IT and Leadership
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IT and Leadership
Collection of items about information technology and leadership - especially in higher education
Curated by Steve Krogull
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How to Establish a Vision Statement Employees Will Get Behind

How to Establish a Vision Statement Employees Will Get Behind | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
Most companies have a clearly defined mission statement, but it’s the vision statement that employees cling onto. Whereas mission statements explain a company’s reason for existence, a vision statement describes where the company is going and how they’re going to get there.
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The New Meaning of Doing Business Locally

The New Meaning of Doing Business Locally | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
Considering that organizations everywhere are busy going global, business can still be surprisingly shaped by local geography. In fact, doing business locally in our supposedly ever-flatter world is in some ways a hotter trend than it ever was before. In the food industry, there's a rapidly growing clamor for locally produced foods. In my industry, healthcare, much of the action across the U.S. is around smaller community hospitals and networks of neighborhood clinics.

But the drive for localization isn't necessarily inconsistent with globalization. Organizations can expand throughout a region or the world, while still addressing the sorts of needs and interests that tend to motivate customers to do business in a local market. Make no mistake, it can be a tricky balancing act. Here are some of the challenges leaders need to keep in mind
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IT must face outward

IT must face outward | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
The big challenge for CIOs and IT organizations today centers on readiness for customer contact, says CIO Publisher Adam Dennison. He says there's no better way to elevate IT's status than to make it more outward-facing.
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Web Vs Cloud Apps

Web Vs Cloud Apps | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it

One might think that selling cloud apps is straightforward.  Yes, you have all the Tech media advocating for Cloud IaaS, Paas and SaaS and all the fancy social media apps paving the way for an easy deal. But trying to sell a cloud app to old school CEOs is quite a challenge. These frozen in time old dogs are not interested in new fancy business models…and certainly you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.

 

You always come to a point when you’re asked: “and why is this different from a web application?” So here it goes again…

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lessons on leaders; lessons from leaders

“I’m just doing my job” is the most often used proclamation in the workplace. A close second would be: “that’s not my job.” If half the people at work are just doing their jobs and the other half are being asked to do something that is not their job; then how does anything ever get done?
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What Is Lean Management? An Introduction to Lean.

Lean Management is a management philosophy based on the Toyota Production System (TPS). This management philosophy was coined "Lean" only in the 1990s. The objective of Lean Thinking is to eliminate everything that does not add value (i.e. "waste") from the customer's perspective.

The general approach to Lean is learn-by-doing and to foster a culture of continuous improvement. In a Lean organization, we develop a value stream for each service family, make the product or service flow, and then continuously improve our process as we manage towards perfection. To achieve this goal of managing to perfection, there is a vast range of Lean techniques and tools available, which have been established and tested with numerous case studies. Examples of Lean frameworks include Value Stream Mapping, 5S, Kanban, Kaizen, Poka-Yoke, Gemba Walk, Hoshin Kanri, PDCA, Root Cause Analysis, Heijunka, etc.
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Communication, Culture, and Focus

Communication, Culture, and Focus | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
A culture of communication stays focused

Can you articulate your organization’s purpose (its cause and the reason that it exists), what it does (its mission), and why it matters (what difference it makes)?

If not—you’re not alone. We live in a world where we find it easy to change our focus and message to adapt to the circumstances and opportunities around us.

Doing so creates confusion in the mind of our audience and followers; it is imperative that we remain focused.
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7 Tips for Overcoming Negativity

7 Tips for Overcoming Negativity | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
Wherever we turn, it seems like we are confronted by shaking heads, thumbs down, obstacles, brush-offs, and closed doors. “NO” can surround us like a fog that refuses to be burned off by the sun.

Negativity is a problem because it reduces morale and productivity of your team members and increases turnover. Instead of your team members looking for opportunities, discoveries and innovation, they are likely to experience more exhaustion, job tension, nervousness, depressed moods and mistrust.
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Corporate Chronicles: Misalignment of an Organization’s Values

Corporate Chronicles: Misalignment of an Organization’s Values | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
Alignment is an interesting concept, and in the context of alignment of an organization’s value of their people, the integrity of statements like, “our people are our top priority,” or “people are our greatest asset” comes under threat when in the same breath an organizational leader utters, “it’s not personal, it’s just business” when referring to the same people.
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Mentorship and Advice Giving

Mentorship and Advice Giving | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
Perhaps we have all seen Star Trek and heard of the Prime Directive? If not it, is basically a philosophy that says interfering with the natural development of a primitive civilization is wrong. It would appear upon reflection that this general idea makes sense, but it starts to break down a little as you think about it.

In the world of advice giving and mentorship, I have noticed that if one expresses ideas indicative of primitive intelligence, i.e. they say something stupid, frequently advice and mentorship are withheld.
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The 4 Dimensional Leader

The 4 Dimensional Leader | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
I feel that leadership is a 4 dimensional process that integrates: Self, Others, Context and Motivation. 
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So you'd like to enhance resilience in the workplace?

So you'd like to enhance resilience in the workplace? | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
An article I read recently on Resilience in the Workplace really highlighted the importance of the co contribution required from the employer and employee when developing and maintaining one's personal resilience; resilience being described by the article author, Jocelyn Lowinger, in short, as our ability to bounce back in the face of a challenge or some sort of trauma.
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The Impact Of A Chameleon Culture On An Organization

The Impact Of A Chameleon Culture On An Organization | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
I think everyone would agree that the success of every organization is dependent upon the people that it chooses to employ. People make the difference and are solely responsible for the direction of the organization.  Decision about key business strategies such as product development, budget allocation, market segmentation, hiring, marketing, distribution, and leadership are made by people in key positions and ultimately lead to high performance or lack luster results.  People are the separating factor between good and great organizations, as much as they are bad and good ones.  Many times its the little things that sometimes go unnoticed or are not seen as important that tip an organization to head in one direction or the other.
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4 Things Employees Want Their Boss to Stop Doing

4 Things Employees Want Their Boss to Stop Doing | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
A business is no better than its people. As a leader, you know that. You care about your employees. You create programs to reward them, to recognize their efforts, and to make their work lives better.

Your intentions are good. But your efforts may not have the effect you intend.

Here are four things most employees wish you would eliminate
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Today’s Biggest Leadership Challenge - Part One

Today’s Biggest Leadership Challenge - Part One | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
Leadership challenges vary by organization. Big organizations have different leadership challenges than small ones. Mature organizations have outgrown some of the leadership challenges that persist in newer organizations. 

In general however this is the biggest leadership challenge facing all organizations today: finding tomorrow’s leaders.
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Soft skills now an essential focus of IT recruitment

Soft skills now an essential focus of IT recruitment | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
Soft skills are becoming an essential focus of IT recruitment, with customer service and communication skills now weighted quite heavily for low level infrastructure support roles, according to the latest Hays Quarterly Report.

Predicting trends in IT recruitment from April to June 2015, the report said that while technical competence and proficiency across up-to-date technologies remains important, individuals with a proven tenacity and the ability to empathise with users takes precedence in many work environments.

As a result of this more personable approach, the report said candidates who are based locally are preferred by employers due to urgent project requirements and their desire to meet potential employees face-to-face.
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It's not enough to build a strong community.

It's not enough to build a strong community. | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
This week we wrap up our return to the culture and climate series with a blast on Community. One of the keys to Community is remembering that it is not enough to build it. Without regular nurturing, even the strongest falter and fade.

Research shows about half of all our current friends will be replaced over the next 7 years. Think about your current social community, how many individual friends have you lost regular contact with over the years? How has your community changed as a result? Our professional communities are even MORE elaborate. Add in a supervisory dynamic and the absolute and unwavering expectations around performance and you have a complex community that requires constant attention.
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From Tales of Woe to Shouts of Victory: Fixing a Broken Team

Every manager and leader has had to face, at one time or another, a promotion into a broken team. Each of us as managers is sometimes faced with the challenge of mending a group of people who are exhausted, downtrodden and just plain dejected. Teams fall apart for many reasons: disparaging comments about their effectiveness, ineffective team members, excessive management turnover, unclear mission, and failure. The risky part of these teams is they become self-fulfilling prophecies because poor team chemistry leads to poor team performance which leads to blaming which leads to a death spiral of ineffective performance and on and on.
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The Early Stages of the Change Management Process

The Early Stages of the Change Management Process | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
In order to be effective in implementing the change management process, organizations must be able to efficiently execute the beginning stages of the process. Unfortunately, some managers are enticed by the idea of skipping steps in the process or alleviating them all together which will produce destruction and failure in the end. According to Gallos (2006) most companies fail at change management because they underestimate the difficulty of taking people out of their zone of comfort (safe zone). The early stages of change management consist of establishing a sense of urgency, developing and sharing a vision, empowering people to clear obstacles, securing and celebrating short term successes, and sustain what has been implemented with motivational cause. Throughout this process leaders must be partners with their people (stakeholders) not a boss. Change ultimately takes place when people have accepted that they are doing something different than they have ever done before (Laureate, Inc., 2012).
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In Reality, What does Effective Leadership Depend On?

In Reality, What does Effective Leadership Depend On? | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
If a successful organization depends on effective leadership, what does effective leadership depend on?  We are forever assessing and obsessing what it takes to be an effective leader and to ensure a successful organization.  There is a plethora of material enshrined in professional journals, books, PowerPoint® slide presentations, and motivational speeches.  Much of this suggests attributes that if possessed by the individual will guarantee effectiveness and success.  However, frequently only idealistic attributes seem to be considered, such as integrity, tolerance and discretion.  Although these are obviously important, they seem to pertain more to the person already at the top of the organization and not necessarily to the ambitious individual who is struggling to get there.  A somewhat different set of attributes may be needed to win that struggle.  From time to time integrity, tolerance, and discretion may have to be replaced by being a liar, a con man, and a bastard.  After all, a person has to be a realist at the bottom before he or she can ever hope to be an idealist at the top.
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Insights from Our Next Generation of Women in Technology

The Virginia Tech chapter of Association of Women in Computing (AWC) sponsored a Women in Computing day for local middle school girls on Friday, April 24th.  I had the privilege of being the Keynote Speaker.  On Thursday night I hosted a dinner for nine women in either Computer Science or Computer Engineering majors who were AWC officers or event planners.   The women were technically savvy, had internship experiences, had been to multiple technology conferences, and were very engaging. 
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Five Tips for Fun Adult Learning

Five Tips for Fun Adult Learning | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
I love food. Especially fried food. And most especially beignets, which are like fry bread and powdered sugar got together and declared greatness. I will willingly do very bad things for beignets.
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Your data problems might be business acumen problems in disguise

Your data problems might be business acumen problems in disguise | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
I was once talking with an executive about her frustration over her team’s data-driven decision making skills.  Despite organizational improvements in collecting, analyzing, and reporting data, her leaders’ decisions didn’t seem to improve.  She wasn’t sure what to do next.  In her mind, she was already handing her leaders the answers, “I’m not sure what else we can do.  We provide a dashboard that clearly shows which metrics are at red, yellow, and green status, yet they aren’t taking action.”  She thought that perhaps her leaders needed to attend my Rethinking Data workshop.
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HOLACRACY: “Elixir of Tyranny”? Flavor of the Moment from Zappos?

HOLACRACY: “Elixir of Tyranny”? Flavor of the Moment from Zappos? | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
Have you experienced “the tyranny of consensus”? This experience often occurs in a meeting filled culture where the higher up the hierarchy you reside, the more you feel disabled by the overwhelming pressures of personal performance and results. When overwhelmed such negative behaviors as necessary avoidance, forceful dissemination, or analysis paralysis often set in. The usual way of resolving an inability to act on multiple issues at the same time is to push the issues around in a dance not unlike walking across a bed of hot embers.
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Roadblocks to Effective Change – Part 1: Expedience

Roadblocks to Effective Change – Part 1: Expedience | IT and Leadership | Scoop.it
Over the course of the next several blogs, I’ll be looking at three of the most common attitudes/approaches to workplace change that, despite best intentions, end up being major obstacles to successful transformations.
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