Teresa Takai s 10 tips for change

In Michigan, the governor gave the state's chief information officer, Teresa Takai, full authority to consolidate, reassign and restructure the executive branch's information technology staff. During a speech at the American Council for Technology's Management of Change conference last week, she offered 10 tips on managing change.

10. Go for the money, but do it with a smile.

Having control over the dollars is essential to implementing change, but the IT organization needs to have a customer-service focus.

9. Engage politicians early.

Often, lawmakers will not fully understand what you are trying to do and why.

8. Make sure the boss likes you.

In Michigan, Gov. Jennifer Granholm understood the importance of consolidating the state's IT management, but the rest of the governor's staff also needed to understand why the changes were necessary.

7. Sometimes you just have to take brave pills and stand up and be counted.

The IT organization needs to be a player and think of systems from a business perspective.

6. Make lemonade.

Use the funds you have available.

5. Find ways to deliver tomorrow's solutions with today's people.

Takai said the state's IT executive underestimated the level of employee resistance to the changes. Everybody loves commonality ' as long as it is done their way, she said.

4. Maintain momentum without wearing out your people'or your welcome.

In Michigan, IT leaders had to be stubborn and persistent.

3. Expand your horizons.

Many IT organizations tend to be too inwardly focused. Granholm pushed the organization to move beyond its traditional boundaries by working with local communities to help them create their first Web presence, Takai said.

2. Don't forget who you work for.

Continue to focus on citizen value.

1. It's not a popularity contest, and they're never going to love you.

IT transformation is a journey, not an endpoint.


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