Customer Success Story

Growth Mindset and Skills Agility

Outcomes

Across a group of over 300 IT professionals,

Every role

has a detailed ‘ideal’ skills profile

Every team

member and leader has a validated skill profile with which to identify, prioritize and action plan skills development.

All learning

catalog items are now mapped to the SFIA skills framework to create a turn-key process which provides an inventory of ‘skills to hand’ and ‘skills needed.’

All team

members have access to Percipio to support their action plans and development objectives.

Richard Elliott

Head of IT Transformation—Digital Services

University of Auckland

“I had to show stakeholders where we needed to take the organization and presenting data isn’t enough. I needed to engage them and build enthusiasm and understanding that making maximum use of our people’s skills and knowledge needed more than just a fresh organization chart and adoption of some ‘textbook’ best practices. If you achieve the right mindset shift and equip your people with the right tools, it’s incredible what can be achieved.”

If there is one industry that absolutely demands skills agility, it is IT. With technology changing at such a rapid pace and digital transformation becoming a critical factor in every type of organization, IT functions across the globe are presented with the realization that they can no longer be reactive to technological advancements. The name of the game is proactivity in developing a roster of IT professionals who continually upskill and reskill.  

When Richard Elliott—Head of IT TransformationDigital Services—arrived at the University of Auckland, the IT function understood they needed to changeThe workforce wasn’t as engaged as it needed to be, and the group wasn’t structured and aligned appropriately to provide broad range of academic and business customers with stellar servicesThrough a process of external benchmarking and internal customer dialogue, the function’s leadership understood the need to respond more proactively to technological advancesrapidly pivot to changes in demand and establish the growth mindset necessary to stay ahead of the curve. While a new organizational structure and adoption of new processes, tools and techniques were needed, the most critical change that was identified called for a change in mindset. 

With the active sponsorship of a new CTOwho also understood the need to place people and capability at the heart of the transformation  Richard set out to change the culture of the IT functionAs a statement of intent, the group was renamed to “Connect.” New values were identified and agreed upon – promoting curiosity, generosity and the empowerment of both oneself and others. 

Howevercultural shifts don’t happen overnight and need sustained focus and attention. Since Connect is a part of the Universityany new methodology on how to work needed the buy-in from a broad range of stakeholders. Within a world-class educational institution like the University of Auckland, a robust and data-driven approach was necessary. 

Richard compiled a range of external research supporting the links between success with agile methodologies and growth mindset. Most importantly, however, he painted a rich picture and vision for this cultural change. “I had to show stakeholders where we needed to take the organization and presenting data isn’t enough. I needed to engage them and build enthusiasm and understanding that making maximum use of our people’s skills and knowledge needed more than just a fresh organization chart and adoption of some ‘textbook’ best practices. If you achieve the right mindset shift and equip your people with the right tools, it’s incredible what can be achieved.”  

He placed a heavy emphasis on the need for a roster of IT professionals who had fundamental knowledge of the tech space, but also the ability to address skills gaps and pivot quickly to stay ahead of the everchanging tech space. And while skills are important, the culture and attitude of the entire staff were equally critical. Just as the employees needed to be able to pivot and adapt, leadership needed to change how they supported professional development and deviate from traditional command/control styles of leadership. Richard’s passion greatly influenced the stakeholders buy-in. 

Connect’s IT professionals are increasingly adopting a mindset focused on growth, fostering a culture of learning and talent agility and resulting in more engaged and productive teams. The group tackles objectives with leaner, Scrum-based squads and utilizes cross-functional delivery to create more value, more quickly to their customers.