Jul 12, 2020
Ep.18 The New Superheroes: How CIOs Drive Organizational Transformation – People First with Gary Brantley, CIO at the City of Atlanta
50 min

Podcast Questions

Joe: But let’s kick off today with a quote from your book “The Art of Organizational Transformation”. I not only read the book over the weekend, but I believe it’s so good and worth internalizing a lot of the principles you touch upon – I actually took notes on your book too.

One quote you said, “Giving back to the city and state that had invested in me (pg. 20).” This quote really caught my attention because I had someone invest in my life when I was in high school through an organization called Young Life and it radically changed who I am today and a big piece of giving back to the community and kids today (where one of the areas I serve locally is to help coach JV and freshman basketball).

Gary – before we dive into tech and digital transformation with the City of Atlanta tell the audience about the importance of transforming people vs. technology first.

1. The Mayor of Atlanta said, “Managing the city’s technology infrastructure effectively is not only critical to our ability to deliver quality customer service to residents and businesses but, as we learned first hand earlier this year, to our ability to run an efficient government,” “[She] was most impressed by [your] efforts to extend technology into underserved communities, while also maximizing innovation within the workplace.” 

Coming into 2020 every CIO had their strategic plan and Covid blew it up. From your book I know you’re a huge Cleveland Browns fan – so probably you’re a big sports fan too – Mike Tyson said, “everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face.” A lot of CIOs have gotten punched in the face.

What do we need to understand about the City of Atlanta that we didn’t need to understand pre-Covid on the technology and digital transformation side?

2. Next up Gary let us talk going paperless. [My Yardi story (PayScan – Reducing costs with paperless invoice processing and workflows)]. 

Now you were able to take the City of Atlanta paperless in a week  and half (mind-blowing). 

3. There’s a great tweet that went around when Covid first took off in the tech space and the question was a picture that said, “Who led  the digital transformation of your company?” 

And the three options were A) CEO B) CTO C) Covid-19 with Covid-19 circled red.

The phrase “digital transformation” is pretty exhausted – everyone had a digital transformation plan before Covid 😂 – in the tech place. 

I’m curious – what does digital transformation actually mean to you and your organization?

4. Talk about how you build a hybrid cloud strategy around the business outcomes the city is looking at? What are those business outcomes the city cares most about?

5. What makes IT in the public sector so fascinating to you vs. the private sector today?

6. I listened to your podcast with Logan Lyles on the QA Show – shoutout to my guy from Sweet Fish Media – if you’re starting a podcast definitely connect with Logan at Sweet Fish – he’s the man also shoutout the founder of Sweet Fish – James Carbary who wrote Content-Based Networking – if you haven’t read it Gary it’s great – I’ll buy it for you and send you a copy. Also second shoutout to Brian from the CIO of the Atlanta Housing Authority.

You spoke about the 5-5-5 principle. What is it and talk about implementing it with the City of Atlanta?

7. Lastly, before we hit the 60 Second “TechTables” segment – back to your book – it reminds me a lot of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, but for organizations and IT leaders. When it comes to pushing your transformation journey through to decision makers with budget – that have their own agendas – hint, hint Chapter 3: Politics – what advice do you have for CIOs meeting with procurement, senior leadership and board members?

60 Second “TechTables”

  1. What do you know now that you wish you had known at the beginning of your own personal transformation journey?
  2. How do you feel about LeBron James?
  3. What’s your top 3 personal development or leadership books you’d recommend right now?
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