Monday, January 11, 2016

Top ten 2015, part 2

Continuing my reflection of 2015, a few of my favorite topics:
Many CIOs arrive at their role after having spent years in an IT organization. So it is perhaps not uncommon for CIOs to have difficulty in communicating technology concepts to those outside of IT. But arguably, we need to be more effective in this area, because those outside of IT are our customers. To support our clients, we need to be better communicators.
Feedback is a gift, and we should seek out feedback frequently. Every year at Morris, I hosted the Big Block of Cheese Day event where I solicited comments from students, faculty, and staff about how we can improve campus technology.
You may be familiar with the SWOT "tool." It's a methodology to compare options and make decisions based on an idea's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. You can also use SWOT to plan for the future, and I often use SWOT in this way. I find SWOT to be an efficient tool in my manager's toolkit to do strategic planning.
I like to find leadership lessons in unusual places. If you are willing to look for them, you'll see leadership lessons all around you. This year, I found leadership lessons from another unusual place. The 2014 action movie John Wick provides several themes in leadership.
In Fall semester, I was fortunate to teach an online class, CSCI 4609 Processes, Programming, and Languages: Usability of Open Source Software. I have long wanted to do some teaching, and this was my first opportunity. I learned a lot from this experience, and I wanted to share a few thoughts on how teaching this class helped me become a better IT leader.
And that's my reflection of 2015. Looking forward in 2016, I will shift my focus. I am no longer in higher ed; I am now in government. I will keep the "Coaching Buttons" title for my blog, but the tag line will change from "Leadership and Vision in IT and Higher Education."

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