Cross the Digital Divide and Get Where Youíre Going Faster
By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, Chief Cheetah, Cheetah Learning
When we think of the digital divide traditionally, it focused on access to the Internet, computers, software and education. That division hasnít gone away. It has shifted, but itís still a critical issue Ė especially when we look globally at the developing world.
In the United States, there is an income digital-divide with more than 62% of households with incomes over $100,000 subscribing to high-speed broadband at home, while just 11% of households with incomes below $30,000 subscribing.
There is also a rural/urban digital divide: Only 17% of adults in rural areas subscribe to broadband compared to 31% in urban and 30% in suburban areas.
Beyond the socio-economic factors, I think there is another digital divide that is perceptual. If you have the access to technology, but you donít use it to your advantage, youíre throwing away your ticket to the great digital concert. Youíre wasting an opportunity that many people donít have and potentially affecting your ability to succeed in the future.
If you see yourself as a digital disaster, itís not too late to learn and take the digital dive.
Five Ways to Take the Digital Dive
1. Think of what technology or software skills would improve your performance. Sign up for a class online and experience e-learning.
2. Spend time with your IT friends or colleagues. Pick their brains. Ask them what they read online and what sites and blogs they visit.
3. Choose a topic that youíre passionate about, do an Internet search and begin reading and participating in a blog that speaks to you.
4. Watch your children or the youth around you. See how they communicate. Text message your favorite niece. Build a profile on FaceBook or MySpace. Get in the groove with where the next generation is going.
5. If youíre a project manager, make sure youíre using technology to automate processes. Always ask yourself: Can this be automated?
In Project Management, being digitally proficient is a key part of your success. You can use web-based tools like the Wiki to manage your teams and projects or web meetings to bring a virtual team together. The more technology is working for you, the smarter your workflow will be.
How technology savvy are you? Try our technology crossword puzzle Take our quiz and see how you rate. No matter what you score, remember the game isnít over, itís just beginning. So, get out there and change your view. See yourself as part of the digerati, and you will be. See you online!
About the Know How Network
The Know How Network is a monthly column written by Michelle LaBrosse, the founder and Chief Cheetah of Cheetah Learning. Distributed to hundreds of newsletters and media outlets around the world, the Know How Network brings the promise, purpose and passion of Project Management to people everywhere.
About the Author
Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is the founder of Cheetah Learning, and author of Cheetah Negotiation and Cheetah Project Management. The Project Management Institute, www.pmi.org, recently selected Michelle as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the World, and only one of two women selected from the training and education industry. She was featured in the October 2006 issue of PM Network Magazine, and also graduated from the Harvard Business Schoolís Owner President Managers (OPM) program in March 2006.
She created the origins of the Cheetah Project Management methodology as an Air Force Officer in the mid 80ís. In 1995, she prototyped the concept of accelerating learning using ďvirtual classrooms,Ē to accelerate the way people learned and applied core business skills. As a corporate research scientist in systems engineering and adult learning for a large multinational corporation, she later created and tested a one-day approach to teaching Project Management. This approach would later evolve to become Cheetah Project Management, a fast and effective way of launching projects.
Today, she is the leader of the course development team at Cheetah and sets the strategic direction for the company. Using the Cheetah Project Management techniques, LaBrosse has grown the company from three employees in 2000 to more than 100 in 2006. Cheetah is now the global leader in Project Manager Professional Development.
Her articles have appeared in publications such as: European CEO Magazine, Plant Engineering Magazine, Industrial Engineer Magazine, Control Engineering Magazine, Journal of the American Association for Medical Transcription JAAMT, NSSEA Essentials Magazine, ASTN Network Magazine, Radio Sales Today, Sprinkler Quarterly & Technology Magazine, The Federal Credit Union Magazine Online, Business Quarterly Online American Society of Landscape Architects, ACRP Wire Association of Clinical Research Professionals, American Council of Engineering Companies Association and more.
With a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, LaBrosse has done extensive postgraduate work with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Educational Studies and with the University of Washington Industrial Engineering Program in accelerating adult learning with respect to meeting core business objectives.
She lives in Nevada with her family and likes to rejuvenate in Alaska where youíll often find her kayaking, golfing or hiking.