Being a Digital Renaissance Man demands that you see technology as a tool than can truly transform the world, for the good of humanity.
Society is now demanding that business organizations do more than simply make a profit for their shareholders. They are expected to be good corporate citizens and to contribute to society in different ways. And those organizations that can demonstrate their commitment to this ethos are generally rewarded in the marketplace. For most organizations, if they are going to play a role in transforming the lives of their customers and serving the needs of society, technology will be the engine that makes that happen. And that means becoming a Digital Renaissance Man, which will require that you see technology as a tool that can truly transform the world.
Changing Your Approach to Technology
The great Renaissance Men did not see what they did as a job. They saw it as a calling. They sought to explore everything in an effort to find ways in which they could serve humanity. As a Digital Renaissance Man, you will need to do the same thing. You will need to redefine the concept of service in everything you do. You will need to break it free from its transactional shackles, embrace the idea of servant leadership on an individual level, and seek ways in which technology can be transformative to your organization’s customers or even your industry.
Like Benetech, you must start this process not by focusing on cost or profit—both of which will constrain your perspective—but instead focus on the impact to lives. Only then will you be able to see the bigger picture and how technology can help change life. The reality is that when you impact lives for the good, profit can often be found there. I’m not suggesting, of course, that IT organizations act like a nonprofit charity. But by focusing on the big picture, on how you can serve humanity through technology, you will broaden your perspective in ways that will lead you to unexpected results.
That is the way of the Digital Renaissance Man. It is the way of the modern digital leader. And it's what we should have been using technology to accomplish from the very beginning.
About the Author
Charles Araujo is a recovering consultant and accidental author of the book, The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. He is an internationally recognized authority on IT Leadership and liberally shares his message of hope about the future of IT and what it means for all of us. He is the founder and CEO of the IT Transformation Institute and serves on the boards of itSMF USA and the Executive Next Practices Institute. You can follow him at @charlesaraujo.
Editor's note: This is the second installment of a six-part article series titled "What It Means to be a Digital Renaissance Man." To read the first installment, click here.