Brobeck, Phleger, and Harrison
We've seen a lot of high-tech start-ups the last few years and just some of the things that I've seen to sort of relate this back to some of the tenets I've told you about basic leadership. You have many situations where you have the person that had the idea, that understood or created the technology, transitions and all of a sudden they're CEO of a small company. They may or may not have much leadership training. Not that leadership necessarily comes with age, but many times their life experiences have been more limited, so they may not understand some of the basic tenets. All of a sudden, they've got a tremendous number of pressures in addition to the way that technology has advanced, the competition, the marketplace, and then shareholders if they go public. They're more focused on the product and they may or may not be thinking about, "Well, are my people happy? Am I making them feel like part of the team? Are we all pulling together? How are we structured?" So I think in terms of the basic leadership, in many situations from a start-up standpoint - of course, this is sort of a stereotype but from my experience it applies in many situations where you've got the young techie that is now a CEO of a company. If he does not bring in experienced leadership to help him form that company - and many times it's an issue of capital. Can you do that up front? Can you go out and hire Lee Walker to come in and run your company when you've basically started off on a credit card and you're trying to get some financing from the venture capitalists? So I think those are inherent issues. Also as it relates to some of these start-up CEOs, they're focused on the technology, and that tends to be a very detailed focus, whereas a good leader of a company understands first the big picture and then puts the component parts together. So based on some of the lack of experience and based on age to some extent, you see some leadership potential problems that could arise and have arisen. I think you see less of that in the more established companies who are able to hire good, strong leadership that understands those basic principles.
To sort of tie this over to the legal perspective, I think there are a couple of different backgrounds here. I think we've got ethical situations for leaders of the technology companies and as it relates to the legal perspective. Then we've got the legal situations involving the attorneys. All this is sort of cast on a backdrop that the legal profession is self-regulated. We have an American Bar Association that proscribes model rules of ethics that we have to follow, and then each state then has their own disciplinary rules for monitoring the conduct of attorneys. Many times in litigation there's a very deep, competing tension, and that is, as an attorney, especially as a trial lawyer, you are an Officer of the Court, and that means that you have a responsibility to insure that your client is also meeting all the rules and regulations and is acting ethically. And in most situations, that's the case. Every now and then you are presented in situations - and not that your clients are unethical but they may or may not understand what the legal responsibilities are.
There are certain core values as a lawyer you have to maintain, and some of those very quickly are: maintaining client confidentiality. There's an attorney/client privilege and what your client and you talk about you cannot reveal. Now if that presents in some situations a conflict between your duties as an Officer of the Court and client confidentiality, many times you as a lawyer may have to withdraw from representation rather than run the risk of having to reveal information. I think where we're seeing a lot of this is in the intellectual property areas. I think we're seeing many situations where our clients struggle - and it's not really an ethical situation; it's more - I mean, I like to call it sort of a balancing act. You're always tried to find the right medium. Where we see it in many cases is we see it in the mobility of the high-tech employee. The company has some proprietary information. It is allowed and has a legal right to protect it. All of a sudden, we have employees and we have employment agreements, and we want to protect our information. And so we have non-compete clauses that may proscribe a geographical area within which you can't practice that for a period of time when you leave the company. Others we have non-disclosures, which says what you create while you work for me belongs to me, the company; it's not yours. And in many situations, there's a competing interest, and sometimes an ethical interest, between protecting your intellectual property versus inhibiting the ability or the right of an employee to go somewhere else to make a living. And we've had Court decision and Court opinions that have sort of come up with what's a reasonable balance between the two, how far you may go from a company, in terms of miles even, prior to you being able to practice that. What you can disclose and what you can't. A trade secret body of law, especially in the high- tech industry, is probably one of the growing and most ever-changing areas where we're seeing ethical issues present themselves between the attorney, his client and the employee.
Another issue where we're seeing ethical situations and you're reading about some of these probably in the papers if you follow some of the big cases that are being handled, is in an area called discovery. And what that means is, in litigation each party has an obligation to turn over documents that are related to the litigation that the other side is entitled to see. And where we see challenges now is in the electronic age. We're seeing the proliferation of e-mail. We're seeing the ability that even when you think you're deleting information, there's back-up tapes for a lot of this information. And as the attorney in many situations, you're sitting down and you're ethically discussing, "What is my obligation to turn over in this litigation? What is the other side entitled to see within the legal rules?" And many times the client and the attorney don't always agree on this situation, and so it sometimes comes down to what's the right thing to do; your interpretation of a statute. And so you do see a lot of abuse sometimes in these situations. The Courts are there to handle these, but again we're back to ethical issues that are created by the advancement of technology in many areas.
One area that we talk a lot about is an area called spoilation, where a client or a form is actually - there's evidence that they actually destroyed information that should have been revealed to the other side. Again, other ethical issues related that may or may not be an issue if we didn't have some of the high-tech advancement which e-mail and back-up tapes and the like.
The ramifications for some of these actions: The Courts render very severe punishment for these types of issues. There are monetary sanctions assessed by the Court against the company. Many times if there are allegations that the attorney understood the basis and allowed the destruction to occur anyway, there's disciplinary proceedings and possibly disbarment. We're even having situations now where we're having Courts have a company turn over their entire computer network for an expert to go through, so be careful of the e-mails that you send. They never truly go away. Pages, cell phones, the whole nine yards.
Just a couple of other issues. We also see ethical issues as it relates to transactions, to business transactions when you have the involvement of venture capitalists or investors. What percentage of equity in a company is appropriate for a certain level of investment? You've got failing companies. You've got companies that are in dire need of dollars. And from a legal perspective as well as company, you're many times presented with issues as to whether your venture capitalist client is taking advantage of a young start-up. Our country is based on laissez-faire and capitalism, and so our business model is: we're out for a profit and you take advantage of the types of leverage that you have. Many times in some situations - and I haven't actually encountered them but I know they're out there - situations where it may be clear that a venture capitalist is taking a very high equity stake in a company for maybe a lesser investment. And so from a legal perspective, you're seeing more and more lawsuits relating to those types of issues.
Chairman, Capital Metro
Chairman, Pavilion Technologies
I'm going to stand because I've got to get my blood moving. I want to speak just very briefly and just try to create a framework so we can get into the discussion. Before I forget, Jarvis had a very provocative phrase that's triggered an article that I think might be helpful for you to go to. There was the "do as I do" brand or style of leadership, the leadership by example. When I heard that phrase, it triggered in my mind that there was a Harvard Business Review article in what I believe was the March/April edition of the Harvard Business Review. It was written by Daniel Goleman. I don't know if you're a Goleman fan or not, but he's the chap who wrote Emotional Intelligence, which for some people is an important book, for others it's less important. Actually, I've found Goleman for being very useful in my own life, my own work. Goleman, in addition to writing Emotional Intelligence, wrote this piece - and I can't possibly give you the title, but "leadership" is somewhere in the title. And the key in this is he talks about a repertoire of six different leadership style, of which what he calls in his article the "Pacesetter Style," which is "do as I do" is one of the six. But I think it would be very interesting for you in your research if you're thinking about this, if you're a leadership junkie, to read this article and look at - I think they surveyed something like 4,000 business firms and looked at the six slices. I don't know that there was necessarily a proscription for high-tech, but I think insofar as this conversation about leadership it's a very interesting article. Jarvis, thanks. It makes me want to go back and reread that article myself.
Well, let's see. This is such an impossibly broad topic that I'm just going to hit a few high points so we can get into a discussion. This topic of this duality, this two-sided world we live in. Here again, while I'm talking about books, it's not a very good book but I think it's a fantastic set of ideas. A favorite teacher of mine was Jane Jacobs, a wonderful woman who lives up in Toronto; I think she's still kicking around. She wrote that big classic in '61, The Death and Life of American Cities. And she wrote a book entitled Systems of Survival, and in that she argues that essentially there are two cultures loose in the world: the trading culture - we high-techers would subscribe to that. You trade stuff; you try to make money and just try to pile our [word] as high as we possibly can - and then there's the guarding culture. The guarding culture is a little bit snippy and sniffy towards the trading culture. The guarding culture basically are folks - you find a lot of the guarding culture over at Cap Metro because there it's all about trying to do a civic chore, a civic objective you're trying to accomplish. And since I flipped between these two worlds, these two cultures that Jane talks about in her book, The Systems of Survival, I guess it is called - the so-called trading and guarding. When Gary contacted me, I thought, you know, it's interesting because it really is a dual life. I suppose as a recovering Catholic, which is what I'm really recovering from, I think of my life as a trinity. I think of three things: I teach, I do civic stuff, and I do high-tech stuff. And I do about a third, a third, a third. Of course, number one is as a husband and a father and a neighbor, but once you get past your big substrate of life, a third, a third, a third in terms of the teaching, in terms of the civic side and in terms of high-tech.
I'm currently chairing an extremely exciting firm - I'm sounding like a hopeless tout here - of Pavilion Technologies, which is a neural and artificial intelligence-based company which we'll take public probably in about a year. I spend a lot of time with that. When I'm not doing that, I go over to Cap Metro. When I'm not doing that, I have three of four other either business or civic engagements I'm involved in. And I'm struck by this duality or this two-side nature of things. And I don't know what to say about that except perhaps just to talk about a few lessons learned. I am struck by the, to me, kind of paper-thin understanding of most high-techers that I've run with. It's mostly high-techers; that's just the crowd I'm with. They're all impossibly young, so you have to cut them a lot of slack because they're children, most of them. I think they're in their 30s but they look like they're in their teens. They certainly talk like they're in their teens! And they have this extraordinarily thin or narrow view of, "Let's see, so business is what an adult does," and then that expression, "you give back," or when you have something left over, you sort of do civic stuff. I regard that as underdeveloped muscularity in the area of understanding. To me, these are two sides of co-equal importance and one cannot live without the other. But because they're two different cultures, they're both a bit snippy and sniffy towards each other. There's a tendency for each to put the other down, you see.
I guess in terms of my lessons learned, it's to try to bridge that chasm or try to get a deeper understanding of these two cultures on either side, and to look for ways to bridge them is, I think probably my biggest take-away as I slouch gracelessly towards my 60th birthday next July. What else might I say here? I think that another notion I'll just quickly throw out is that, for myself at least - and this is perhaps just a personal comment but maybe a generalizable concept; I don't know - I find the business issues I deal with, the high-tech issues, difficult but straightforward. Difficult in the sense that, for example, at Dell we had to figure out the model. I know at Skyco when we were forming that some years ago, it was not trivial getting kind of the right people and getting the resources pulled together. My point being, there's sort of a laundry list of things one does when you launch a high-tech entrepreneurial venture, but I don't want to underestimate the difficulty because it's extraordinarily difficult. Extraordinarily difficult. But to my taste, the civic side issues have all the same laundry list issues that I find on the high-tech side, and then there are some extras. There's more - but wait, there's more! And so that, to my taste, makes it a little harder.
What are some of the some-mores on the civic side? Well, let's see. One is that frequently your cause is hopeless. [audience laughter] You have no hope. We did the Triangle Project; it was hopeless. We had no chance. We were up against the State. They don't blend. You may or may not know what I'm talking about. It's a piece of dirt that resides here, if you're modeling a triangle, it's where Guadalupe converges with Lamar, I believe. Is that correct? Just north of 45th. And the State as developer wanted to put a suburban-type mall. And I don't know, a happy but increasingly less happy little band of us gathered together to fight that. And we knew we didn't have a chance. It was silly. So frequently some of the civic things you do are quixotic. Now, the fact that we won is, I think, the simple testimony. We brought extraordinary imagination, stealth, cunning, and two or three tricks which I will not ever tell because they were so reprehensible [audience laughter] - but we were up against a very powerful foe so one frequently does what one needs to do. If that sounds unethical - [audience laughter]. There was a larger good - I'm getting myself in deep trouble! [audience laughter]
I'm now gone way past my time so I'm just going to hush except to say that I do think there is additional complexity in this area on the civic side. Two sides, two different cultures that don't really, at sort of the molecular DNA level, really think the other side is somehow not quite up to moral snuff, should we say.
The 21st Century Project
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The University of Texas at Austin
I'm going to have to stand, too. I thought I'd offer some remarks about an issue that I've been close to for a long time, most of my adult life, and that is the intersection between technology and ethics, and particularly with respect to the ethical considerations of technical professionalism. Sometimes people ask me how I got into this issue, and it goes pretty far back. As I mentioned, I was in the military. I was in the Army. I was a Green Beret. And I had this unusual assignment for a while where I was assigned as a tester of new equipment that the military was thinking about buying. This stuff was usually pretty high-tech and in some cases ridiculously so. We had this once incident where I was on a Special Forces SCUBA team. SCUBA teams infiltrate usually off of submarines or something like that into beach objectives. And some whiz kid at a higher rank decided that this was a waste of energy on our part to have to swim into the beach so they were going to give us these underwater scooters. So they bought these and I was on a team that tested them.
And so the first round of tests we had was we took these things on a PT boat and our assignment was, we had two teams, one team with the scooters and one team without, and both teams had to swim rucksacks into a beach 2,500 meters and plant some fake demolitions and then swim back to the PT boat. Well, things did not go as planned. The first scooter that went into the water went straight to the bottom of the ocean with all the gear! The second one was so unbelievably cumbersome - fortunately, I was on the team that did not use the scooters. I had to swim into the beach and swim all the way back, and I beat the guy with the scooter by over an hour. He later described it to me as swimming 5,000 meters with a 50-gallon drum strapped on your back! [audience laughter] And of course, the manufacturers were on the boat and the procurement officials for the Army and stuff like that. I was having great fun dangling my feet off the side of the PT boat while we watched this guy try to get this scooter back out to the vessel.
Anyway, an amusing story about an ethical issue when I discovered that - oh, another aspect of it. They flew us down to Key West to try these things out in a different kind of environment, and we discovered that by turning on these little electric motors on the scooters, they attracted sharks! [audience laughter] Within a few minutes of kicking the triggers on these things we were totally surrounded by ominous-looking sharks. Well, the military - the recommendation from our team was pretty clear, but they wound up buying about 250 of these things. I don't think anybody ever used them. But that sort of clued me into some of the ethical issues involved with technology.
And there was another experience that was a little more serious. I served in Vietnam and I went to an artillery briefing once that was given by a hot-shot young Major - you know the type. He was an artillery officer and he was telling the Special Forces team that their technology had gotten so good that we didn't need forward observers anymore. Forward observers are the guys that accompany infantry troops to call in artillery strikes. They're the ones that decide where the artillery should land. That the technology had advanced so far that the artillery forces would now just pretty much know when we needed artillery and where. Now, we had an old Sergeant Major in the audience who we figured had been at Valley Forge. He stood up at the end of this briefing and he had this deep Mississippi voice, and he said, "Sir, with all due respect to an Officer of the Army, if I find out you're in charge of the artillery in my area of operations, I will personally come to the rear and shoot you right between the eyes!" [audience laughter] But we figured that this guy got promoted for having the initiative to employ this kind of technology.
Also in Vietnam it became sort of apparent to me that we were confronted with an ethical dilemma of really pretty significant proportions. We were stationed in the central highlands and there were only five Americans in my camp. We were supervising 1,500 [Montenyard] hill tribesmen. It was towards the end of the war. And there were, of course, technical objectives to the war that we got from our higher-ups, our commanding officers. But I had the good fortune of having a local commanding officer who saw that the war was ending and who had sort of decided in his mind that his principle objective was to preserve these tribes of [Montenyards] rather than to pursue the goals of the military - a very, very severe ethical dilemma on his part. So while we had an array of tools at our disposal - bombers and gunships and artillery and things like that - those things seemed counterproductive to this other goal, which was to keep as many people alive as possible for the war to end. So those kinds of things sort of informed my decisions about getting involved in this particular issue.
In 1984, I became Executive Director of an organization called Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. And the main issue that had led to the creation of this organization was whether or not there were any prospects for the development of an accidental nuclear war because of computer error - sort of the War Games kind of scenario from that movie back in those days. When you tell people that that's something that you should take seriously, they're usually pretty shocked that there could be some kind of computer glitch that actually winds up producing an exchange of nuclear missiles, but in fact that was a real possibility and still remains a certain level of risk. In 1985, I won't go into the details of this but we got involved in the Star Wars case. And in January of 1985, a good friend of mine, Dr. David Parness, who's a computer scientist - he's a U.S. citizen but he teaches in Canada - he was hired to be part of an expert panel evaluating the computer requirements of the Strategic Defense Initiative. And he spent two days looking at the whole systems thing through a Pentagon briefing, and he resigned from the panel. He told the New York Times that this system could never be built and be reliable; that is, that it was beyond the capabilities of the computer science profession to do this, and therefore the money that was being spent on this was a waste and that computer scientists should simply - they had the obligation, the ethical obligation, to tell the United States government that this was the case. Well, there was a huge, huge firestorm of controversy about this. The Defense Department jumped on David with both feet. Secretary of Defense Weinberger called him an enemy of the United States, cancelled his security clearance. There was a tremendous sort of debate throughout the computer science profession, mostly among academics, over this whole issue - and that is still, to a certain much lower degree, going on today.
When we were confronted with this kind of a scenario, we sort of went back and looked at the historical record of some scientists and engineers who'd been confronted with some similar kinds of things. And of course, most of this has a kind of headwaters in the response of the nuclear physicists who were part of The Manhattan Project and who immediately - almost immediately after the dropping of the bomb in Japan - began to ask some very, very probing questions about what the future of the world would be now that that they'd unleashed this technology. This led, of course, to the creation of a number of organizations. Probably chief among them was this organization called Pugwash which was formed by Albert Einstein and Hans [Detta] and Enrico Fermi and a bunch of other people. It has an odd name because it was founded in a town called Pugwash in Nova Scotia. Incidentally, Pugwash just won the Nobel Peace Prize three years ago. And that sort of set the kind of gold standard for scientists and engineers of their civic responsibility; that is, of looking at the future of the world and the evolution of technology, and coming to some kind of collective sense of social responsibility about where that should go in the future. And we still admire those people, or at least most people do, for taking such an action and being so self-reflective about it. But at the same time, it was an unusual situation, and so it set a standard that is very, very hard to live up to these days.
The post-World War II era was very unusual because these people - first of all, they were national heroes because of what they'd done with The Manhattan Project, but they were also sort of free-floating individuals. Some of them had academic and laboratory positions and so on, but they were not under tremendous amounts of institutional constraint. One person, of course, suffered greatly. That was Oppenheimer himself, the head of The Manhattan Project. But Einstein was pretty untouchable and Fermi, of course, was untouchable. So they set a kind of a standard that was almost God-like in developing some sort of ethical standards for scientists and engineers.
The problem that we have today is that things are much more complicated - and this is where my talk sort of intersects with Nan's. Scientists and engineers are increasingly sort of caught up in an institutional web of companies, of universities, of Federal funding and all kinds of other constraints that makes the independent evaluation of ethical considerations concerning science and technology much, much more difficult. The people right now who are sort of in the trenches of doing the kinds of things that are going to create controversies in ethics for science and technology don't have the stature of Einstein or Hans [Detta] or Enrico Fermi and so on. They're sort of anonymous individuals who are continually confronting problems that are raised by the progress of technology.
Let me just mention a few - well, the ones that I think are coming up and which are going to be as significant as the things that Einstein and Dr. Fermi confronted. Biotech. Where we draw the line on ethics about biotechnology is getting to be an increasingly controversial and pressing matter. I mean, this technology is moving faster than anybody expected. And the ethical considerations of biotechnology are kind of looming a bit. And at the same time we have a tremendous amount of corporations involved in biotechnology who have interests that may be quite different than the big picture stuff about what this means for human destiny, the human race, how we regard life and the environment and so on.
Last April someone I know, Bill Joy, who's the Chief Scientist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, published this very provocative article in Wired magazine, called "Why the Future Doesn't [Need Us]." Bill raised a lot of these kinds of issues. He specifically pointed out that there were three technologies that he thinks are coming that are going to be the biggest ethical challenge that the world has seen since the development of the nuclear bomb. And those three are biotech, a broad classification of technology known as nanotechnology or the ability to develop technology of molecular size, and then the last three are sort of a combination of artificial intelligence and robotics. And Bill and I, we debated each other about this article this past October at the University of Washington. It was a fascinating discussion. And one of the things that he's raised, which has sort of swept the scientific and engineering communities - he's been giving talks at the National Academy of Sciences and he's featured in the New York Times and interviewed on National Public Radio and so on - he's raised this issue of what he calls relinquishment, which is the idea that there are some things out there that we might not want to know; that there may be demands of scientific and technical knowledge where we can project that there may be benefits so harmful to our collective security and peace of mind and so on, environmental quality and so on, that we may decide to just kind of wall them off or rope them off and say, "We just don't want to go there." The one that he pointed out specifically and which is sort of the key of the debate right now, is what he called self-replicating technological devices, whether biologically based or mechanically based, those that could be unleashed into the environment or into human organisms or whatever and replicate themselves without any control mechanism built in. These might be viruses; they might be tiny machines; they might be robots; whatever it is, that he thinks that over the next 25 to 30 years could be sort of the looming danger to the human race that we're just not prepared to deal with.
The problem is, of course - and this is what Bill and I talked about last October - is that there are really strong institutional forces pushing us in this direction. This is not research that's just going on in a vacuum. This is not just scientists being curious and having enough money to tinker around with whatever it is that they're interested in. There is really a sort of momentum moving us in this direction for very, very serious reasons. That's why the problem is so serious. And those scientists and engineers who find themselves caught up in this trend have a hard time thinking about how it is that they can say "stop" or "let's think about this" or "let's have a debate about this," we don't have the institutional framework to be able to do that these days.
So this is the kind of thing that I thought I'd raise as a point of discussion. It's one thing to think about the issues of having corporate responsibility, which is absolutely important, but it gets to be more vexing, if you will, when you've got an ethical issue that seems to go against the grain of what your institution is all about. If your corporation asks you to build a technological system to monitor other employees, for example, what do you do? Those are the kinds of things that engineers and scientists are confronting today. I think those things may always be with us but they seem to be growing in intensity. So I'd be welcome to hearing ideas from you about how we might deal with some of those kinds of issues because I think this is going to be one of the biggest challenges of the rest of our lives, and certainly the lives of our children. So I'll stop there.
Audience Member: I have one comment because your idea could take us for weeks. Given the fact that Phil Joy was influenced by the Unabomber's Manifesto, of course, and Ray [Kirtzwall], of course, was a major player in this entire arena with spiritual [word]. I'm more interested in the interface, though, between academia and business. Right now there is a force within the corporate world to open up knowledge. [Natella] and Napster are just early manifestations, but peer-to-peer open architecture, sharing of information with the idea that there's a synergy going on, this is happening within the corporate world. On the other hand, we're seeing a reverse trend within academia as academia pushes to become more like business in terms of holding information in, reserving it, trying to patent it, trying to control it, because it sees information as a profit proxy. So Lee, you're both at that Jane Jacobs interface, as are people here, because now you've got an institution which is normally talking about civic duties and the larger good opting to act more like a corporation, and corporations looking more at trying to open up these kinds of issues. The legal issues, of course, are fairly horrendous because nobody quite knows what to do with intellectual property, especially with people pushing for this - at least a couple of bands that are concerned about Napster, but that's another issue. So I'm interested in this interface and what's happening in academia, and how this is going to play out, this kind of reversal between the Republicans and Democrats, so to speak.
Jarvis Hollingsworth: The question is, just to comment on that, as you say, that interface, that connection between the business world and the university, along what lines? It's a very broad question. Let me just say this, that I - the incumbent, [Name] Moore - I'm just sitting her just sort of swaying. And I realize that it's something I've done almost as a psychological protection, is I've shrunk - if that's the correct verb - from what I've called the large issues of the day and have just - I think the Vietnam experience taught me that I could protest until the cows came home. Indeed, there could be 80 percent plurality to stop the killing and it didn't matter. And so I have withdrawn back into my little sphere of Austin. So anything I say is hopelessly narrow. But with that caveat, I'll say a couple of things.
I have experience with the University of Texas and with our high-tech community. What strikes me is, again, these two cultures. I mean, if there was ever a guardian culture or a hierarchical culture, it's the University. I'm frightened for the University, actually, because of its slowness to change. Gary is a genius, I think, at looking into the future. There are some other things he's not a genius at but he's real good at looking at the future! I'd love to bring him into this conversation. But I just wonder if the University isn't threatened, along whatever topics you want to talk about, that it might not find itself just on the beach of obsolescence at an amazing speed. I'd love to hear you talk to that point.
Gary Chapman: You want a comment on the University. The largest university in the world today is the University of Phoenix. It's the fastest growing and has 120,000 students in, I don't know, 140 locations. It's a franchise. They open in one week. It's a non-traditional university model but industry is accepting those degrees and they're accredited. The traditional academics are basically sucking their thumbs while it happens.
Jarvis Hollingsworth: Talk about a self-replicating - that virus is loose in the land! But by the same token, I just worry on the high-tech side, given the sort of thinness of understanding, that there is somehow a notion, "God, if the University could only be like a business, then life would be peachy." I think that's just nuts because there's some serious scholarship, serious research - and it's always not clear that the research being done has necessarily an immediate and "practical" goal. So just in general, these two cultures here - we have a thing we call a whiffle ball. You know that story? Then I'm going to turn it over. Do you know about the whiffle ball? Do you know about the 360 Conference? There's a 360 Conference. We just had our third one. It was when 360 high-tech CEOs get together. We just had our third one. At the end of the day there's what's called the whiffle ball. The whiffle ball comes because in the first annual 360 Conference, President [Foreacre] was speaking and I think he said something like, "You know, we'll be here long after you're gone," at which point-
Nan McRaven: Fifty percent of you will be gone.
Jarvis Hollingsworth: Yes, something. And suddenly all these little plastic balls people had they didn't know what to do with, they all threw them at him. It was just a disgraceful, amazing thing. There's the President of the University dodging these. That was when the whiffle ball concept - and it has now led to a danced call the Whiffle Ball. I'd be really interested, particularly in light of the comment of the gentleman in the back, about your projections about this creature called the university and its survivability.
Gary Chapman: Yes, I think it's a really serious issue. This is another topic we could talk about for weeks. It does raise some of these ethical kinds of issues. For example, on the one hand we're interested in technology transfer from the university to the private sector in order to develop our community, but on the other hand we're also interested in developing tools that can be essentially open to the public for constant revision and improvement and things like that. A lot of people don't remember that Netscape came out of the University of Illinois and so did Eudora and so did Fetch - or Fetch came from Dartmouth. These have been tools that have been - I think Eudora is the most widely used software in the world. It's now a commercial product but for many, many years it was free. So the universities are caught in that kind of a dilemma.
There's also this new emerging issue which you've sort of alluded to, that for some people - particularly, let's say, developing countries - using free software might be the best alternative for them, as opposed to commercial products from major American corporations. So on the one hand we have corporations who are in the business of selling solutions to these countries, but on the other hand we have people like me who think that Mexico, for example, should use Lenix instead of Microsoft. And so we have tensions there between countrymen over, where does to the money go? Does it stay in Mexico or does it go to Redmond, Washington? Those are some kinds of technical/ethical issues as well.
Nan McRaven: I was just going to say, though, I think that you see the shift occurring when people figure out, how are they going to make the money? So in the past, technology companies, we didn't give away that information, and we still keep X amount of it. We'll give some of it away because we know there's another means in which we can make money off of it. So if you give it away like ARM has done and they design it in to X amount of products, then we can make X amount of money off of it. If you hold it tight to your chest and somebody else is giving it away and designing it into products, then they're going to be the ones to make money. But in the end, I really do think it has to do with the business people figuring out, "Okay, so things are shifting so how do I shift with it and how do I make money in this shifting environment?" And if you can figure that out, and if you can figure out how it's going to be in your interest, then you get on the bandwagon with it. So I think in terms of talking about academia, what is their interest? What is their interest? And I think that's how you start it off. Maybe their interest is protecting themselves. In their minds, it's protecting their information. And I think in the past, that's how corporate America thought. "We've got to protect our information. We've got to protect our patents. We've got to protect our stuff otherwise X Company will get that information. TI will have it and they'll go out with something and make money." The fact is now that everybody's got the information, so it's how do you get to market fastest with the product so that you can make money, and then how do you turn those products and continue to get the cost out of your price so you can sell more of it? We're just in a different model and a different environment, and perhaps the universities haven't figured out the sort of paradigm shift.
Gary Chapman: Well, we should say that that applies to some universities. I think what Lee is saying about this university being slow is a reflection of paralysis on these kinds of issues, which actually may be not such a bad thing from an ethical standpoint. Whereas you look at some of these other universities - and I won't name names - but they've been in business for quite a long time and they have a reputation for that. I mean, I used to live next door to MIT when MIT was hardly a university at all. It was pretty much a corporate research lab, and they were open about that. In fact, that's why we liked MIT because they didn't make - Harvard, your old alma mater, had all of this ridiculous kind of virtuous "we're in the clouds" sort of stuff.
Jarvis Hollingsworth: True. [audience laughter]
Gary Chapman: "We don't touch that dirty stuff." Well, MIT gave that up years ago.
Audience Member: Yet the Media Lab is open. I mean, Nick [Name] said "Nothing in our lab is proprietary."
Audience Member: We're talking about that crossover between business and academia, and I have a question. It may be a legal question is at the root of it all. We have colleges, and be it one professor or a group of professors that wanted to bring multimedia into their classrooms, be it Napster or be it, "I used my VCR at home and I recorded this TV show and I'm going to share it with my class," or "I want to use clips out of the movie "Glory" for my ROTC or West Point students." But the question then becomes, what are we entitled to use and what falls under the educational realm, and where does business come in and say that we have to pay you to use this? And it gets one step larger, if I may. With schools like Phoenix or even the ROTC program - we're not just at one school; we're at 270 - what's our answer? Where do we go for answer?
Gary Chapman: Do you want to tackle that?
Jarvis Hollingsworth: First, I guess, just from my general perspective and Nan's comments, and Lee's and yours about academic versus - you know, going back to your question - I mean, a lot of it goes back to economics, again, about the universities who are struggling in some ways and are trying to create situations where they can get more people to give money to the school or even have more profit-making ventures from the academic standpoint. And your question, ma'am, those are true licensing use, intellectual property issues. Napster sort of caught everybody's attention because sort of a standard in the intellectual property world is, is it publicly available? And then you get caught in the crosshairs because some folks are saying, "Yes, well, I protected it and then I made it publicly available." Well, in strict IP - and there's a lot of exception to this, but in a strict IP definition, you lose your protection when you make it publicly available.
Audience Member: Well, what becomes publicly available, say a TV show that you can tape from a VCR? Does that become publicly available?
Jarvis Hollingsworth: Well, then some of those - in many situations you'll hear a disclaimer before the show that says you can't reproduce it, you can't reproduce it for sale. I think the NBA and all the sports shows have that. You can't reproduce it for sale, and there's a lot of exceptions to it. I don't think they can force a provision where you didn't reproduce it and then play it over and over in your own home, but once you went out and tried to sell it to your next door neighbor because he missed the Super Bowl and it was won in the last play of the game by one yard, then you're crossing the legal borders.
Audience Member: Well, I've heard people here in these different sessions talk about how they do just what I said by taping a TV show or bringing a movie into a classroom, and it's just being done all over the place by, "Well, this is education. It's for educational purposes." Well, I don't have an answer but I know that we're looking at bringing a lot of those pieces of multimedia into our curriculum and we're struggling with the legal aspects of that. It's not an okay thing to do.
Gary Chapman: Well, just as an informational point. First of all, this is in a state of flux right now. The Library of Congress has just weighed in on this varied use issue. Their recommendations, which were part of the Digital Millennial Copyright Act, have come under fire from educators and librarians, so there's likely to be a revision in that, and so one. One place that I've been recommending people to look at if you're interested in some really solid guidelines on fair use of intellectual property is the IP page of Stanford University. It's become sort of the benchmark for most universities around the country. In fact, I know some universities that just link to the Stanford page for their faculty to get guidelines about fair use and that sort of thing. Once you get a kind of standard of care, I think, about those sorts of things and you observe that standard of care, it would be hard for copyright holders to come after you. But that seems to be where things are right now.
Audience Member: One of the interesting issues in terms of high-tech and leadership that I'm fascinated by - if leadership is about dealing with change, keeping an organization aligned with the external environment from an organizational perspective, then I would argue that probably in terms of educating engineers and scientists, we should probably have a serious leadership component in their education because those are the folks who are dealing with this stuff on a day-to-day basis but they're lacking the skill set. And one of the things that MIT did with their MBAs - the MBAs keep dealing with, "You guys do a wonderful job with the technology but we don't have any of these soft leadership skills. Will you put a course in the curriculum solely on leadership? How do we hire these people? How do we find these people?" And by the way, guys, I want to underscore something because I see a lot of students here. Values-based leadership companies - companies led by values-based leaders have a higher return on equity, significantly higher than kind of direct people by political. That's what I found out in my dissertation stuff. Good leadership, good values, they kind of go together and underscore the theme. But the question is, how do we train scientists and engineers to be leaders, because by their very nature they're interested in things, as a general rule. Their education is deep and narrow, whereas business people are broad but shallow. So we have this emerging phenomenon called Management of Technology program that kind of bridged these in trying to deal with crossing these chasms. Do you guys have any reaction to that?
Nan McRaven: I'll make a couple of comments. One, that it is a huge problem. A huge problem. Actually, we have new positions within Motorola. One is a guy who's heading up Leadership Supply for us, and another Senior Vice President for Governance, which I didn't mention, which goes into this ethical issue in terms of how you govern and run the company. But you're absolutely right. I have dealt with business leaders out in the community and I have now dealt with engineers for the last 11 years.
Audience Member: And never the twain shall meet!
Nan McRaven: Oh, my gosh! I have to tell you, I wonder how some of these men and women have risen to the top without some basic skills - basic skills in terms of management and leadership - because they are not trained or they don't have that experience. You're right. They're engineers that are creating widgets, that sort of thing, and then all of a sudden they're managing billion-dollar businesses, multi-billion-dollar businesses that have HR aspects. I'm in the communications business and really, truthfully, half of them cannot walk the talk and cannot communicate with the employees. They really, really can't. It's a huge issue for us.
Audience Member: And yet the technology is driving changes so they have to constantly reiterate positions.
Nan McRaven: Absolutely.
Gary Chapman: It's interesting that in the late 1980s, the Computer Science Accreditation Board included, for the first time, a requirement of an ethical tract to computer science training and there was a huge backlash from the academic computer science community because they said, with some reason, "We don't know how to teach this stuff. This has not been part of our training. How can you impose this on us?"
Audience Member: [Inaudible].
Gary Chapman: Well, there was a cultural sense that if you introduced people who were trained in ethics, that they would have sort of second class status, that this would be seen as an imposition on the technology community, and that they'll probably wind up cooking up so-called gut courses that people would just sit through. So it's been a really serious challenge. Even among technical people who see the need for something like that, they just don't know how to square that circle.
Audience Member: Gary, can I just comment about - as a student who's about to enter the workforce I'd just like to say that I don't think that academia has cornered the market on myopia. I mean, I think that a large problem is in the business community everyone says they're a leader and it's on everyone's resume, and yet people are screened out based on the criterion of being in an MBA program as opposed to an MPA program, or things like that. So I think that one of the problems in terms of leadership in technology might be that there hasn't been a mechanism that's been developed to gauge leadership other than "do you have this GPA from this accredited institution from this part of the country with this IT program?" And so until that's addressed, I think the [word] is going to become [word]. You'll just get repeating.
Jarvis Hollingsworth: I think that's an excellent point.
Nan McRaven: I would just say that companies like Motorola are now putting those programs in place. For example, we had to do - and at Four Plus One, I had to do all of this information about, do I have these skills? Do I have these gaps? And the Leadership Supply stuff. And so they are now evaluating their senior management of the companies to say, "Okay, were are the gaps, and what does Nan needs so that she can become the leader we want her to become in terms of those gaps?"
Audience Member: I just want to underscore your point. Probably in the last four or five months, I've seen four, five or six advertisements by large, sophisticated companies for Director, Vice President of Leadership Development - senior positions, where the guardian organizations are now saying, "Whoa! This world is changing too fast with globalization technology and we don't have leaders who can move the people along as fast as we must," so they're creating these positions. And by the way, these positions - I would challenge you guys to [inaudible].
Audience Member: I was just going to add that I think one of the things that's confusing is, having gone through leadership programs and all these classes and all this stuff, and you're in training to be a leader and everyone tells you that and you come to school - and one of those confusing things is to enter an organization that now declares itself flat. You have a flat hierarchy; everyone gets the same e-mails, and now that we have the technology everyone gets the same information at the same time, and you're going to participate in the consensus-building process. And you look around and you're like, "Oh, my God!" [audience laughter] I just think that one of the things that academic institutions have not been able to prepare students for is how to work in a hierarchical situation when you don't have a direct mentor; in these organizations, you've lost that. People leave so quickly that as a new hire, you don't get a direct mentor anymore. You're not brought through a system. And if you're not going to be there for 30 years, you're not going to be a mentor to anybody else. As a matter of fact, most of these new companies that my friends are forming where everyone's "the same," you walk in the door and you're thinking, "Okay, I really don't have all these skills," and it's hard to admit because you need the job. So I think there's a gap between the buzzword and what you need to do. And I don't know of any MBA programs that are preparing their students for that kind of thing but I am sure that every other academic discipline has no idea how to prepare its graduates for that kind of workplace.
Jarvis Hollingsworth: Just a couple of points that I'll add. I think the academic institutions - and this probably goes back to what we were talking about change - are driven by the expectations from the outside business world, making people accountable. One of the first things I noticed in leaving the military and going back to law school, which doesn't have that same aspect, is - I mean, I'm in a 950-lawyer firm and my managing partner has never had a day of leadership training in his life. He manages 950 difficult-to-manage people. And I think until we change the way that we recruit out people from institutions like University of Texas, where we start to put some emphasis on extracurricular or the kinds of things you've done that have honed your leadership skills - one of the things that we did at Brobeck about five years ago - this year the firm, one of four firms ever, made Fortune 100's "Best Places to Work." I think there are two things that were part of the reason for that. One is, we now have down-up evaluations. And when you're the boss, that changes how you treat your people when they get a chance and your livelihood is based on how you're perceived by those that work underneath you. And also the other thing is, the firm minimized the differences between the way that the professionals and the non-professionals are treated. Fewer all-attorney events, more events for the whole firm. And I think it's a situation where it's building a culture. So one, the accountability for how you treat your people, and the other, making people feel like they're all part of a team, has really made a big difference. I don't know that all that is being carried over - I mean, I think now that's being recognized. Corporations and firms alike are understanding that they've got to have people in charge that understand how to motivate people and understand people and can deal with people.
Gary Chapman: Well, I think we're going to have to stop there. I just want to close by saying thanks very, very much to three outstanding and very busy people for giving us their time today. We really appreciate it. It's been a very interesting discussion. And thank you for your attention.