IT Culture Workshop

Art and I had the privilege of attending the Society for Information Management (SIM) RTP chapter meeting on March 19th, where we facilitated a mini-workshop on IT Culture with a group of approximately 40 CIOs and other IT leaders.


We used the INTJenuity Deep Dive Workshop method to dive into two focus questions:

  1. What are the attributes of an effective IT Culture?
  2. What can we do to make our Culture more effective?

With limited time, we accelerated the method a bit, but still achieved a very rich experience and outcome in  approximately 90 minutes.

Individuals were given 2-3 minutes to brainstorm on the first question, then were broken into small groups of 3-4 to compare answers and “roll up” a total of 3-4 of the highest impact answers to present to the group as a whole. These answers were collected and presented by the facilitator in a systematic way, supporting additional dialog, clustering, and naming of categories.

Attendees commented that this was a more engaging and valuable experience than just listening to a presenter, and that the process drove them to communicate and work more closely as focused teams in a very short time.

In response to the first question, “What are the attributes of an effective IT Culture?”, here are the results from the group:

ITCultureAttributesThe group reached consensus that the major attributes of an effective IT Culture include:

  • Business Alignment
  • Trust & Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Operational Excellence & Improvement
  • Valuing Each Other
  • Communication

In response to the second question, “What can we do to make our Culture more effective?”, here’s what the group produced:


(Kudos to one team for their creative illustration of “Transparency”)

The group reached consensus that key “levers” to drive more effective IT Culture include:

  • Reward Systems
  • Listen & Collaborate
  • Foster Innovation
  • Team Building
  • Clarity of Purpose
  • Metrics / Measurement
  • Professional Development

With more time, we could have followed these questions with an action planning session to drive specific improvement actions within each participant’s organization. Perhaps we’ll have an opportunity to follow up with that at a future meeting!

Following the session, we summarized the output in a mind map, and provided this to the participants:


Here’s a link to a PDF of the mind map for download.

This was a fun and challenging workshop for us, as SIM sessions always are! We welcome any opportunity to work with this group more in the future.