AVP & CTO Update January 14, 2018
Good morning everyone!
I hope it was a great weekend – sunshine is a lovely thing. We are in a time of year when we are all impacted by the diminished sunshine, at a minimum we call it the winter blues, so even if it is cold, tip your head to the sunshine and take care. Even dogs are impacted!
Next week we will hold our Launch event for the McMaster IT Strategic Plan! And a great After Party (with donuts)! Tanya, Amanda and I are spending copious amounts of time working on preparations for this. I am looking forward to seeing many of you there. And, in the spirit of the McMaster IT Strategic Plan, I thought I would share a few reads with you – and a few videos also.
First, two articles on Digital Transformation, as this is what we are undertaking here at McMaster, a digital transformation.
The first article, Your digital transformation initiative is probably not future-proof, is tough, as the author calls out what they believe is really required in a digital transformation, and what won’t work. Just adding in new technologies isn’t enough – it is our ability to integrate the old and the new and our focus on the future needs of our ‘customers’ as we navigate the way forward that will be the key to success. The article suggests, “Building the flexibility to adopt and integrate new technology as you adapt to evolving customer demands” is the key focus area in a digital transformation. The article then provides an ‘initiative quiz’ to gauge operational readiness for a digital transformation. It gave me a lot to think about! This is all written with corporate in mind, however we can learn a lot and need to think carefully about these questions as we embark upon our own new IT Strategy. With your input, I believe we have developed a comprehensive strategy that should help us to address many of the concerns these questions raise – and keeping aspects of these in mind as we move forward will only improve our success. My take: we have a lot of work to do! And it will be an exciting challenge.
The second article, Digital Transformation projects cry out for a human touch. feels like it was written to validate the IT Strategic planning process we have been under, and specifically the process we created around Digital Moments. “All this transformation people are talking about has to be embedded in understanding what people really want from their experiences — what’s the value proposition?” Our Digital Moments aimed to draw that out. The article also affirms that IT for the sake of IT is not the way to go – we need to really understand what our institutional needs are and deliver on that. And that all requires an attention to culture and a “core set of values” that can support adaptability.
With that human touch in mind, and the idea of failing fast and being creative in our efforts to bring about innovation and change, I thought I would throw in a little Brene Brown for you this morning. I read two of her books last year and have recommended them to many people. Her videos on Ted are amazing, and worth a second watch if you have seen them before. Her first Ted Talk kick started her career as a vulnerability guru and has had over 37 Million views. And my favourite quote from her second video is “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” Sound familiar? 🙂
Brene Brown’s videos are a wonderful set of resources as we embark upon our McMaster IT Strategy. We will get to our destination and achieve our IT Vision much faster if we are not in fear of failure and if we are open to supporting each other as we hit those bumps and challenges along the way that we will inevitably face. That means being able to be vulnerable enough to admit we have hit challenges, and also vulnerable enough to have empathy when others have experienced challenges and support each other. My commitment is that I am right here with you! I hope you get some value out of both of these.
That’s the way I see IT for January 14. Until next time…have a great week, everyone!