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Transforming IT Culture: How to Use Social Intelligence, Human Factors and Collaboration to Create an IT Department That Outperforms

ISBN: 978-1-118-43653-0
203 pages
February 2013
Transforming IT Culture: How to Use Social Intelligence, Human Factors and Collaboration to Create an IT Department That Outperforms (1118436539) cover image
Practical, proven guidance for transforming the culture of any IT department

As more and more jobs are outsourced, and the economy continues to struggle, people are looking for an alternative to the greed-driven, selfish leadership that has resulted in corporations where the workers are treated as interchangeable parts. This book shows how the human factors can be used to unlock higher returns on human capital such that workers are no longer interchangeable parts, but assets that are cared about and grown. Refreshingly innovative, Transforming IT Culture shows how neuroscientific and psychological research can be applied in the IT workplace to unleash a vast pool of untapped potential.

  • Written by an expert on IT culture transformation
  • Considers the widespread "cultural blindness" in business today, and how it can be addressed
  • Draws on the author's repeated success transforming IT divisions across major corporations by applying the human factors
  • Explains why social intelligence, human factors, and collaboration are the source of harmony, shared learning, mutual respect, and value creation

Employees want positive change in business, something to stop the downward spiral we are on, both financially and emotionally. Transforming IT Culture shows how the essential ingredient to any high performing IT department is a culture where employees are valued and managed to their strengths. Using the Information Technology profession as a lens through which we can understand knowledge worker productivity and how to seriously improve it, this important new book reveals why Collaborative Social Systems are essential to every organization.

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FOREWORD xi

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii

Introduction 1

The Passing of an Era 2

A New Era Brings a New Focus 3

A Quick Book Tour 6

Note 10

CHAPTER 1 A Shining Light: The Blind Spot Revealed 11

A Race to the Bottom 12

Human Understanding Enters the Workplace 13

We Have Been Taught Not to See or Feel 15

Unlocking Human Potential 16

Dawn of a New Productivity Model 17

Working Social 19

The Social System Is the Factory 20

Notes 21

CHAPTER 2 Corporate America’s IT Organization: Failure Is All Too Common 23

Still Broken after All These Years . . . 24

Unfortunately, the Truth Is Worse 29

If We Would Just Embrace and Trust Our People . . . 30

Offshore Outsourcing: A Deeper Look 33

Notes 36

CHAPTER 3 Workers as Machines: A Social Pathology 37

He’s a Good Hand 37

The Machine Age: Still Felt Today 38

Birth of Corporate Easter Islands 41

Our Human Resource Practices Remain Primitive 41

Selectively Continue the Past; Fully Embrace the Future 43

Notes 44

CHAPTER 4 The Unseen Art and Emotion of IT: The Acme Inc. Philharmonic Orchestra: Knowledge as Notes, Leaders as Conductors, Programmers as Composers 45

A Product of Mind and Emotion 46

Limitations of Language and Our Resultant Inability to Communicate 50

Social Cohesion and Conceptual Unity 52

And the Instruments Keep Changing 56

The Encore. A Callback. Bravo! 57

Note 57

CHAPTER 5 Case Study: An Unproductive State of Mind: Toxic Leadership and Its Aftermath 59

Toxic to Competitive Advantage 64

Conclusion 64

Note 66

CHAPTER 6 What Are We Waiting For? Applied Science at Work 67

Hawthorne Studies 68

Pygmalion in the Classroom 70

Empathy, Caring, and Compassion 71

Organizational Citizenship Behavior 74

Mood Is Contagious 76

Limbic System 77

Maslow: Humanism in the Workplace 80

Working Memory 84

Mirror Neurons 85

Other Thoughts 87

Notes 87

CHAPTER 7 Empathy and Compassion: The Socially Cohesive and Resilient Organization 89

The Toxic Handler: Empathy and Compassion in Action 90

Dysfunctional Organizations Have Less Time for Compassion 92

Empathy and Compassion: A Research Perspective 93

Notes 96

CHAPTER 8 Designing a Collaborative Social System: Working Social: How the Right Culture Unlocks Productivity 97

Designing Collaborative Social Systems 98

Why a Collaborative Social System Matters 103

Notes 106

CHAPTER 9 The Social Compact: Organizational Citizenship Behavior 107

Living the Values 108

Shaping IT: One Interaction at a Time 110

Courtesy Is Contagious 111

Giving versus Getting 119

Citizenship Performance 120

Notes 122

CHAPTER 10 The Servant Leader: Prosocial and Authentic 123

Opening Night 124

Using Social Intelligence and Caring to Lead from Below 125

Conducting Styles 127

Servant Leadership in IT: Giving Credit While Silently Helping Drive Group Success 128

Academic Views 131

Moving the Group from “I Get It” to “I See It” 133

Notes 135

CHAPTER 11 Social and Emotional Intelligence: The Organizational Canvas Meets the Social Paintbrush 137

Personal and Social Competence 138

Sogence in Action 140

Understanding Expression: A Social Skill from Our Past 142

Good Vibrations: The Right Social Sentiment Energizes a Performance 144

Notes 150

CHAPTER 12 Designing an Innovative Culture 151

Talent and Mood 152

The Human Factors 153

Build a Culture of Creativity 154

CHAPTER 13 Workforce Planning: Maximizing the Productivity of Your Talent—Today and Tomorrow 157

Workforce Planning Gap 158

Goals and Process 160

Context Diagram 161

Outsourcing and Offshoring 164

Notes 172

CHAPTER 14 How to Successfully Transform Your Organization: Putting It All Together 173

High-Level Outline 175

Best Practices in Detail 185

Conclusion 187

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 189

INDEX 191

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FRANK WANDER is founder and CEO of the IT Excellence Institute, an organization dedicated to answering Peter Drucker's challenge to increase the productivity of knowledge workers. Prior to starting the Institute, Frank was CIO at Guardian Life for more than five years, transforming the culture and capability of IT to deliver business projects on time and on budget, across 90% of its portfolio. He is a highly sought-after speaker at leading IT industry events, contributes articles to CIO Magazine and Computerworld, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal.

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