3 Interesting Learnings from the City of Dallas

3 Interesting Learnings from the City of Dallas


with Bill Zielinski, CIO, at the City of Dallas



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1. You Can’t Throw the Whole Team on the Field at the Same Time

In several conversations with CIOs, a major concern has often gravitated toward ensuring that their teams have the freedom to problem-solve. No one wants to spend their time micro-managing.

But throwing open the doors and setting everyone loose on the field would create more chaos and work! So, where is the balance? The City of Dallas taps into their coaching experience to bring sanity into managing a large organization:

What you really need to do is focus on those two areas, one individual development, and then figuring out as you develop them as individuals, how you bring the best out of each of those players and incorporate them into a team. And I think that's exactly the case. When you're talking about managing an organization.

2. The Context in Which You Exist as an Individual Can Affect You in Your Profession, and Vice-Versa

CIOs might not be psychologists by profession, but understanding psychology sure seems to help in staying ahead of issues that could infiltrate team morale:

There are things that each of us brings to the table in our profession, in our job, that can affect us or impact us on an individual level, our individual performance and how we navigate the world can be impacted and affected by those things that are happening in our environment. But those things can then also affect the team. Conversely, those things that are occurring with the team and the orbit of the broader team can affect the individual.

3. Your Goal is to Work Your Way Out of Your Job

What does that mean? Work my way out of my job? This was one of the most fascinating points of this particular conversation.

Isn't the mark of your value the fact that others view you as irreplaceable? Bill challenges this mindset by saying the goal of CIOs should be quite the opposite:

Either at that individual level or at a broader organization level, I always have a goal, Joe, that I want to work myself out of a job.​

When I come into an organization, I want to make a contribution. I want to help that organization improve, but I want to be able to say in three or four or five years that, 'Hey, I've decided I'm gonna move on,' and what I want to have happen is for people to say, "Bill, we're gonna miss you. But we're ready to move forward because you've placed us in a position where we can build upon what you've done.

on a personal note:

It’s been great to be back home, seeing the kiddos, and kicking off basketball tryouts.

Joe Toste

Host of the TechTables Podcast. Podcaster by day, basketball πŸ€ coach by night. Sharing human-centric stories with CIOs and technology leaders