Your Legacy: An Organization That Delivers Strategic Value, Again and Again


  • Dean Meyer, President, NDMA
  • Julie Little, VP, EDUCAUSE

There’s lots going on in education technology right now! Tons of enabling tech that changes business, education, and business models. MakeĀ learning engaging, contextual and visual.

Types of Strategic Value

Growing human intellect is absolutely strategic!

  1. Keep business running (deliver existing services)
  2. Reduce costs of IT
  3. Reduce costs of business (productivity)
  4. Improve human effectiveness (thinking, collaboration)
  5. Improve customer relationships, loyalty (engagement)
  6. Enhance product value

As a senior leader, what can you do to drive your organization up this ladder?

The Classic Definition of the Role of a CIO portrays us superman / superwoman, but the reality is that the CIO becomes a cog in the machine…often a bottleneck. Wouldn’t it be better to be the driver of the machine. To get there, you need to first be the designer of the machine. Our systems send signals that guide people. For CIOs, these signals are often about building an empire.

How you define leadership changes as you advance in your career, describable through different lenses.

  1. Project management
  2. Supervision
  3. Business strategies
  4. Organizational designer

Leaving the legacy of an organization that can prosper, with or without you. Program the organizational system.

The Machine

“The programming language of leadership”

  1. Structure
  2. Metrics & rewards
  3. Internal Economy
  4. Culture
  5. Methods and Tools


The easiest thing to change. Mixture of values and behaviors. You critique the behavior, not the people.


  • Org chart
  • Workflows

Internal Economy

  • Planning
  • Dynamic governance

Methods & Tools

  • Individual competencies of individual groups
  • Fine tuning

Metrics & Rewards

  • Dashboards, consequences
  • Fine tuning

Value Chain

  • Expertise in linkage: business-IT. This is a kind of “bridging knowledge.” [Structure: “sales”]
  • Collaborative discovery: help others find the things they need. [Methods: discovery]
  • Broad, innovative catalog. You need a quiver full of different arrows to apply to any given problem. [Internal Economy: business planning]
  • Time to develop proposals. [Internal Economy: unbillable time]
  • Project funding. [Internal Economy: demand management]
  • Delivery: capability, teamwork. Deliver on-time and on-budget. [Structure: walk-throughs]
  • Benefits realization. Make sure things get used! [Culture: business within a business; Methods: benefits measurement]

3 Parallel Leadership Strategies

  • Business Value
  • Capabilities: tech, operations
  • Organization (often neglected by leadership because it’s so foundational to the success of the first two strategies)

Big three are Culture, Structure, and Internal Economy. After this, methods & tools, metrics & rewards.


  • What does world class IT team mean to you?
  • Measure the gaps. These are the symptoms of something deeper in your organization. Keep asking WHY until you get to one of the fundamentals.
  • Sequence the Root Causes into your strategy.
  • Publicize your strategy among your staff and the peers in your institution.

Free yourself from the tyranny of urgency.

By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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