This is my last blog post of the year (the decade!) and I wanted to thank you all for the hard work and commitment you put in this year, my first full one at Northeastern. ITS, as well as each of you, has gone through tremendous growth over the past 12 months, and I am continually impressed by all of your big ideas and the efforts that go into supporting this university.  

also want to take some time to let you know about some important initiatives happening around the division that are helping to shape our organizational culture and that you will hear more about next year. These are initiatives that are critical to our ongoing transformation to be more than a traditional higher education IT services organization to a modern, technology solution-focused organization, which this institution needs – requires – us to be to achieve the Northeastern 2025 vision 

This fall, the IT Leadership team and about 20 of your colleagues engaged in multiple working sessions led by the leadership firm Deviate to begin exploring our collective potential and how we develop a strong organizational culture within ITS. What came out of these sessions was a clearer sense of what our values are and where leadership and staff should best direct their focus and energy to achieve desired outcomes. Together, we named empathy, contribution, and excellence as the values most core to ITS and started to develop what those values mean in our organization, as well as to our staff, personally and professionally. 

To begin translating empathy, contribution, and excellence into more than just words, and into behaviors and skills that all of us can practice every day, we’ve engaged with another group, BTS, to build upon the work with Deviate. A steering committee and a small working group of ITS staff are already working with BTS on the planning and assessment phase of this initiative. Early in the new calendar year, the rest of ITS will have the opportunity to participate through a skills assessment survey that will be sent out. I strongly encourage each of you to complete it when that time comes. The results will help shape the second phase of the initiative, which will focus on the personal and professional development of ITS staff members through workshops and other skill-building opportunities. I’m looking forward to seeing how this engagement will enrich our work, our relationships with one another, and our culture. 

While we are starting to think about pushing the boundaries of our organization’s skills and culture, we also need to focus on our fundamentals. That is why Driving Service Excellence is another initiative that I am excited for and which you will hear more about after the winter break. The vision for the Driving Service Excellence initiative aligns well with both the Deviate and BTS engagements. As much as this initiative is about improvements to ServiceNow, incident management, and an improved customer experience, it’s also about empowering IT staff with clear expectations, standard processes, and the skills and tools for success. The technology behind service management will only be successful as the culture and the values of the organization that are driving it and is why the involvement of everybody in the organization is key to it.  

As I always do in the rare opportunities we have to all come together, I took great joy in spending the evening with you at the annual Winter Party last week. I hope you did too. We’ll come together again soon for an all-hands meeting sometime early in the new year, at which point we will continue to discuss these initiatives and our vision for ITS. 

Have a wonderful winter break and I’ll see you all in the new year. Thank you all! 

I so enjoyed spending the evening with you at last week’s annual winter party!

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