Future-Proofing North Dakota: A Growth Mindset Is Key

Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley says it is inevitable that technology will leapfrog state IT preparedness and explains why developing a culture focused on adaptation and evolution is critical.

by , / October 31, 2019

Often when technology leaders talk about having a resilient IT organization, they mention modernizing infrastructure or moving systems to the cloud to both be able to recover from disaster and also stay ahead of as-yet-unknown emerging technologies. While North Dakota CIO Shawn Riley doesn’t disagree with any of that — he describes evaluating aspects like service management and working to improve them — he says what makes an agency truly future-proof is culture.

His attitude toward preparing North Dakota IT for what’s next is very similar to his take on emerging tech: “If you’re not looking ahead, you’re dying.”

At the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) annual meeting earlier this month in Nashville, Riley described four aspects of making sure your culture is future-proof: courage, curiosity, a growth mindset and humility. You have to ask questions, he said, and be willing to try new things.

A growth mindset is about asking, “What is possible? How might we? What if we?” Riley said. And humility is “an accurate reflection of the self. What are we good at? What are we not good at? And acknowledging that.”

 

Lauren Harrison Managing Editor

Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.

Noelle Knell Editor

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.

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