World Bytes: New Technical Activity Committees of the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society

World Bytes: New Technical Activity Committees of the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society

BY Terrance Malkinson Posted: 25 Apr 2016

The newly formed IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society (TEMS) recently established five broadly-based Technical Activity Committees (TACs). These committees provide a network for communication, participation, and leading and promoting professional activities among individuals with common technical interest areas. TACs are an established approach within IEEE that provides an innovative, flexible and unique benefit to society members. Led by a chair, each TAC has its own evolving charter, field of interest, webpage and electronic communication channel for members. The inaugural five IEEE TEMS Technical Activity Committees include:

  • Social Management –  Leslie Martinich, Chair
    The Social Management TAC addresses all issues related to the people and organizational management of technical organizations.
  • Engineering Processes  – Axel Richter, Chair
    The Engineering Processes TAC addresses all issues of process inception, implementation, optimization and control for new product or system development in engineering and R&D up to procurement, manufacturing, and system deployment.
  • The Digital Enterprise – Liang Xi Downey, Chair
    The Digital Enterprise TAC focuses on the emerging trends of cognitive systems, enabled by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data.
  • Future of Management –  Terrance Malkinson, Chair
    The Future of Management TAC examines the impact of changes in our society on management practices and has the goal of developing practical strategies for addressing this change by individuals at all levels of the organization. 
  • Technology, Innovation, Entrepreneurship  –  Michael Andrews, Chair
    The Technology, Innovation, Entrepreneurship TAC will have the responsibility for providing entrepreneurial and intrepreneurial resources and connections for members in leadership positions in start-up organizations, and small and large companies.

Additional TACs will emerge in the future in response to IEEE member needs. For further information on this new member benefit, detailed descriptions of the inaugural TACs, and how to become a member, please visit http://ieee-tems.org/node/1686.

Other Bytes

  • “How the Internet of Things Got Hacked” is the title of an article by Andy Greenberg and Kim Zetter in Wired [28 December 2015, http://www.wired.com/2015/12/2015-the-year-the-internet-of-things-got-hacked/].  We live in an environment of technology innovation, producing products with embedded connectivity. The Internet of Things has raised important issues regarding personal cybersecurity.  Technology we affix to ourselves or install in our homes, offices and cars that are connected and controlled by a network provide opportunities for those who wish to cause harm. Connected devices make us continuously vulnerable to hackers. Even "benign technology" such as talking toys or baby monitoring cameras have proven vulnerable. We must be vigilant in our connected world. Today’s Engineers must have a cybersecurity awareness when designing products and services.  Very lucrative career opportunities exist for those skilled in cybersecurity. 
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released the “2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” These guidelines provide evidence-based nutrition recommendations for Americans, with the goal of reducing obesity and preventing acute and chronic disease.  These new dietary guidelines focus on making small manageable changes that help to transition to healthier eating behavior.  Physical activity is also mentioned throughout this eighth edition of dietary guidelines.  Also discussed are current controversies in dietary practice. 
  • “Secrets of the Superbosses” is the focus of the managing yourself feature of the January-February issue of Harvard Business Review [94(1/2):104-107, 2016, https://hbr.org/2016/01/secrets-of-the-superbosses].  Sydney Finkelstein examines the phenomenon of how many top people in a given industry historically worked at some point early in their career with the same well-known outstanding leader ― superboss. The author discusses his research into the practices of these superbosses finding similarities in their “people strategies.” These best practices are discussed and the author provides tips on how they can be used to help to identify and motivate human resources.
  • The IEEE History Center recently published the 100th issue of its newsletter.  Beginning in the 1980s, the newsletter has grown into its current three-times-a-year mix of printed and electronic editions, keeping the world informed of IEEE historical and current activities. The newsletter is available free to all persons interested in the history of technology.
  • Adam Grant believes that anyone can innovate if given the opportunity and support [“How to Build a Culture of Originality,” Harvard Business Review, 94(3):86-94, March 2016, https://hbr.org/2016/03/how-to-build-a-culture-of-originality].  The author’s research reveals that innovation skills can be developed in an organization by creating a culture of non-conformity ― letting imaginations run wild. The next stage consists of getting feedback from proven experts in selecting winning ideas.  The focus is on balancing cultural cohesion with creative dissent.
  • In their article, “Breaking Down the Gender Challenge,”Alexis Krivkovich, Eric Kutcher and Lareina Yee discuss their research on this important topic [McKinsey Quarterly.  March, 2016. http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/breaking-down-the-gender-challenge]. Data collected from 30,000 employees at 118 North American companies across nine industries revealed that many organizations have one of three gender pipeline “pain points”: 1) women are unable to enter;  2) women are stuck at the middle; or 3) women are locked out of the top. The authors believe that if companies are able to recognize themselves as being in one of these patterns, they will be better able to target and improve their gender initiatives.
  • Digital labor platforms are creating a more transparent job market where many job seekers are going online to find new opportunities and evaluate potential employers. Susan Lund, James Manyika, and Kelsey Robinson discuss this trend in “Managing Talent in a Digital Age” [McKinsey Quarterly, March 2016, http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/managing-talent-in-a-digital-age]. Top performers know their value and are growing more selective and aggressive as a result.  Electronic labor services make it easier to find and harder to retain top performing individuals. Job seekers and employers are increasingly using digital technologies, providing innovative opportunities to transform the way employees seek employment and the way organizations recruit, develop and engage their employees.

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Terrance Malkinson is a communications specialist, business analyst and futurist. He is an IEEE Senior Life Member and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the World Future Society. He is currently an international correspondent for IEEE-USA InSight, an associate editor for IEEE Canadian Review, editor-in-chief IEEE TEMS Leader, and a member of the editorial advisory board of the IEEE Institute. Additionally, he leads a number of applied research projects. The author is grateful to the staff and resources of the Reg Erhardt library at SAIT Polytechnic and the Haskayne Business Library of the University of Calgary. He can be reached at malkinst@telus.net.

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