How to lead change successfully in uncertain times

Author and motivational speaker Simon T. Bailey advised campus leaders how to thrive in times of change.

Author and motivational speaker Simon T. Bailey has some advice for how campus leaders can thrive in an era marked by rapid change and disruptive technologies: Focus on people, process, and problems.

Bailey was the opening keynote speaker at the 40th annual conference of the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education (ACUTA), held in Orlando April 3-6. The conference brought together nearly 300 campus technology specialists from across North America to learn about the latest trends and new developments in delivering voice, video, and data services to higher-education stakeholders.

The theme for this year’s conference, “Succeeding in the New Reality,” was a nod to the many challenges facing colleges and universities today, including cuts in federal and state education funding that make it harder to invest in campus IT infrastructure—as well as the accelerating pace of change in education and technology. And it was this latter challenge that Bailey’s keynote sought to address.

Too often in times of rapid change, an organization’s leaders tend to focus on the technologies that are causing the disruption, Bailey said—when they should be paying attention to their employees first and foremost.

“We can’t forget people in the midst of a shift,” he said. “Organizations don’t have ideas—people do.”

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