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|Information Processing Management Associates||March 1997|
Edited By Mary Ellen Bradley
A pioneer in the study of organizational behavior, Butch Stüssyrealized long ago there are two basic truths that apply to organizations. The people within an organization each have unique personalities. It follows, of course, that organizations must recognize theindividual talents and needs of their employees to be successful.
Butch Stüssy, has more than 25 years of public sector managementexperience and is a frequent guest writer of management articlesfor the IPMA News. IPMA News decided to interview Stüssyto get his views on leadership and other topics of interest toour readers.
IPMA: Is a new type of leader needed in our post-industrialsociety?
Stüssy: The leadership techniques of the past areobsolete for leading people in a post-industrial information-basedsociety. Society is now educated, mobile, and aware of laborlaws. What worked for industry and government in the past isobsolete and will not motivate people. Addressing the needs anddesires of people within a moral framework is the challenge leadersface today.
IPMA: Why is leadership important?
Stüssy: We need leaders today that are as committedto process as outcomes, as committed to quality as quantity, andas focused on people as on production.
Everything is affected by the quality of leadership in our worldtoday, business competitiveness, sports team success and the preservationof our families.
IPMA: What distinguishes a successful leader of today?
Stüssy: Today's successful leader sets objectivesfor their organizations that can be achieved with integrity andwithin the values set by society. They treat their employeesas their most valuable asset and motivate them through encouragementand support. Leaders never sacrifice their people to look good.
IPMA: What are the traits of a good leader?
Stüssy: Leaders must exercise power with compassionand influence with integrity. They have the ability to understandand adapt to change, nurture opposites, and recognize when changeis needed.
IPMA: Can these qualities be learned?
Stüssy: Of course. However, very little in our formaltraining prepares us to be leaders. Our business schools areonly beginning to teach that self-examination is not somethingonly weak people do. To understand the needs and desires of ourpeople we must know ourselves.
We have all but mastered labor-saving machines. This was thechallenge of the past. However, we need to regain our sense ofpeople. It is the people in our organizations that have allowedus to master labor-saving machines and it will be these samepeople that will take us to the next level of mastery.
IPMA: Are leaders selfless?
Stüssy: Leaders reflect on what they experience andput their personal ambitions and egos second to the needs anddesires of their employees.
IPMA: Are there some basic things that leaders do to ensuretheir followers will be successful?
Stüssy: Certainly. Instead of reading heady stuffon leadership, ask yourself what you needed as a follower to besuccessful. You will probably recall that you needed to knowwhat to do, how to do it, why you were doing it, had the properresources to do it, were motivated to do it, and knew that yourleaders were as committed as you to get it done.
Provide these six things to your followers and they can be successfuland you will be a successful leader.
IPMA: What is the legacy of good leadership?
Stüssy: A good leader instills in their employeescompassion and respect for each other, an ability to adapt tochange, willing ness to nurture opposites, an ability to influencewith integrity, and the courage to implement change when it isnecessary.
These qualities are the legacy of a true leader.
Mary Ellen Bradley
Early in his career Jim A. had prepared a briefing on a majorsoftware development project for the head of his agency. Jim,a software analyst, had worked very hard on preparing for thebriefing and he thought he was ready. He knew it was an importantbriefing because the future of the project rested on his recommendation.He knew all about the development methodology and how it wasbeing followed. But then the agency head asked him why that methodologyhad been selected over all the others that could have been selected.
"To say the least I was flabbergasted," Jim says now,after 24 years in state government. "I had not been involvedin the methodology selection process so I did not have a cluewhy the one being used had been selected. I was a real greenhorn at the time."
State government is about to find out just how much such experiencecounts. In the next 10 years, a significant number of employeeswill be eligible to retire, taking with them their invaluableexperience and knowledge accumulated over many years of service.
Unfortunately, this scenario is playing out in nearly every stateagency. There will be a large number of experienced employeesretiring. Have agencies been replenishing their workforce beforethe next batch of experienced people reach retirement age? Willagencies have time to fill the expertise gap?
Into the Future
To provide support to business units in agencies, informationsystems departments will need people with broad analytical skillsand technological proficiency. Agencies will probably retrainsome employees who are now working in areas of diminishing importanceto higher priority areas; and even hire older technical professionalswith needed expertise. However, the bulk of talent will be greenhorns who will have to pay their dues.
Is there a crises looming on the horizon? Probably not. However,there will be a period of time when agency heads will wish theyhadn't pushed the old timers out the door. The green horns willneed time to get up to speed and experienced management will bea prized commodity.
CIO Gene Pool
Agency information systems directors duties and responsibilitiesrange from maintaining and improving existing information technologyresources to challenging senior management to reengineer theirbusiness units. They must have an enterprise view of things,develop an information technology vision, evaluate informationtechnology investments, set information and technology standards,oversee technology acquisitions, and ensure that performance measuresare included in all information technology projects. At the sametime they must know all state information technology procurementlaws and be able to get along with everyone in the organization.
If agencies are doing any succession planning they are beginningto realize they had better start building their information technologyprofessional gene pool.
Expectations Too High?
It takes time to develop a repertoire of skills and knowledge.
If agencies want individuals who either are willing to learn oralready possess these talents, they need to get their recruitingefforts underway.
Regardless which path they take, it is inevitable agencies willtake a path that is unfamiliar and uncharted to rebuild theirpool of experienced information technology professionals.
Mary Ellen Bradley
According to Index Vanguard, a business think tank owned by ComputerSciences, "The question isn't any longer 'I have a businessproblem-can technology help?' It's 'Here are the latest technologydevelopments-how can we use them to our advantage?'
Source: Get Wired, Goverment Technology, 9/96
Last month, Darci A., a homemaker in the Tacoma, Washington area,was interested in setting up a home based business. She knewthere are state licensing requirements so she began a search onthe internet to see if the state agencies have licensing informationthere.
To her amazement she found plenty of helpful information on theinternet. Not knowing exactly what licenses would be requiredshe found the State Library Government Information Locator System(GILS) and was able to determine the Department of Licensing wasthe one she needed to contract. She found the Department of Licensinghomepage and readily determined the Business License Center, aone-stop business licensing program, was where she could get help.What used to take endless phone calls, letters and even tripsto Olympia was done in only a few minutes.
Darci was on her way to becoming an entrepreneur. But wait.She remembered a friend that was also interested in going intobusiness, but hadn't because she thought it would be too complicatedto get the necessary licenses. She last heard that her friendlived in Walla Walla.
Not deterred, Darci remembered Yahoo has a person search capability.She remembered this from a story her father had told her aboutfinding the address of a friend he had not seen or spoken to formore than 35 years.
Excited about the possibilities of finding her friend, Darci loggedonto Yahoo people search and found her friend's mailing addressand telephone number and even found an internet e-mail address.Darci and her friend exchange business and personal messages daily.
Darci has found the internet to be a vital source of informationand a means to communicate with her business partners, stay abreastof changing laws and licensing requirements, and communicate withfriends around the world.
Mary Ellen Bradley
The U.S. Postal Service is getting into the internet in a bigway. It was reported in Government Executive that "...thePostal Service's Web Interactive Network of Government Services(WINGS) program, ... integrates Web service delivery across alllevels of government." Computer users can dial into theWINGS site and conduct business with "...federal, state andlocal government from one port-instead of relying on hypertextlinks to other sites." WINGS can be reached at HTTP://www.wings.usps.gov.
WINGS is worth checking out. Unfortunately North Carolina isthe only state that is participating so far.
Source: Cyberocracy, Government Executive, 1/96
IPMA, P.O. Box 1943, Olympia, WA 98507-1943