and discuss the importance of reaching the right outcomes and if the ends justify the means


This weekend while fishing with friends and their families up at Boyds Mason Lake, Wisconsin, I had a chance to eat three meals a day with retired and professional engineers who specialized in R&D management and technology innovation leadership.

 Fishing in Wisconsin

They worked for companies as diverse as a nation-wide pesticide manufacturer based in Fort Wayne and one of Accenture’s former leading Technologists (he now runs a school in Tanzania at the base of Mt. Kilamanjaro).


This was a great chance to apply the principles and techniques I have garnered over the course of this outstanding capstone course, and to gauge their knowledge and expertise.  One thing all of them happened to stress was the importance of ethics.  Every action we do will be either condoned or criticized.  It is very important that you can defend your decision, not just from an objective position, but a subjective-moral perspective.  That is the best lesson I have gained not just from this course but also from my time with CICS.

Ethic Head Word cloud

Technology and Business is a lot like a gun.  It can be used for good or bad—responsibility always lay in the hands of the Human.  Ths is a topic that was spoken about at great length by the founder of the world’s most innovative company (Google, now Alphabet), Eric Schmidt in his book The New Digital Age. (A book we were required to read for CICS no less.) What are we if not for our values, our integrity?  They are systems that define us, guide us, and constrain us.

4 Values Displayed by an R&D Technology Leader
  1. Integrity
  2. The Golden Rule
  3. Passion to make a difference
  4. Appreciation

 Ironic Golden Rule Fortune Cookie

(wrong golden rule…)

CICS Core Values redux
  • Creativity
  • Integrity
  • Communication
  • Service


CICS Motto:  Producing problem-solving professionals.


User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA)

UXPA Code of Ethics
  • Act in the best interest of everyone
  • Be honest with everyone
  • Do not harm and if possible provide benefits
  • Act with integrity
  • Avoid conflicts of interest
  • Respect privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity
  • Provide all resultant data

The Hippocratic Oath

“Above all do no harm”

– sacred ancient oath of Physicians.  Modern version:

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help

Even watered-down, the classical values remain

Importance of professional conferences:
  • Support and promotion of your company
  • Continuing Education and training in relevant or exciting industry fields
  • Professional and Personal Networking
  • Be ahead of the innovation/adoption bell curve with insight into the latest industry innovations



“Information is Knowledge in Motion”

“Life-Long Learning”

“Learning through negotiation”

“Failure is okay, so long as you learn from it”



Hyperbole – rhetorical exaggeration

Theory – systemic thinking

Data – originally plural


Objectives for Module 10:  Course Summary – Conclusions & Recommendations

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. Discuss personal viewpoints on the topic of Science as Ethics
  2. Provide a personal interpretation of the meaning of The Dragon Gate Koan

The Dragon’s Gate:

Students are the Dragons (and the carp)

We don’t know that we are changing until you have truly crossed the other side.   IE: you will know it when you see it.  This course has bestowed upon us a skillset (the principles and qualities of R&D Management) that will prove useful over the course of our lives.

Return back to the Gillette-ism “Life-long learning”.  We never stop learning; working, striving, looking and you cannot stop any of those things if you ever wish to pass through the gate.  The gate is a success-ful, satisfy-ing life.


The Dragon’s Gate is actually a Chinese proverb that refers to the process and rewards of passing the Imperial Examinations (gaoko) or receiving a sudden, but well-earned promotion.  In Imperial China, the bureaucracy & nobility were predicated on meritocratic ideals.  Thus to pass the gaoko was akin to joining the royal elite for generations to come.  There is a legend that the carps swimming in the Yellow River will transform into dragons once they jump over the “Dragon’s Gate”, a grand waterfall (Yumenkou) at the valley on the Shanxi frontier.  As a ritual of good luck, families would cook carp dishes for students preparing to take the gaoko.  Even though no one in China can become a Mandarin anymore, final examinations and capitalist promotion are still very important (the cultural value of education) so the phrase “to pass the Dragon’s Gate” remains en vogue.

Carp passing the Dragon's Gate, turns into a Dragon


Abbreviations and Acronyms

= Bane of Technical Writing

BUT REALLY, REALLY COMMON.  THANKS CISCO.  Roll-over Hyperlinks could be used to help a reader instantly refresh his knowledge of what an acronym stands for rather than having to go back and find it, distracting oneself from the lesson or thread at hand.


 – Go beyond oneself.

Merriam-Webster Definition:

of, relating to, or being in a state of existence independent of an individual mind or mode of thinking though not necessarily independent of the modes of thought common to all men:  objective in universal rather than individual experience <concepts are necessarily transsubjective, for they are of universal validity — Alfred Stern>

Module 7: Technology Leadership and Innovation – Part 1 & Module 8: Technology Leadership and Innovation – Part 2

A recap of the fourth week modules for ICS 698 Problems in Information Systems Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
“Advanced Research & Development Management Seminar” as taught by Dr. Jay E. Gillette, Ph.D. at the Center for Information & Communication Sciences, Ball State University, Summer Term I 2016.  

Objectives for Module 7:  Technology Leadership & Innovation – Part 1

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. Assess the value of Brian Arthur’s concept of Nature of Technology Leadership
  2. Describe the value of using Rogers’ S-Curve Analysis for forecasting
    Compare and contrast national and global views of Technology Leadership


“Economies evolve as their technologies evolve”

The puck is going to move

How do you get ahead of the game?  You will pay attention to how technologies change and evolve.

If you must skim, and can only read one chapter of an assigned book, just read (besides the table of content) the Index.  “As they say at Berkeley, if there is no index [in the book], throw it in the trash can.”

A little rhetorical, one of Dr. Gillette’s favorite books, How to Think like Da Vinci, has no index.  JEG considers this one of the weaknesses of the book.  However, it has a very good table of contents.

In [a good grad school] Grad School we read the index and table of contents, it’s a fast way to get the content of a book.  Some indexes are better than others are.  Flip around to things that are interesting; you don’t read it from start to finish.

The Phenomenon of Technology.  Increasing Returns and the New World of Business.

PRP – Private Research Project

Bookshelf just on Negotiation

W. Brian Arthur’s The Nature of Technology – What It Is and How It Evolves

Brian Arthur is known to be a major scientist in the realm of Complexity Theory.  The organization that has been most influential in complexity theory is the Santa Fe Institute.  Arthur is a founding member.

Complexity Theory and Organizations:

Compare to Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolution – have a “Wikipedia understanding” of this book

“[Arthur’s book] did for technology innovation what Kuhn’s book about our understanding of scientific discovery—in our era it may turn out to be as important about technology as Charles Darwin’s work was about biology.”

“A better understanding of scientific understanding of some natural phenomenon–some phenomenon—is how technology arises because it’s applied to a problem that is better understood through science.”

Science-based R&D

“Technology Creates Technology” – fundamental conclusion from W.B. Arthur’s book

Everybody tries to make technology organic, Arthur does it too.  That technology grows from technology.  The reason why people like to use this metaphor is because human beings understand a lot about organic growth.    On the basis of our agricultural economy we learned how things grow and decay.  The idea that technology grows… it doesn’t really grow.  Technology is not organic in that sense, but it makes sense to us that way.

“Technology is combined in new ways to meet new needs.”

ICS 660 — Human Factors, Needs Assessment and User-driven Design, we spoke of Usability already in Shneiderman’s book The New Computing is About What People Can Do.  He focuses on peoples’ needs.


Four Types of Innovations:

  1. Standard engineering
  2. Radically novel technologies
  3. Structural deepening of a technology
  4. Whole body of brand new technologies

Alternate Innovation Type Matrix:

Twist on Clausewitz –

“Innovation is simply the accomplishing of the tasks of the economy by other means.”

Pyramid of Technology – Technologies build on one another like a pyramid.  That is a phrase/expression that comes from Bryan Arthur.  “Technologies don’t grow, they build upon each other like a pyramid.”

Do you think we will have technology advances based off where technology is today?

That is where the puck is going.  The economy will change on the basis of the new technologies that are built are built on the technologies of today.  So that leaves us in a technology leadership position.  If we can understand how technology works itself.

Technology Leadership – In order to be leaders we have to have vision and change and we have to understand how technology works and how it evolves in a non-biological way, but it does evolve and change.  That’s what evolution means, change.



Objectives for Module 8:  Technology Leadership & Innovation – Part 2

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the concepts of Open Innovation vs. Closed Innovation
  2. Construct a critique of science-based R&D


Innovation curve starts with uncertainty, a good thing

Open v. Closed Innovation

Open Innovation
  • Paradigm using external and internal ideas
  • Wealth of insight and knowledge
  • Combine the best internal resources, skills, and POV from within and without to create a superior product/idea
Closed Innovation
  • Temporary advantage but in the long-term suffers.
  • Help secures intellectual property and secure one’s competitive advantage

A Square root is the sign of a radical and radical means fundamental at the root.  At the root is to be open.

Knowledge is a source of innovation, combined with knowledge and communication – key to company success


Module 5: Operations including Logistics – Part 1 & Module 6: Operations including Logistics – Part 2

A recap of the third week modules for ICS 698 Problems in Information Systems Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
“Advanced Research & Development Management Seminar” as taught by Dr. Jay E. Gillette, Ph.D. at the Center for Information & Communication Sciences, Ball State University, Summer Term I 2016.  

Objectives for Module 5:  Operations including Logistics – Part 1

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. Analyze the relationship between Operations and Logistics
  2. Evaluate the relationship of JEG Model Components
  3. Appraise the priority of science and operations
  4. Create a Situation Analysis reportCompare and contrast the Time or Task Approaches as defined by Mike Markel

Process – Step-by-step approach

Three Components of the JEG Model of R&D Management

  • Applied Science
  • Project Management
  • Operations, which require Logistics (the hard part of R&D—and any economic enterprise for that matter)

Minimum prototype testing size is 20 participants.  Prototypes are not the final product; okay to be simpler.  Operations Development needs to be final, so it is harder—barriers there will hamper the entire supply chain and cycle.

The three D’s of IT Management
  • Design (Architects)
  • Develop (Engineers)
  • Deploy (Construction)

Kaizen” (Japanese word for improvement) – Continuous improvement at all levels of the business and across the supply chain to eliminate waste and boost productivity

Plan –> Do –> Check –> Act (Toyota Production System)

Mike Markel’s Technical Communication

Progress Report
  • Time vs. Task Approach
  • Past and Future
  • Appropriate tone for news delivery
  • Report the facts
  • Don’t be over-optimistic on estimated deadlines
  • Done in writing
  • Meetings are how work gets done in the information economy
  • Even if the meeting is in the hallway for a few seconds

Quotes by Dr. Gillette

“You can’t predict the future, but you can forecast the weather.”

“’You can negotiate anything.’  Quote in Quotes”

“An engineer lives or starves on the basis of his technical reports.”

[Applied]  Science is the priority

“The difficulty of operational success leads the operational tail to wag the scientific dog [the true Queen!].”


Objectives for Module 6:  Operations including Logistics – Part 2

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast R&D Management Compentencies of Knowledge, Skills, Attitude/Awareness/Consciousness
  2. Discuss if they are using the Time or Task approach to complete assignments

Compare & Contrast R&D Competencies

Competent vs. Incompetent.  Severe insult in America to be labeled incompetent—part of the ‘can do’ attitude.

“The person who represents himself at court has a fool for a client”

School connotes competency, it is what we pay for, come for, and leave with

Competency is borne from your level of skill

Competencies of Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude Awareness
  • Skills — from the Greek ‘technikos’, which means to execute technique
  • Attitude – from the Latin aptitude/aptus, meaning ‘fit’
    • Quality – Attitude awareness & a “continuum”.
    • Leadership –Attitude Awareness, not just a skill.
  • Technique – harder to train attitude/awareness than it is skills & knowledge


Management – the art of follow up

Manager = handler


Assignment Completion Methodologies

Time approach
  • Document progress
  • What have finished at this point in time?
  • Where are we on the road to completion?

 Task Approach
  • Requires understanding of the project’s tasks
  • New and adjusted tasks may arrive over time
  • What have we accomplished?
  • What is there left to be accomplished?

Preliminary Findings & Jeopardy Reports
  • Project Management report that documents problems and barriers that may fail the project.
  • Do not need to let your boss immediately know about every failure (or every milestone).

Module 3: R&D Management + Technology Leadership & Module 4: Project Management and Leadership Development

A recap of the second week modules for ICS 698 Problems in Information Systems Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
“Advanced Research & Development Management Seminar” as taught by Dr. Jay E. Gillette, Ph.D. at the Center for Information & Communication Sciences, Ball State University, Summer Term I 2016.  

Objectives for Module 3 – R&D Management + Technology Leadership:

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. Assess the impact of Project Management + Technology Leadership (Management vs. Leadership)
  2. Compare and contrast the concepts of Optimal R&D Management: Workgroups or Teams
  3. Discuss the main points of McKinsey Wisdom of Teams Movement
  4. Construct an opinion on how Vision and Change impact Technology Leadership practices

Katzenbach and Smith – Wisdom of Teams

McKinsey & Company – leading American/international consultants

McKinsey is a “thoughtleader”

“Thoughtleaders” is someone who leads our thinking.

A dichotomy, the most fundamental logic

Di and bi in latin means two/divide into two. Dichotomy. Chot comes from the greek word “to cut”, the most fundamental logic is a dichotomy – this vs. that, light vs. dark, good vs. dark, good vs. bad, effectiveness vs. efficiency.

The old writing professor’s approach is to Compare and Contrast –

Compare – With and Equals – House with Like

Contrast – comes from latin ‘contra’, counter-revolution, contra dancing, one against another

In American business, we have TOO much management and NOT enough leadership. Too much doing and not enough visioning in American business.

You will hear American managers often say, “The only way to get things done is to get it done myself.”

Performance Goals – American consultants very concerned with this key word. Performance is very important in America.
Note Bene – latin term – Note Well

Ready, aim & fire. – R&D, do it in that order

Fundamentally comes from, at their foundation they are different.

Peer group approach, peer pressure, conformity, do what their peers think is best. We also find this at the lower level of corporate world, R&D firms, software dev firms.

Mission is how you think about getting a goal and approach is how you get it done.

McKinsey Approach Discipline of Teams / Wisdoms of Teams – HLR summary of Wisdoms of Teams

Katzenbach & Smith – top of the table is leadership

Compare and contrast between workgroups and teams.

In technology what would you C&C? What are you looking for when you deploy technologies? Speed, Efficiency, Usability, Security. These are techniques in science and especially applied science so they apply to Project Management

K&S did a fundamental contrast with 6-7 different elements between workgroups & teams.

Two different approaches to technological management and technological leadership. You have to have some management, but you also have to have leadership.

On pg. 112 of the HLR article, “working groups are both prevalent and effective in large organizations where individual accountability be most important.”

Why is individual accountability is important? Unproductive/Unprofessional Behavior.

Performance Reports – help each other make progress and be accountable by meeting and talking.

The focus is always on individual’s goals and responsibilities.

K&S then start to talk about Teams.

Individuals – Individual Accountability for Work and Work Products

In an R&D space you must systematically understand what style of work-management you are doing/is best.

We are looking for the underlying functional approach of any structure. How does it work? What is its function?

Outlined underlying approach to K&S.

Teams differ fundamentally from Working Groups.

A Team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose(/mission), performance goals, and approach.

All working groups have ‘individual accountability’ (KEY WORD) in common, especially in bigger companies and middle/lower management.

Grades are individually accountable – Universities are big organizations.

Teams differ because they require BOTH individual and mutual accountability.

The Keyword is performance.

Need to find a way to make the team mutually accountability rather than just the individual. You can do mutual with as few people as 2. Teams really on more than sharing information and best practice performance standards.

Examples: Project Plan, Project Schedule, Research Reports

R&D as Products

A mutual joint team approach. If one person doesn’t do their job, they get the same grade as the team, for better or worse. If someone isn’t doing their job, you have to confront them.

In working groups we are concerned about individual performance standards, in teams, we are worried about team performance. A team will gather together and perform at a level that none of them could have done individually. That’s why teams are better than working groups.

Objectives Module 4 – Project Management & Leadership Development:

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  1. Identify stages in the ADDIE approach to Design and Project Management
  2. Compare and Contrast the ADDIE approach to other project management models

Objectives must be measurable:  WHAT you want

  1. Faculty services component of online and distance education offered by BSU
  2. Platform to train and instruct faculty create, post, and manage technologically enriched course content online on Blackboard.

Instructional Designer

  1. Meet on faculty mono-e-mono to develop/redevelop online courses & content
  2. Ensures course quality through Quality Matters (QM) guidelines

BSU online course instructional design management process

Course –> Peer Course Review –> Feedback (IDs) –> Course Revision –> Course Meets QM rubric and course objectives? –> Publish or iterate until acceptable

Instructional Design

Definition of Instructional Design:

“The systematic and reflective process of translating principles of learning and instruction into plans for instructional materials, information resources and evaluation”

Principles of Instructional Design:

  1. R&D Leadership (internal and external (field))
  2. Guiding the development of teaching and learning strategies
  3. Solving academic challenges in online environment
  4. Project Management
  5. Technology leadership participation

ADDIE Model:  guiding model but not (applied) science
  1. Analysis
  2. Design
  3. Development
  4. Implementation
  5. Evaluation

Gagne’s 9 Events of Applied Science
  1. Gaining attention
  2. Informing the learner of the objective
  3. Stimulating recall of prior knowledge
  4. Presenting information
  5. Providing guidance
  6. Eliciting performance
  7. Providing feedback
  8. Assessing performance
  9. Enhancing retention and transfer

Blog Post 5 – Internet as a Utility, not a Luxury — Net Neutrality Rules Upheld

The US Court of Appeals for the US DC Circuit ruled in a 2-1 decision affirming the Obama Administration’s position that high-speed internet service must be defined as a utility, not a free market deregulated industry luxury.  Broadband companies now cannot block, prioritize or slow the delivery of internet content to consumers.

The Horror! … also, Hyperbole.

This represents a historic victory over the immense lobbying prowess assembled by the embattled cable, telecom and wireless internet providers to thwart the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules.

On the other end of M-Dimensional space were the public and silicon valley tech firms, which supported net neutrality (especially the latter).

““It ensures the internet remains a platform for unparalleled innovation, free expression and economic growth, …

… After a decade of debate and legal battles, today’s ruling affirms the commission’s ability to enforce the strongest possible internet protections — both on fixed and mobile networks — that will ensure the internet remains open, now and in the future. “

— Post-ruling statement by Tom Wheeler, chairman (D) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“These conclusions about consumer perception find extensive support in the record and together justify the Commission’s decision, …

Over the past two decades, this content has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, from profound actions like choosing a leader, building a career, and falling in love to more quotidian ones like hailing a cab and watching a movie,”

— Written Opinion of the judges, David Tatel and Sri Srinivasan.  The ruling is 184 pages.  These judges believed that, from the perspective of the user, there is little to no difference between mobile and landline internet access, so there shouldn’t be a difference in the government’s ability to have oversight.   It also opens the door to regulating the ability of cable, mobile, and ISPs to collect and share data of broadband subscribers.  There are also growing calls for the FCC to take advantage of “one of the most important decisions in the history of the internet” (to quote the Chicago Tribune) to go after zero-rating practices as well.

However, AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast have vowed not to give up on their right to throttle service and pipeline consumers to their own content without another fight.  Having lost the battle, they are pinning their hopes on appealing to the Supreme Court (and Congress) to win the war.

“While this is unlikely the last step in this decade-long debate over internet regulation, we urge bipartisan leaders in Congress to renew their efforts to craft meaningful legislation that can end ongoing uncertainty, promote network investment and protect consumers,”

— Statement by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA)

The decision and drive to implement net neutrality largely falls along party lines within the government, with the dissenting judge, Stephen Williams, and Ajit Pai (the Republican FCC Commissioner) stating that such “unreasoned patchwork” (from William’s dissension) of rules will hamper competition if not simply unlawful.

“I continue to believe that these regulations are unlawful, and I hope that the parties challenging them will continue the legal fight,”

— Ajit Pai

Republicans in Congress, where they control both Houses (for now,) now want to rewrite the Communications Act which they believe is a

“There’s a better way to protect consumers from blocking and throttling without stifling innovation or delaying build-out.”

— Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill)

In seeming protest of the ruling and the FCC’s victory, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee voted on Wednesday to approve a bill that would exempt small ISPs from providing their broadband customers with information on network performance and network management practices, regardless of any new FCC rules to the contrary.  This matches a similar bill unanimously passed (411-0) in the US House of Representatives in March, 2016.  President Obama could, of course, veto any combined legislation… (but with a margin like that… it might not be worth it).

Kevin Kimberlin, Chairman of Spencer Trask & Company, for opinion piece in the Daily Caller, harshly criticized the ruling,

“The speed of light force underpinning the optical backbone of the Internet won’t be stopped, but it can be deflected — even sent backwards. With the net neutrality rule, the FCC is re-regulating broadband carriers with rules set up for a 1930s landline phone monopoly. Applying utility-like regulatory burdens to the Internet will stall investment, entrepreneurship and employment. This hurts our economy.”

Public industry groups on the other hand largely hailed the decision.

Byers, A.  (2016, June 14).  “Court upholds Obama-backed net neutrality rules.”  Politico.

Fried, I.  (2016, June 16).  “A huge win on net neutrality could embolden the FCC to tighten regulations in other areas.”  recode.

Gross, G.  (2016, June 16).  “Senate panel votes to weaken net neutrality rules.”  NetworkWorld | Today’s Top Stories.

Kang, C.  (2016, June 14).  “Court Backs Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury.”  The New York Times | Technology.

Kimberlin, K.  (2016, June 16).  “Upholding Net Neutrality Will Put Us Back In The Slow Lane.”  The Daily Caller | Opinion.



Blog Post 4 — Decline in Human Productivity (and slowing innovation) in America


Stratfor and Geopolitical Futures (both global intelligence and strategy firms founded by George Friedman) have had a series of features on the next paradigm of technological industrial revolution and the ongoing systemic decline of productivity in America (not to mention Europe).  One of their most profound conclusions is that the ICT revolution is actually the cause of this decline—Humans are spending a lot more time communicating than actually working.  In their place, robots and automation are taking over progressively.  This is not an overnight phenomenon, “The IT revolution remains in its infancy.”

The digital revolution, beginning in the second half of the 20th century, is now having similar effects on the global system. The Internet has redefined the modern economy, enabling the growth of software, global supply chains and modernized manufacturing processes. And the revolution is far from finished. Emerging technologies such as smart grids, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence and intelligent industrial robots are all poised to make a significant impact in the coming decades. …

…Giant tech conglomerates are now finding that tech innovation and computer science applications can revolutionize industries beyond their own. As a result, many of today’s tech companies are integrating themselves in almost every emerging technology….

…Moreover, the sheer amount of data that these companies possess — not to mention their ability to process the data — is unmatched by Moscow, Beijing or Washington. This enables them to use their data in innovative and unique ways, perhaps the most powerful of which are still unimaginable today.…

… The world is just beginning to adjust to the newfound realities that the tech revolution has introduced. Consequently, countries are just beginning to adapt them to their overall geopolitical imperatives.

Productivity is in the words of Adam Smith and Paul Krugman “almost everything.”  Thus it is worrying that over the last half-decade productivity has been stagnating, and in the last two quarters, actually in decline.  Lil Bayer, for Geopolitical Futures, attributes this to “a slowdown in capital intensity and technological innovation, and the emergence of new challenges in the workplace.”

Productivity is defined as:

Since 1947 (when the government started keeping track), output in growth has led the total increase in hours worked due to technological innovation and changes in the workforce, excepting blips due to recessions when both fall.  However, following the Dot Com Bubble bursting in 2000 and the 2003 recession, the trend has drastically slowed to being downright sluggish (and quarter-to-quarter decline) after 2007 (on the eve of the Financial Crash), even when compared to the stagflation and energy crisis of the 1970s.  In May 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that labor productivity showed its worst quarter-to-quarter decline since 1993.  Growth in hours worked is outpacing the growth in output.  That does not mean that total output is declining, only that said growth is getting more and more inefficient in terms of human capital.

Lily Bayer and George Friedman define five key reasons for the LONG-TERM decline in productivity:

1.) Slowdown in technological innovation and sluggish growth of capital intensity

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, capital intensity, the availability of semiconductors and increasing ease of computer use for business catalyzed vast growth in productivity and output.  Half of US labor productivity growth came from the ICT sector.  Between 1995 and 2009, the contribution of the ICT sector was 2/3rds.  However, innovation in the 2000s, knowledge-based capital investment and intensity into R&D slowed and the number of new start-ups, as a proportion of the total economic growth fell.

2.) The age of “re-engineering companies” companies is ending

The vast structural overhauls of corporations in the 1980s that made them smaller and more (ruthlessly) efficient compared to the unwieldy leviathans of the post-war era, are now resulting in diminishing returns.

3.) Workers are too employment mobile

The BLS report says that, in May 2016, the average person has had 10 jobs before the age of 40, or 3 years per job (assuming real entry into the workforce at an average age of 20).  This is not nearly enough time to master any one position, particularly as the first year on the job is often negative for a firm before the worker starts producing due to training and acclimation (or is fired).

“By the time you’ve learned your job, you’re looking for your next one.”

4.) Aging of microchip culture

“High tech is quite old tech, and today’s innovations are trivial improvements on what was achieved at the high point, when the computer shifted from a data manager to a communication tool.  The smart phone fused the two sides of microchip into one, and since then there have only been incremental improvements.

… The microchip has yielded massive communication channels, but it has not increased the amount of information that can be transmitted and absorbed.  The worker is human and the massive flow of information and the imperative to communicate in return has significantly diverted hours from work.”

5.) Workers are wasting more time, more easily distracted, and emotionally disconnected

As workers of all collars depend on email and the internet for their work, the opportunity to procrastinate and go down the rabbit hole of not work is more and more a reality for businesses.  The percentage of surveyed workers (in a study) who admitted to wasting significant time at work rose from 64% in 2012 to a whopping 89% by 2014.  Analysis by McKinsey & Company (the great American consultants) revealed that in 2012, managers and professionals (so-called “interaction workers”/”high-skill knowledge workers) spent 28% of their average workweek going through their email inbox.  I am certainly guilty of this.

Not only has the constant exposure to Google and email led workers astray, so has the “deterioration of private life.”  People always have their smartphones on them and the work never ends.  Furthermore, the preferred communication (and emotive) channels between people have shifted more and more from reality (in person, to the phone, to email, and now texts, tweets, and ephemeral snapchats).   Communication is not a replacement for human productivity nor the

“… richness of life from which the inspiration and motivation for productivity is drawn.  Time for real productivity declines, with communication taking its place.  As the number of Facebook friends soars, time to be human contracts and quality of relationships declines.”


In the long-term, this will gut American productivity, future economic growth, falling demand, and finally the entire global financial market (if it was not convulsed by chaos and sclerotic malaise already.)  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO)’s January 2016 report projected annual growth over the next decade will only be 2% with labor productivity growth ranking even lower, at 1.4% annual.

This ominous trend could be reversed by revolutionary technology or a spike in innovation, but their analysis finds that this more modest rate of innovation may be the norm in the early 21st century, compared to the 20th.

Now, this does not necessarily mean that American (or Western) industry and innovation will be superseded (only by China, and that is still a distant prospect) any time soon.  Yes, the next big three (Mexico, Indonesia, and India) as well as the P16/20, will succeed China as the go-to low/med-end manufacturers, but the current technological geopolitical leaders are simply too far ahead.  Even the next wave may be lucky to only see a fragment of the progress made by the previous generations of tigers.  The gap between the developed world and the industrializing world is widening (not to mention the splits of inequality and productivity within said societies.)  “Developing an advanced industrial base takes additional capital, skills, and time, essentially increasing the number of rungs separating low-end and high-end manufactures on the production value ladder.”

With the fall of the Human worker, more and more work will be put into soul-less robotics, 3D printing, smart factories, automated manufacturing, and AI.  It’s still a bit early to fret and start implementing a “universal working welfare wage due to robots (or immigrants (due to no jobs back home)) taking our jobs” like Switzerland recently tried and failed to do… but the day is coming.  We’ll muddle through the coming crucible.  Humanity is still really good at that.

Bey, M.  (2016, March 29).  “The Tech Revolution Comes to Age.” STRATFOR | Geopolitical Weekly.

Friedman, G.  (2016, May 5).  “Productivity in the US Continues to Decline.”  Geopolitical Futures | Reality Check.

Bayer, L.  (2016, May 13).  “Examining the Drop in US Productivity.” Geopolitical Futures.

“Weekly Chart:  U.S. Labor Productivity.”  Geopolitical Futures | Weekly Graphics.

Keller, R.  (2016, June 7).  “The Rise of Manufacturing Marks the Fall of Globalization.”  Stratfor | Geopolitical Weekly.

Paywall PDF references for upcoming Blog Post 4

Originally posted on the Blackboard Discussion Board, where the link to the PDF files can be found.*  *Requires a BSU login credentials.

Blackboard Discussion Link*

Posting these here so CICS readers of the Weblog will have access to the articles I am citing in the upcoming Blog Post 4 – (Mis-)Aligning R&D Strategy and the ICT Revolution with Socio-economic Productivity.

They are behind a paywall to non-subscribers of Stratfor, Geopolitical Futures, and Mauldin Economics (although one or two articles can be viewed for free with an email address.)

These may also be ussed as resources for my colleagues for their own blog posts and discussion contributions, as well as our esteemed Professor, Dr. Gillette. There may or may not be more cited references in the final weblog post but these are the ones that will be behind a paywall.  A ZIP software (WinRAR, 7Zip, etc.) will be required to unzip the compressed folder containing these documents.


Bey, M.  (2016, March 29).  “The Tech Revolution Comes to Age.”  STRATFOR | Geopolitical Weekly.

Friedman, G.  (2016, May 5).  “Productivity in the US Continues to Decline.”  Geopolitical Futures | Reality Check.

Bayer, L.  (2016, May 13).  “Examining the Drop in US Productivity.”  Geopolitical Futures.

“Weekly Chart:  U.S. Labor Productivity.”  Geopolitical Futures | Weekly Graphics.

Keller, R.  (2016, June 7).  “The Rise of Manufacturing Marks the Fall of Globalization.”  Stratfor | Geopolitical Weekly.

To be useful or (maybe) used:


Module 1: Applied Science & Module 2: Design, Development, Deployment (DDD)

A recap of the first two modules of ICS 698 Problems in Information Systems Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
“Advanced Research & Development Management Seminar” as taught by Dr. Jay E. Gillette, Ph.D. at the Center for Information & Communication Sciences, Ball State University, Summer Term I 2016.  

Objectives for Module 1: Applied Science

  1. 1.1 Explain the CICS Values
  2. 1.2 Provide a personal definition of Design is…
  3. 1.3 Summarize the main concepts of Gillette R&D Paper
  4. 1.4 “Managing Innovative Research & Development Collaboration: A Practical Research Institute Model” by Jay Edwin Gillette and Visakan Jayaswethavanagopal
  5. 1.5 Discuss Tricks of the Trade by Becker


CICS Values:

  1. Creativity
  2. Integrity
  3. Communication
  4. Service


Dr. Gillette loves Etymology. I love etymology!

Design = Science

Landower’s 3 D’s of R&D Management

  • Design
  • Develop
  • Deploy

Success comes through failure. Dead-ends are how we intelligently know/find out what doesn’t work.

Design first, but don’t always develop last.

Design is the light through which we navigate the fog of complexity. It is not a magic cure-all, but it is a near-universal trick of the trade.

Design integrates and initiates innovation and creativity. A good design is a durable design. A design that is quickly discarded and forgotten about is not an enduring design. Enduring – Durable.

Scientific Method is the methodology through which scientists [design] formulate a hypothesis, create a research/testing design, vigorously validate, and through trial & error, re-iterate [develop] until there is a legitimate theory that may pass the ultimate test – the approval of one’s peers [deploy] and applicability.

What does a “Triple Thinker” require? It requires us R&D Professionals to be theoretical and practical. We must be able to take theory and synthesis and actively apply it as praxis. – Applied Science

Every company depends on R&D for their future, whether they know it or not

R&D: Research, analyze, learn, and create improved products and services to exceed the customers’ needs & expectations

R&D: trial & error, what works and what does not

R&D: the most secure job in the company; if a company eliminates the department, that company is probably soon to be eliminated itself.

Originality is organic, it cannot be taught.

Creativity can be taught. Foster through knowledge and skill development the three creative competencies of attitude, awareness, and consciousness

The Three Components of R&D Management are:

  • Applied Science
  • Project Management
  • Logistics and Operations

Objectives for Module 2: Design, Development, Deployment (DDD)

  1. 2.1 Evaluate key points from Information is Knowledge in Motion paper (Handout)
  2. 2.2 Elaborate on Leonardo’s Laptop by Shneiderman

Parsimony Principle

Parsimonious Person is someone who is very frugal

Occam’s Razor – Try to have a simple explanation. Keep it simple scientist

What is the goal of Pure Science – Explanation of Theory – Knowledge for its own sake

Bill Shneiderman (no sch), author of Leonardo’s Laptop

If Leonardo were to design a laptop, what would it look like?


Types of Collar Workers:

Blue-collar professional – technical workers, technicians

White-collar professional – engineer, manager, pilot

Gold-collar professional – medical doctor, lawyer, research professionals – the means of production is between their ears

How am I going to manage and lead the gold-collar worker

Blue-collar shirt is much better on camera, it doesn’t shine, wear a blue collar shirt when giving a video presentation

Uninformed – someone who isn’t informed


John Locke said there were 3 unalienable principles:

  1. Life
  2. Liberty
  3. Property. Jefferson changed it to the Pursuit of Happiness

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Leonardo da Vinci’s four prime human activities:

  1. Mirth
  2. Weeping
  3. Contention
  4. Work

The six component parts of Knowledge:

  1. Wisdom
  2. Understanding
  3. Information
  4. Data
  5. Facts
  6. Phenomena

Blog Post 3 — Motivation and Morale of Teams

Last week I talked about how project management is a lot like running a military campaign.  Well, as any defeated (or victorious) arm-chair war-fighter can tell you, morale is one of the most important elements in determining tactical success.  The same principle applies to business leadership in R&D.

A strong (and sustainable) team and firm virtually require a strategic award system for employees that address these four areas:

Compensation, Benefits, Recognition, and Appreciation

Your award system must recognize two types of employee activity– performance and behavior.  Are you compensating a high-performing employee for time or innovation?

These can be measured at nearly all levels of Project Management by applying the Motivation Triangle:

What this means and how you can motivate your teammates and employees:

    • Invite feedback from day one
    • Have informal review sessions
    • Establish individual and team goals
  • Identify what activities are important to your company
    • Enhancing customer relationships
    • Fine-tuning critical processes
    • Helping employees expand their managerial skills
  • Genuine interest in the employee’s future career and work-life balance
  • Increase compensation and manage by milestones
  • Use cloud-based PM software
  • Have clear expectations to build your project discipline methodology
  • Make it clear who is responsible for tasks and what is expected of them.
  • Don’t use the sink or swim method for work assignments
  • Don’t let poor performers slip through the cracks without comment (inverse is especially true for high performers!)
  • Don’t reward your best team-performers by dumping all of the work on their backs.
  • Avoid superficial project management solutions.
  • Policies and practices must be prescribed first before team members are taught their responsibilities.
  • Sending people to training because they don’t know what they’re good for is a sign of bad management.
  • One awesome benefit for consistent excellence in performance and behavior (particularly of the innovative kind!) is longer-term rewards including offers equity ownership.  Align individual economic interests with company performance!!!
  • If your firm or office has trouble offering a competitive benefits package, consider turning to professional employer organizations like Administaff to gain access to a broader array of company benefits. Do not diminish the low-cost/high-return benefits of employee recognition and appreciation

Avrahami, H.  (2012, July 19).  “Project Managers:  5 Ways to Motivate Your Teams.”  Clarizen.

“Best Ways to Reward Employees.”  Entrepreneur.

Chapman, J.  (2001).  “Motivating the Project Team.”  Principle Based Project Management.

Lipman, V.  (2013, March 18).  “5 Easy Ways to Motivate – and Demotivate Employees.”  Forbes | Leadership.

Blog 2 (R2.2) The Art of Research Project Management

Managing a successful research project (independent, in-house, or sponsored) is a lot like managing a war.  To quote the ancient Chinese sage Sun Tzu (the author keeps a copy of The Art of War by his bed-stand) in Chapter III – Strategic Attack:


“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”

Each step of the project is like a battle, and the war is the process, or campaign, through which you achieve your product, or to continue the military analogy, objective.  The R&D Manager is the General, and a good General is a good inspirer (leader) and manager of men-in-arms.  If a General rushes his armies haphazardly into the battlefield with no foresight and little foreplanning, their fate is up to the cruel dice of luck.  The odds are against success.  If the R&D Manager knows him/herself (and his/her team) and the process through which to create a plan and see it through, the odds are better, but not great.  If one knows the enemy, the other players in the game, the risks and benefits, the mission objective and how and when to achieve it realistically; as well as themselves—then they shall succeed in nearly every battle and rest easy when they do inevitably reach failure.

Understand what your project is trying to achieve.

Know what you are going for, “start with the end in mind.”  A successful research project requires some vision.  Not a whole lot necessarily, but without knowing your objectives, and the meaning of success, it is hard, if not impossible, to stay on target.  Furthermore, as Dr. Robin Henderson writes, know the physical outputs of your product, and the outcomes that come from said outputs.  Think several steps ahead—particularly in Applied Science.  Thus, you can best position yourself for the next project!

Knowing the outcomes is especially important when it comes to managing your stakeholders.  Know that the good General (the good R&D Manager) usually serves a higher power, or powers (following the analogy, a PhD student pursuing an independent project is a bit of a rogue, but even rogues need sponsors.)  These are the stakeholders, and their power comes in four types (Criteria, Disempowered, Comprehensive, Operational) along two axes (What needs done; How is it done?)  Keep in mind what your grant sponsors, the suits in the high tower, and/or the client & customers want out of your product–always.  Analysis of the project’s stakeholders, their impact, their dynamics, and their expectations shapes the scope of the project.

There are other steps that must be kept in mind, and applied regularly.

Use a timeline!  A Gantt Chart is your friend.  If the time it takes to do something seems a little too short, it probably is.  People (especially me) habitually underestimate the time it takes to do something.  Plan accordingly

Know and beat the risks – Plan for contingencies.  To quote the master Prussian Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”  Same with R&D Projects – to identify key risks a Risk Matrix is an easy way to plot out potential obstacles (and how they may relate to each other).

Reports and Meetings – stay in touch with your team and vice versa.  Command & Control

Keep to your budget – An army marches on its stomach.  R&D can’t happen without capital, and there is only so much.  Know your commitments and stay realistic when requesting/allocating money.


You are the chef and project management is your recipe; be creative, lead your kitchen, know the food, and master the process.


Henderson, R. (2010). Research Project Management Key Concepts. In My Consultants. Retrieved May 24, 2016, from  education/documents/REsearchPMHandout.pdf