I began my role as Dublin Unified’s first Chief Technology Officer in January 2015. The morale in the department was low and the frustration was high. It was not a unique situation by any stretch. Fast forward to July 2017. I want to talk about the power of influence and the spirit of innovation. In my department, professionals that had been programmed to following help desk tickets to guide their work are now innovating at high levels in their daily tasks. The small things I notice as the leader of the department often go unnoticed by the team because it has become the way we conduct our business. I am a firm believer in empowering staff, encouraging risk, providing opportunities for play, and celebrating innovation. Sounds complicated maybe, but it is very basic.
Providing opportunities for play
Every day, in very small ways, someone in the department amazes me with their creativity and heart. Now they will tell you, “It’s no big deal.” They will tell you, “That’s the way we do business.” I say it’s something more. It has changed how they approach teachers. It has made them more confident to teach students (yes they do!).
Creating culture is no easy task. Following a game plan and not backing down is also difficult. I will break down each element of my change plan in coming posts.
What began as one leader’s agenda has now become the way we conduct our department. It is gotten beyond my reach and is now out of my hands. I stand alongside some of the hardest working IT Professionals in education.
I can look at my team right now and see where they will be in a year. I have shared that the while they are doing daily tasks, “I’m a year down the road watching them work.” I’m not going to share with you where we’ll be in a year, that is going to be shared as it unveils itself. But wow, if you could see what I see.