Fall 2021 Business IT Symposium Summary

The Business IT Collaboration event on October 19 brought together over 160 participants to drive forward the adoption, development, and integration of high-quality technology solutions that streamline business processes, improve efficiencies, enhance productivity, and/or deliver data.  The event began with a keynote address by Lee Smith of Huron Consulting, the group engaged in coordinating the University’s Operational Excellence (Op Ex) Initiative.  Smith’s presentation provided background on why Operational Excellence is needed and then supplied three key elements for success: Lead like an Entrepreneur, Understand others Frames of Reference, Build Trust.  Additional highlights of each are summarized below:  

 Lead like an entrepreneur

  • adopt owner’s mindset
  • be uncompromising in your goals
  • focus priorities
  • take a long-term view while addressing issues in the short term
  • position yourself to make thoughtful and swift decisions
  • be willing to roll up your sleeves to help get the job done

Understand others’ frames of reference and address from their perspective:

  • what is changing
  • why is it changing
  • what are the impacts
  • what are the costs

Build trust through active sponsorship

  • be a champion for change
  • become an active sponsor for change in your own work environment
  • reinforce change by rewarding the new

Multiple participants found the address to be motivating and thematically connected to our efforts.  Indeed, Operational Excellence has many overlaps with the efforts of the Business IT Collaboration.  This will be important as the Op Ex teams are reformed and we move into the implementation phase of the engagement. 

Important ideas and suggestions for how to better share ideas, information, and solutions, as well as recommendations to improve common business process issues emerged from the October event. To address the most common request – knowledge sharing – the Business IT Collaboration will be launching a Microsoft Teams Space to explore ways to share knowledge and ideas across business (finance, HR, facilities) and IT communities on our campus.  We urge you to get involved with this developing community of practice by joining the conversation.  As noted by many respondents on the event evaluation, cross-disciplinary engagement is key to driving common solutions.