Individual Development Plan

 

 

David Heise

 

28 June 1999

 

 

 

PhD in Leadership

Andrews University


Contents

I. Vision Statement

1. Who am I?

2. Where am I?

3. Where do I want to go? Vision and Goals

3.1 Goals for Andrews University

3.2 Professional Goals

3.3 Academic Goals

3.4 Personal Goals

3.5 Where Do I Want To Go?

II. Competencies

1. An effective teacher/instructor with skills in:

1(a) Using, evaluating, and adapting instructional materials

1(b) Instructional management to accommodate individual variability

1(c) Developing instructional strategies

2. A dynamic change agent with skills in: ¬

2(a) Planning and implementing change

2(b) Developing human resources

2(c) Public relations/Communications

3. An effective organizer with skills in:

3(a) Organizational development

3(b) Allocating resources

3(c) Interpreting laws, regulations, and policies

4. A collaborative consultant with skills in:

4(a) Effective communication

4(b) Evaluation and assessment

4(c) Problem-solving and decision-making

5. A reflective researcher with skills in: ¬

5(a) Reading and evaluating research

5(b) Conducting research

5(c) Reporting research

6. A competent scholar with a working knowledge of:

6(a) Educational foundations

6(b) Theories of learning and human development

6(c) Theories of leadership and management

6(d) Social systems, including family dynamics, political issues, and bureaucratic structures

6(e) Educational technology and its application ¬

III. Credit Worksheet

1. Leadership Program Total Credits:

2. Leadership Coursework Credits:

3. Macquarie University Graduate Coursework:

4. The University of Newcastle Graduate Coursework:

Bibliography

1. Articles

2. Books

3. Web Sites

 

 

I. Vision Statement

 

1. Who am I?

The week of Leadership Orientation was like shock treatment for me, at least for the first few days. I had always been aware that there are people I don't easily connect with, and that there are different personality types. But I had not given any of this a lot of thought. Well, I quickly found that there are many more kinds of differences than I had ever imagined, and that as a leader, I had better know about these differences so that I could understand and relate to other people better.

Different tests and activities that we engaged in during orientation week made it very clear, if there had been any doubt, that I tend to think in a structured, sequential manner. This is a very necessary way for a computer software engineer to think. Whole software development methodologies have been developed with names like Structured Programming, Structured Analysis and Design. System requirements for complex system systems are still broken down into "objects" with meanings that are natural to the business application. According to the Gregorc Style DelineatorŌ, my mind style is characterized as Concrete Sequential and Abstract Sequential. This is a self-assessment instrument for adults that has been developed by Anthony F. Gregorc, Ph. D. (home page: http://www.gregorc.com/) The assessment instrument gave scores in the 30s for both of these mind styles. Organizational skills and failure to recognize the vision are just some of the characteristics that can be associated with the Concrete Sequential mind style. Abstract Sequentials are able to shape the vision into models and plans to bring the vision to reality. The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (Myer's Briggs)[1] classifies me as having an ISTJ temperament. The Keirsey homepage (http://keirsey.com) interprets this code. The brief description of the ISTJ temperament type is "Analytical MANAGER OF FACTS AND DETAILS; dependable, decisive, painstaking and systematic; concerned with systems and organization; stable and conservative."[2]

Being confronted with who I am (according to these tests) and the fact that many people are very different in significant ways was quite a wrenching experience for me. Some faculty presentations made in the first few days of orientation simply did not reach me, but what really struck me hard was the fact that I was one of a relatively small minority who felt this way. Most of the participants were really appreciating these sessions and getting great value from them, when I was struggling to see the relevance of some of them.

While this experience was somewhat unsettling for the first few days, it has not changed the way I feel about myself, or my acceptance of who I am. Rather, it has helped me to have a better understanding of the kind of environment that works best for me. But more importantly, as a leader, it has increased my awareness of the many different ways that people can perceive things, relate to things or react to things. It will help me to be more accepting of styles different from my own, to tap into the strengths of the team, and to lead it to excellence in accomplishing mutual goals.

 

2. Where am I?

I have come to see that I am on a journey. Each turning point on this journey has been unplanned and unexpected, at least by me. But I know there is a Master Plan, and that I am where I am right now by God's leading.

The journey began with a computing position in the research laboratory of the health food company owned by the Seventh-day Adventist church in Australia. I moved from scientific programming to commercial programming when the company purchased its first business computer. By this stage, my life had become far too work oriented, and I was seriously neglecting my family. Something needed to change. Almost out of the blue, I successfully applied for a job at Hewlett-Packard. This was a tremendous experience of personal and professional growth for me and good times for the family.

The story of how God led us to return to church work at Avondale College still sends tingles up and down my spine. This was the next major turning point on my journey, and over the next eight and a half years, I was able to draw repeatedly on lessons learned at HP. And in the same way, the time spent at Avondale College as Director of Information Systems was preparing me for the next leg of my journey, to become Chief Information Officer at Andrews University.

So, where am I? Not only has my journey led me to a position working for Andrews University, but a whole new journey has begun - the School of Education Leadership program. When I first made inquiries about the Andrews University Leadership program, it was after having made contact with a number of other institutions that offered doctoral studies via distance learning. I had heard about the Andrews program prior to this, but initially I discounted it because, being in the School of Education, I assumed it was only for educators. I was looking for studies that had relevance to my interests in information systems, and to my position as leader in Information Technology Services at Andrews University. Some of the institutions and study programs I made inquiries about are listed in the following table:

The University of Sarasota

D.B.A. Information Systems

The Graduate School of America

Ph.D. in Organization & Management

Greenleaf University

Ph.D. in Leadership and Administration

Andrews University

Ph.D. in Leadership

 

It was the names of these other programs that led me to take a closer look at the program offered at Andrews, and I am so glad that I did. Everything about the program, from the Orientation, Roundtable Conference, mixing with others in the program, in the regional groups and in our own cohort, to witnessing the defense of dissertation and portfolio, tells me I am on for the ride of my life, and that this is more of an adventure than merely a journey.

 

3. Where do I want to go? Vision and Goals

 

3.1 Goals for Andrews University

In the "Handbook For Leaders Developing Leaders" section of his book, The Leadership Engine, Tichy speaks of "winning ideas" and the need for "leaders to bring central ideas to their business" [3]. He describes two categories of ideas that companies need to have: "'quantum' ideas that define how the company will add value and compete in the marketplace, and 'incremental' ideas about how to implement the quantum ideas and continuously improve performance."

Andrews University is implementing a continuous quality improvement process, and I believe information technology has a vital role to play in this. I have a two-part vision that parallels the two categories of ideas described by Tichy:

1.      Quantum Idea

Provide administrators and managers with the tools for both tactical and strategic decision support through the use of data warehousing technologies.

2.      Incremental Idea

Set up a procedure for assessing and monitoring the performance of Information Technology Services (ITS) at Andrews University in information delivery with a process for follow-up action and on-going improvement.

I have a very strong personal and professional interest in applying information technology to bring value to the management and operation of an organization. The area of my particular interest lies in using data from administrative systems and other sources to serve the needs of decision support and strategic planning within the organization. Data Warehousing is an emerging technology for facilitating decision support and data analysis at all levels of management, including the executive and strategic planning levels. The improved decision support that results from a data warehouse is one of the areas where the enormous potential of IT can be realized and competitive advantage can be achieved.

A distinction between managing and leading is that part of a manager's responsibility is to keep current systems functioning according to specifications, to maintain things the way they are. A leader is responsible for finding new and better ways of doing things, and then to lead the organization through the changes required to implement those better ways. It is often pointed out that the most difficult aspect of implementing technological innovation is not the technology itself, but the softer "people" issues. Tichy thinks of a company as "comprised of technical, political and cultural systems."[4] In order to implement "quantum ideas", "it is essential to rework the fabric of the company at its most fundamental levels."

One of the competency areas described in the Leadership program mentions the concept of being "a dynamic change agent". I see strong links between data warehousing and both change and leadership. Data warehousing will return the flexible reporting that has been lost with the implementation of Banner, plus it will add decision support and data analysis capabilities. This is a project that will need effective leadership. While this has the potential to increase competitive advantage through better tools for strategic planning and decision making, the improvements are dependent on identifying and making appropriate changes. The data warehouse is not the change itself. Rather, it is the catalyst, the tool that reveals beneficial changes that can be made.

The following figure illustrates the connections among data warehousing, change, business improvement and leadership.

 

Data warehousing to Business Improvement

Continuing to do business as usual will generate no improvement. Corporate cultures are typically very resistant to change, and to successfully bring about change through Data Warehousing represents a challenge that will be a good test of leadership.

Improvement implies change. Tichy has a useful 2-dimensional graphic that relates evolutionary and revolutionary change to incremental and quantum ideas. Data warehousing combined with effective leadership has the potential to uncover the quantum ideas that will transform the organization.

 

Quantum and Incremental Ideas

Quantum and Incremental Ideas[5]

Incremental ideas bring about evolutionary change through a process of continuous improvement. While it is absolutely essential to monitor and improve processes continuously, this rarely leads to revolutionary change. The top left quadrant in the figure indicates that evolutionary change is rarely adequate to implement quantum ideas. Transformational changes, those that lead to fundamental changes in the way business is done, are revolutionary rather than evolutionary.

It is clear that one of the keys to successfully bringing about change is for new values to be developed jointly, through consultation and teamwork, and for effective communication to take place amongst all involved parties. This is the only way that relevant data models can be selected for inclusion in the data warehouse and be developed. The role of the data warehouse is that of enabler. Ideally, the data warehouse will be developed incrementally, but it will reveal possibilities for revolutionary change and hopefully, the means for achieving them.

 

3.2 Professional Goals

The timing of the commencement of this Ph. D. in Leadership could not have been better, because it coincides to the very month with new leadership responsibilities I have accepted in becoming the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Andrews University. This is certainly the high point of my professional career, and I will have a lot to learn, and also, I believe, a lot to share.

So, where do I want to go professionally? There is plenty of advice on where not to go, and what behavior a CIO ought to avoid. The November 1996 issue of CIO Magazine published what it calls a "Hazard Map" of potential dangers for the CIO position:

Potential dangers for the CIO position

Absent or hostile relationships

Unrealistic expectations

Culture clashes

Little involvement in strategic planning

An IS plan that's not integrated with the business strategy

CIO Hazards Map[6]             

I believe that a number of events and circumstances are converging that present me with unprecedented opportunities for significant growth and development:

·         entering the Leadership program

·         being appointed Chief Information Officer at Andrews University

·         achieving a stable level of IT staffing to adequately resource a data warehousing project

The central concept that pulls all of this together in my mind is the importance of effectual strategic planning that incorporates IT planning, and the need to capitalize on the potential of information technology to deliver a sustainable competitive advantage.

What kind of IT leader do I want to be? I know that I need to be more than a manager, although there is abundant need for good management, given the costs associated with setting up and maintaining effective information systems. N. Dean Meyer in ComputerWorld 17 June, 1996, points out the need for leaders in Information Systems (IS):

"IS needs leaders, not managers. Managing is the time spent super­vising people and doing the day-to-day work of the organizations; lead­ership is the time spent improving the way the organization operates."[7]

Improving implies change, and that is a role of a leader. The Gartner Group has published a Position Description for the position of CIO, and the phrasing of the mission statement parallels very closely the sense of the word leadership that is apparent in this Leadership program.

Mission of the CIO:

To provide technology vision and leadership for developing and imple­menting IT initiatives that create and maintain leadership for the enter­prise in a constantly changing and intensely competitive marketplace.

Source: Gartner Group Inc. [8]

Being forewarned is being forearmed. Knowing what traps to avoid, I'll be watching out for them. I am encouraged by the sentiments expressed in the two references given above describing leaders in IT. They express a goal and a mission that makes this Leadership program an excellent fit for me in my position as CIO at Andrews University. They describe the kind of IT leader I want to be.

 

3.3 Academic Goals

I am very aware that to maintain currency and credibility in my field, I must keep up with my formal training. That was the very reason that I started the Master of Computing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, in 1994. I have spent more than 10 years working in higher education, and I think that in such an environment, it is appropriate that I should continue to develop academically. I believe that this Ph.D. in Leadership, with a focus on information delivery for decision support, is one which will better qualify me for the position I presently hold, as well as bringing real benefit to Andrews University.

 

3.4 Personal Goals

These are my personal goals for leadership:

§         To develop as an effective, caring leader.

§         To help others reach a sense of achievement and fulfillment.

§         To develop and grow into a more complete and balanced person, balancing work and family, and including the spiritual and recreational.

 

3.5 Where Do I Want To Go?

I have been content in each of the positions I have held in my career in computing and information systems. Each has brought me job satisfaction and fulfillment as well as personal growth and development. Each position has demanded more than the previous one but has built on the experience of previous positions in a way that is uncanny. I know there is a plan for my life, but it is not one I have devised. I would be very happy to call being CIO at Andrews University the pinnacle of my career, and the opportunity to be a participant in the Andrews Leadership program strengthens that sentiment. So where do I want to go from here? I know with absolute certainty that I want to go where God's plan leads me, wherever that may be. I pray for wisdom to discern God's voice when He calls, and strength and courage to follow where He leads.

 

 

[1] The "test" is available on the web at http://www.keirsey.com/cgi-bin/keirsey/newkts.cgi (Accessed: 16-Jun-04)

[2] "People Types & Tiger Stripes", p14

[3] Noel M. Tichy, The Leadership Engine p219

[4] Noel M. Tichy, The Leadership Engine p225

[5] Noel M. Tichy, The Leadership Engine p220

[6] Adapted from CIO, November 1, 1996, p52

[7] N. Dean Meyer, ComputerWorld 17 June, 1996

[8] Gartner Group Inc. CIO Position Description http://www.cio.com/forums/executive/gartner_description.html (Broken: 16-Jun-04)