Mindset is as important as skillset for CIOs
University of California, Riverside shares essential traits of effective IT leaders
- A good IT leader needs patience and to listen
- The institution’s mission drives the technology
- IT leaders should create a culture of opportunity, flexibility, openness, and inclusiveness
Danna Gianforte, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer, University of California, Riverside
The role of the CIO has been evolving for years. A number of years ago, it was said it's no longer about the technology, and that is still the case. And it's probably even more so the case. There's really a new responsibility around social mobility, and creating a culture of opportunity, and flexibility, and openness, and inclusiveness that we really didn't talk about five years ago.
A good IT leader needs patience. It's listening to the campus and seeing where the campus really wants to go. Every campus is going to be different. We're all in higher education. We're all teaching students. We're all involved in research. But every institution has a local mission that makes it different and distinct. And being a part of that and really understanding that is important, because that drives where you apply your technology.
The best piece of advice that I've received from a long-term mentor is to really think about the mindset that I bring into the situation, the culture, the institution, the meetings, the interactions. In technology we talk about our skillset and our toolset a lot. We focus on those things.
But I think a missing piece from those considerations is our mindset. And I think it's important that we consider what's going on between our ears, take it in check when we need to, and really think about what we're doing to enhance the mission of the institution.