But innovation necessarily produces change, and change has a profound and real impact on people. The Office of Technology Services maintains a “human touch” with our customers, including the adoption of an innovative 3x3x3 communication strategy and use of contemporary change management techniques.
Specific to lecture halls, what faculty and students want is reliable, applicable, dependable technology that we can support. We make it easy for them to use what they want and then support them to explore other innovative ways—their way.
A key to our success is that we listen. I listen to faculty, staff, and students a number of ways, including Open Forums at each of our six campuses twice a year, semi-annual web-based surveys, and cross-functional advisory councils that advise me on technology-related initiatives.
I listen to my staff and regularly challenge them on how to address the impact change has on our customers. I listen to my peers, both within Lone Star and at other organizations. I listen to trusted vendors and partners within the community. I relentlessly pursue excellence in communications and change management.
What’s your best ed-tech advice to colleagues?
The main challenge is not about technology, but about transitioning technologists into thinkers. The best technology is the easiest to use. “Build it and they will come” is not as simple in this field. I reward people with passion to exceed expectations. All of my IT leaders are constantly challenged to plan for the future—not to survive, but to “change the rules.”