by Jean Tower


At our METAA CTO Clinic (April 10, planned and hosted in partnership with CoSN), our keynote speaker will be Martha Heller, author of the CIO Paradox, Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership. She came highly recommended by a few of my colleagues, but I had not yet read the book, so I am doing so now.

I find it insightful, accurate, and articulate about the dilemmas we face in technology leadership. In our roles as ed tech leaders in schools we are constantly seeking the right balance:

Security Usability
Privacy Effective Data Use
Coaching Light
Providing resources and avoiding challenging conversations
Coaching Heavy
Using data analysis and helping people stretch beyond their comfort zones
Coaxing change
Like getting the squirrel to eat from your hand – no big sudden, scary moves
Mandating change
This is the new way it will be done
Nurturing innovation Maintaining legacy systems
Leading to the Future Archiving the Past
Keeping things operating smoothly Igniting and leading change
Control and Compliance Creativity and Disruption
Implementing complex systems Keeping things simple
Tactical / Operational Strategic
Big picture Making the details work
Developing a technology dream team Outsourcing
Taking risks Safeguarding infrastructure, data, up time

This list could go on and on – we all have dilemmas to resolve and balance to strive for.

I am looking forward to finishing Heller’s book and learning about more paradox situations and how other creative leaders have broken through these issues and succeeded.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Theresa January 14, 2014 at 6:05 pm

On the road to build 1:1 programs, infrastructure, security we do face the balancing far can we push change without it costing us the support of the end users. I’m looking forward to the conference!

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