June webinar: Building Bridges to support the University

Jun 26, 2018

“Building Bridges” was the topic for the June 2018 webinar, where Vice President for Information Technology (IT) and Chief Information Officer Michael Kubit discussed how Penn State IT is a team of teams that must work together to support the University. The bridges between teams are built on trust that increases over time. Once bridges are in place, teams can be more productively and accomplish much more together than they can alone.

He referenced the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, which examines five areas that cause problems for teams: absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoiding accountability, and inattention to results. Michael outlined how functional teams work, noting it is imperative that everyone steps up and works to build bridges in this critical time of reimagining IT.

Joining Michael for the webinar were two members of the Office 365 project team — Chris Lucas, director of Strategic Engagement, and Adam Caimi, executive director of IT for Outreach and Online Education. They shared that while the project team went through early bumps, members worked to build trust not only within the team but across the distributed IT units, along with students, faculty, and staff members. They said assuming good intentions and respecting diverse opinions were key to forging trust. That foundational work has helped to make the project successful and allows for continual improvement.

Michael asked those watching to take time during their next one-on-one meeting with their manager to elevate a challenge they are experiencing in their daily work life and talk through how it can be flipped to an opportunity to help their team function more productively.

Before taking questions, he reminded the 300-plus viewers that optimizing the investments in IT and creating greater capacity for innovation will enable us to build an IT organization worthy to serve Penn State.

Please see the FAQ section for some of the questions asked and answered.

Upcoming webinars (from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. unless otherwise noted) include:
Monday, July 30
Monday, August 27
Monday, September 17
Monday, October 22
Monday, November 19
Monday, December 3