The terrible events of September 11 affected us in profound ways: business, professional, personal, cultural, and social. From a narrow business perspective, that day demonstrated the importance for every organization to consider its own operational resilience and ability to meet an unexpected crisis.
Operational resilience means putting in place plans and activities to ensure continued functioning following a major disruption or crisis. At these crisis points, the goal is enabling the organization to maintain operations while actively responding to the disruption. As any crisis manager knows all too well, it's easier said than done.
To explore this topic, I invited three senior-level public servants to participate on a panel. The panel was conducted live on the web as part of the CXOTALK series of conversations with innovators.
The participants in this session are all seasoned IT leaders responsible for managing large organizations and operations:
- Dr. David Bray, CIO of the Federal Communications Commission and a well-known thought leader.
- Tony Summerlin is Senior Strategic Adviser, FCC/CIO, and a highly-respected CIO and operations influencer throughout the federal government.
- Karen S. Evans is National Director for the US Cyber Challenge. As Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology, she served as the de facto first CIO for the United States federal government.
The video embedded above is a short, edited version of the in-depth conversation. Watch the entire episode and read the complete transcript to get fully inside the minds of these public servants.
During the discussion, these experts explore the lessons they learned in the aftermath of 9/11. Although communications infrastructure plays a foundational role in building resiliency, the real key is creating an innovation mindset and harnessing the energy of maverick change agents. Resiliency happens when innovative thinkers step outside day-to-day patterns to rethink possibilities, outcomes, and desired goals.
A few key points from the conversation:
- Leadership has responsibility to create an environment that fosters experimentation and creative thinking
- Diversity in thought opens multiple avenues for anticipating problems and thinking about solutions
- From a technology standpoint, cloud computing is an essential foundation for creating modern resiliency
You can read a transcript of our entire conversation and watch the full 45-minute video. It offers an unusual glimpse into the world of innovative government officials and how they manage change.
Please see the list of upcoming CXOTALK episode. Thank you to my colleague, Lisbeth Shaw, for assistance with this post.