Telling engaging and vivid stories brings people together. For a brief moment in time, the storyteller and the audience are of one mind and share the same feelings. Compelling stories inspire people to embrace new ideas and change their behavior. However, as IT professionals, we often struggle with effectively communicating the importance of the work we do to advance the campus mission. If we are to convey credibility and engender confidence with campus leaders, we must learn how to tailor our stories to their goals, challenges, and interests.
The Telling Our Story project has launched to help campus IT staff learn to author and tell more persuasive stories about the IT services that we create and deliver. The project is designed to support the following two Reimagining IT Strategies:
- Strategy 5 - Tell our story. Make our services easier to discover and use. Improve the campus user experience.
- Strategy 6 - Help One IT professionals develop skills to facilitate, broker, and integrate IT solutions for the campus community.
The project, sponsored by Liz Marsh, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff for the Chief Information Officer (CIO), and managed by Jon Conhaim, Manager of the Technology Program Office in the Office of the CIO, focuses on enhancing IT professionals’ skills in three key areas:
- Create and tell more engaging and persuasive written and oral stories to users and stakeholders about the IT services that the campus offers and how they benefit the campus community.
- Define clear value propositions that are the promises that we make to our customers and key stakeholders about the benefits that our IT service will deliver and how they will experience them.
- Create and give more effective presentations to campus leadership about proposed investments to develop new campus IT services and enhance existing ones. These stories will help campus leaders clearly understand how our services help advance the campus mission and which segments of the campus community benefit from developing and operating these services.
We are in the process of developing the Telling our Story Toolkit, which will be used to conduct a series of three workshops offered in spring 2018. Planned workshops currently include:
- Introduction to Storytelling
- Creating Value Proposition to Tell Persuasive Stories
- Create and Deliver Effective Presentations
If you’d like more details about the project, please review the preliminary project plan. Contact Jon Conhaim firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 643-2255 if you have questions about the project or would like to be notified when the workshops are offered.
Larry Conrad, Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer
Jon Conhaim, Manager of the Technology Program Office in the Office of the CIO