Thursday, March 19, 2015

3 Elements for Transforming IT Culture

Recently I was interviewed by EDUCAUSE about the top 10 strategies to Transform IT Culture.  As we talked, the interviewer asked if I could narrow it down to 5, and when it came to produce a short video, I had to reduce it to just 3.  While all of the 10 core strategies, there are 3 elements, which can make a very large impact on your IT department, and in a sense "super charge" your culture.

First, there is Communication. 

In any IT culture, communication is the most often talked about challenge, but rarely solved. As a manager, you need to think about communications internal to the department, external to the department (on campus), and then the communication outside the traditional borders of the campus. Communicating our successes off campus to external audiences can may big dividends down the road.
"Communication needs to be clear, concise, and frequent."

Second, there is  Empowerment.

If our employees don't feel empowered, where does that motivation we want them to have come from? What gives them the most satisfaction in their job? It's feeling empowered in their job, to feel they can make a difference, that we can make a change.

The Third important strategy is to Develop Relationships. 

This is easy to say, but difficult to accomplish. Developing relationships can start with your colleague down the hallway. Rather than avoid people by e-mailing them- talk to them face-to-face. The next step is to connect with colleagues throughout your building and across campus. In the past I have heard the IT mantra, "What's good for IT is good for the campus."  This can create perceptions that IT wants to be in control of everything technology related. Instead we need to position ourselves to be a partner with our customers. Breaking down those barriers can help develop relationships which can go a long way in creating a culture of cooperation and collaboration.

Communication, empowerment, and relationship- a winning formula to help create a successful IT culture. Try this formula, and consider all 10 strategies listed in the previous post. To see the YouTube for this story, go to: