跨領域客座教授訪談—Fred Phillips 教授
【科智碩106吳韋廷報導】國立政治大學科技管理與智慧財產研究所很榮幸地於107年4月24日邀請到客座教授， Phillips 教授與我們分享他的研究領域以及相關經驗，並給予社會新鮮人建議及鼓勵。 Phillips 教授是 Technological Forecasting & Social Change 期刊的總編輯，亦是專注於科技導向之區域型發展（ technology-based regional development, TBED）、研究政策及高等教育三大領域之管理顧問公司 General Informatics 的創辦人。
Phillips 教授主要專注於科技預測與評估，且因其跨領域的特性而為之著迷，並形容科管是一腳跨進工程，另一腳跨進社會學的領域。Phillips 教授大學為數學系，攻讀博士期間則遵循其指導教授 Abraham Charnes 所開設的跨領域課程，並於畢業後加入 Charnes 教授友人的行銷公司工作。Phillips 教授說自己從小就有不斷尋找真理的執著，所以才選擇擔任教授，如此一來便能終其一生地沈浸於學習中。
當我們談到要如何成立自己的管理顧問公司時，Phillips 教授建議我們應該要先從了解自己的優勢開始。剛畢業的學生往往無法直接擔任管理顧問，不過我們可以從小處著手，運用我們已經擁有的專業，例如：協助進行顧客調查、資料分析或翻譯菜單等。隨著我們教育水準的逐漸提升，才能從我們所擁有的節點去創造產生更多的節點，並發展出更好的服務。Phillips 教授同時提醒我們擔任一位管理顧問最基礎也最關鍵的能力—聆聽。當我們參與商業聚會時，千萬不要只顧著介紹自己，應該要聆聽大家的問題，因為當人們認為我們了解他們時，他們就會僱用我們。
談到人工智慧，Phillips 教授認為教授並不會被機器人取代，因為教授能同理學生，並協助他們找到其興趣以及適合他們的學習與工作。至於科技管理的前瞻性，Phillips 教授說現今的工作環境對於該科系的人們相當有利，因為現今所謂的管理，基本上都是屬於科技管理的一種。
Visiting Professor in His Own Words—
Interview with Professor Fred Phillips
Author: Jeffrey Wu
The Graduate Institute of Technology, Innovation and Intellectual Property
Management (TIIPM) of National Cheng Chi University (NCCU) was very
delighted to have Visiting Professor Fred Phillips share his fields of
interests, experiences and offer some advice and encouragements to those
just starting their careers. Professor Phillips is the Editor-in-Chief of the
journal Technological Forecasting & Social Change and founder of General
Informatics LLC, a consulting company specializing in technology-based
regional development (TBED), research policy and higher education.
The Interdisciplinary Path: Making Connections is an Expertise
Professor Phillips specializes in management of technology (MOT), and
mainly focuses on technology forecasting and assessment. He is deeply
fascinated by the interdisciplinary nature of the field, describing it as
having one foot stepped in social science and the other in engineering.
Professor Phillips started with mathematics for his Bachelor’s and for his
graduate studies, he followed an interdisciplinary curriculum designed by
his mentor, Abraham Charnes, who later recommended him to work at his
friend’s marketing research company. Professor Phillips said that he has
always been motivated to find the truth, starting when he was very young,
that is why he ultimately chose to become a professor where he would be
able to become rich in learning for the rest of his life.
During the talk, we mentioned that many students fear that pursing
interdisciplinary talents would run the risk of learning only a little bit of
everything and thus possibly end up being shallow. Professor Phillips
offered us another point of view from his perspective and in retrospect of
his own career and experiences. “Making connections is also an expertise”,
he emphasized, “the world needs people who can bridge different fields
together just as it needs people with expertise in a specific field.” “Although
there exists a dilemma that job offers seem to require people specializing in
a narrow field”, stressed Professor Phillips, “we must keep in mind that the
world’s problems simply cannot be solved by only looking at one narrow
“You have to remember that the world cannot be saved only by people
who specialize in narrow fields. ”
Starting a Consulting Firm — Leverage You Own Expertise
Through his company, General Informatics, Professor Phillips has offered
consultation to various companies and government entities. He said that
what fascinates him the most, though disappointing, is that as a consultant,
he often has to deal with human motivation. Many clients often lie to him
in order to avoid obligations or because they are more interested in looking
good than solving the problem.
When we touched on the topic about how to start our own consulting
company, Professor Phillips advised that we must first understand our
strengths and then use it as a leverage. Students and new graduates usually
have limited credibility as management consultants. Start simple and offer
expertise we have such as customer survey, statistical analysis or
translation of menus. As our own education progresses, we will then be able
to leverage the contacts we have to offer higher-level services. Professor
Phillips also reminded us the fundamentals of being a good consultant is to
listen. Attending business events are important, but don’t “work the room”.
Instead, try to understand people’s problems and if they think we
understand them, they will hire us.
AI, Professors and Technology Management
“People have always felt anxiety about technology”, said Professor Phillips,
“and robots and AI are going to escalate this anxiety to a whole new level.”
Professor Phillips stressed on the importance of understanding these
technologies. We should take a lesson from Zuckerberg’s recent testimony
to US legislators who showed their poor understanding of big data. These
technologies should be well governed, but not too tightly so as to impede its
innovation. We need to understand the policy, the technology, the political
process, and the technology assessment.
“Management of Technology remains a silly name for our field.
Technology does need to be managed. People need to be managed.”
Regarding artificial intelligence, Professor Phillips believes that there will
be an ongoing need for professors despite people talking about the
replacement of professors by robots. Professors empathize with students
and help them find courses and jobs that suit their needs and personalities.
It will still take a while for robots to achieve the same level. As for the field
of technology management, the landscape of workplace is shifting towards
an advantageous environment for those in the field — all management now
is in one way or another, technology management.
Advice for the Young and the Taiwanese: Make Mistakes Now
and Think Bigger!
Professor Phillips said that many Taiwanese students are afraid to make
English mistakes in class, but on the contrary, it is the time when our
mistakes are much less costly.
“Make lots of mistakes now, so you can learn to correct them.”
Professor Phillips also mentioned that we shouldn’t put all our emotional
eggs in a single career basket as we will have many jobs in the course of our
careers. We should not become too frustrated if one of our jobs turn out to
be unsatisfactory as other opportunities will definitely come. Additionally,
we need to learn to grasp the difference between confidence and arrogance.
Walk into every room and every meeting as if you are the one, and greet
others with courtesy. Do not engage in office politics as everyone knows
that those who do are the ones that are not competent at the work in their
job description. Do the jobs we are given and if we are not able to rise to the
top of the organization due to the political players, we must remember that
a good reputation goes a long way.
Last but not least, Professor Phillips encouraged the Taiwanese to think
bigger and develop more talented leaders that can handle challenges ahead.
We should develop at least one company producing a world-recognized
consumer brand and develop expertise in a hot technological area besides
“This is the Asian century, and I am glad and proud to be a part of it.”