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DTS Chair Dr.Gerald Stokes to write Mail Business Newspaper column

Press Releaseㅣ2019-11-14 13:07

Expectations


I have become increasingly aware of how much of society depends on expectations. We have expectations about how the world works and how other people should behave. These expectations allow civilization to exist. Some expectations are obvious. We expect the sun to come up each day. We expect other vehicles to stop when they have a red light, unless of course it is a delivery scooter, which we expect never to stop until it gets to its destination. While the power of expectations is very great, it is clear if we do not manage them appropriately, the risks to ourselves, our businesses and institutions can be quite large. This risk is particularly important as we embark on new technologies like AI and participate in the 4th Industrial Revolution.


Expectations are part of life. We grow up learning the expectations of our parents and develop expectations of them as well. As we grow older these expectations of individual people grow into expectations of our institutions. We have expectations of schools, universities and businesses as well as the police and fire departments. 


Within a business, expectations allow smooth operations. On the most fundamental level, companies are expected to provide a safe and appropriately equipped workplace. Employees are expected to work effectively and they, in turn, expect fair compensation for the value they deliver. Businesses have expectations of their suppliers and their customers. Industry builds complex supply chains that they expect to work. We expect government regulation to be stable and supportive. With globalization, we develop similar expectations of other governments as well. Over the past several decades, under the mantle of “corporate social responsibility,” society now also expects certain behaviors on the part of companies as they operate. Every business leader knows what happens when any of the above expectations are not met.


The sciences are great creators of expectations. When we drop a ball, we expect it to fall to the ground. The existence of technology creates even more expectations. When we turn on an electric switch, we expect a light to come on or a fan to run. Expectations build upon each other. We expect the train to arrive and leave on time. We plan to get to a meeting on time because we expect the train to be on time. And of course, we are expected to be at the meeting on time. Our expectations of technology are so high that we plan based on our expectations. We expect that the technology will work.



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Written by Gerald Stokes, Chair of Technology and Society Department at SUNY Korea

Date: November 7, 2019

Source: Mail Business Newspaper