Your BYOD Policy is Being Formed at your Local School

What we managers can learn from experimentation at the local school level

By Frank Kenna

Are you struggling with a BYOD (bring your own device) policy at your company?  Well, you’re not alone. Almost every organization is trying to come up with a policy that makes sense. 

But the real leaders in forming these strategies are hanging out at the mall right now, sharing music and tweeting about their every experience.  They’re the students of today and are hyper-connected to the world and each other.  The policies you’re developing today will be meaningless and obsolete by the time these kids become your employees. 

Today’s schools are busy figuring this all out with your future employees, because those teachers and administrators are dealing with the issue right now.  This was brought to my attention by an article in our local newspaper, The New Haven Register.  The article takes an in-depth look at what local schools’ BYOD policies should be; whether students should be allowed to bring them at all, when they can be turned on, and what activities they can be used for.  And some schools are actually requiring students to have them. 

The schools are doing this for two reasons.  One, they see the writing on the wall, with one principal saying, “It’s hard to have people use [technology] as an integral part of their lives, then shut it off [at school].”  The other, more powerful reason is that the learning techniques that can be used with touch-screen, interactive, online technology are truly revolutionary.

The North American workplace is far behind schools in figuring out how to apply these techniques to their employees.  Today, many businesses are still trying to figure out how to keep devices out of the workplace instead of embracing the technology and leveraging it for increased employee communication and interactivity. Doing this will inevitably lead to gains in productivity and profitability. 

I wonder… how can we dramatically reduce the friction of our company’s internal communications using these new devices?  How much faster could we meet our corporate objectives by employing these new techniques?  And how could we bring information alive for our employees, as the schools are doing for their students?  I’ll explore these subjects in future blogs. 

Frank Kenna III
September 6, 2012

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