Lessons from a CIO on Work, Senior Staff Engagement and the Permission-Based Economy

At AMS Fest a couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to sit down with Reggie Henry, Chief Information and Engagement Officer at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

I always ask Reggie “what’s new?” and “what are you thinking about?” Reggie *never* fails to impress me his insights and curiosity. Here are some of the things he’s been pondering lately:

We need to change how we work. Reggie says there isn’t a shortage of tools out there to facilitate work and collaboration, but we’re still too focused on the tools themselves, whether it’s Microsoft Word, or Slack or Skype. Instead, he says the tools should be secondary to the goals and the work, which is why he loves Office 365.

He gave me a tour of how ASAE uses Office 365 and it’s breathtaking. Every team has projects and each project has notes, conversations, reports and so much more. Staff work within each project to share information, ask questions, author documents, etc. They make great use of Teams, Planner and Delve and I have to admit to being really jealous!

Senior staff need to use the tools. Reggie says organizations are innovating and investing in fabulous tools and systems, but senior staff are not using them and that’s a mistake. Senior staff need to show their staff that they, too, are interested in the tools, that they are part of the conversations, and willing to try new things.
 

Be wiling to forget what we know to design the future. Reggie and I talked about how “experts” are often the enemy of innovation because experts think something can’t be done, what can go wrong, what has gone wrong, etc. But how many awesome things have happened because someone didn’t believe it couldn’t be done? I’m thinking about the fabulous badge builder that a junior staff person created in MatrixMaxx. He asked his Product Manager what her dream functionality was and then he just did it.

How prepared are you for the permission-based economy? We’re moving toward the day when organizations need to get permission for nearly everything they do with member and customer data, from location services, to cookies, to purchase history, to demographics. Is your organization ready to handle this level of granularity in your handling, storage and use of your customer data?

Many thanks to Reggie for his insights!