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Strategic planning reading list

We’re working on our strategic plan. We have a mission statement and our values and are now working on the vision thing. I’ve handed out a couple of readings to get the visions/hallucinations fermenting. Submitted for your approval: our favorites from our reading list:

It’s No Whining Tuesday! Now with Extra Values

I will whine no more.  Here’s the latest from the strategic planning front. We’ve met, we’ve created a mission statement, and voted on our values. The winning values are:

  1. competency (to include teamwork, reliability, integrity, and communication)
  2. openness
  3. community-focused
  4. forward-thinking

I’m a loser baby

I serve on a regional board of CIOs/CTOs and we had our annual meeting yesterday and today. It was time for us to set our strategic theme for the next five years.

The candidates were:

  • academic technology
  • network security
  • information economics, law, and policy
  • IT leadership

I was on the team that proposed the academic technology theme and we were the big losers when it came time to vote. The winner was info. economics, law, ad policy. 1st runner up was network security (though I noted that I didn’t see this a particularly strategic and that if it were strategic that it would fall under the … Continue Reading

Shelter from the Storm: weathering financial challenges

The Chronicle gave some advice today to colleges on how strategic planning can help buffer institutions from the effects of uncertainties. Here’s the advice, condensed:

  • create strategic plans faster and have them cover a shorter period. Instead of taking a year to develop a 5-year plan, spend 4 months developing a 3-year plan.
  • make sure your strategic plans provide clear actions which reflect core principles and particular goals.
  • practice flexibility regularly: refine your actions or change your strategies annually while retaining your commitment to your core principles or goals
  • have cash on hand–a million or so would do it for a small … Continue Reading

Apparently, the future of IT in higher ed has been pwned by ActiveX

Well, I guess not. But the link below requires ActiveX. So here’s my summary for the benefit of the Pure and the True Believers: guy at Arizona State outsourced a bunch of stuff, says we need to stop wasting time and money on stuff that doesn’t actually distinguish us from the pack, says the future of the university and of our nation requires transparent systems and open access–requires the education of the masses not just the privileged, and that, oh yeah, we should burn down the libraries. C’mon, the libraries are so last century. Wait, actually, two centuries ago. Whatev. … Continue Reading

What he said

This presentation by Adrian Sannier (UTO at ASU) will cost you about 72 minutes of your life. But it’s worth it if you’re interested in what the future holds for us IT’ers in higher ed. I’m considering showing it to all the IT staff at our next staff meeting and to the dreaded advisory group too. I think Sannier’s right on the money with where we should be going and what we should be doing. The question is: how much do we let our culture and internal politics affect these ideas, our plans, and doing … Continue Reading

Our Little Library

So last week I talked about organizational operations: culture, strategy, tactics. Good luck with that! Now, it’s a collection of some of the articles which, in toto, suggest that, well, life in higher ed might get a lot more opportunity-ful in the future. Time for your strategery! Here are the articles referenced earlier:

Operating Systems for Organizations

Coming up on my 6-month anniversary as the new CTO, so I’m in a reflective mood. Today I want to round up some of the pithy sayings shared here to provide a sort of “wisdom of the elders” foundation for whatever comes next…

guiding principles:

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu.

–quoted by both Steele403 and G-lo as responses to blog posts

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast – Ford Motor Company

–quoted by Steele403 in a blog commentary

Assuming the above two quotes are basic operating principles for organizations, we should then … Continue Reading

Strategy is a Game of Clue

I’ve never read or helped create a strategic plan that really seemed like a plan to execute a strategy. Mostly, they seemed to consist of some uncontroversial goals or objectives which appeared specific relative to the even vaguer mission statement. They just seemed like a supplication to the gods of bureaucracy…

But in my new job, I’ve sworn that this time I will get it right. We will have clear goals designed to achieve specific objectives. We will be able to assess our success and we will take risks. Our plan will define who we are and our priorities … Continue Reading