Our Top 10 Blog Articles and eXpander Episodes That Will Move You

By Mark Geschke | Digital Transformation

Jan 15

The recent refresh of our website really brought home for me just how much Xuviate has changed and grown over the last three years.

Of course, the ongoing evolution of our Coaching services is a big reason for this increasing momentum.

When digging deeper, however, one quickly realises that what truly differentiates us is the deep knowledge we have about the world of the mid-market IT leader and how we support their growth.

Unfortunately, however, we often hear that it is quite hard to find specific content and insights and I have decided to do something about it.

I have gone ahead and reviewed our 70 eXpander episodes and 51 Blog articles with the goal of finding the most authoritative and influential pieces of content that align best with the IT leader growth journey we have witnessed so many times.

I then whittled down this list to only 10 posts and also ordered them to roughly align with the initial stages of the growth journey.

What this means is that if you haven’t yet started, you would probably find most value in the first few posts.

On the other hand, if you have been on this purposeful growth journey for a while, you may find that higher numbered posts are more relevant and provide more food for thought.

Where-ever you are in your journey, I hope you have some solid “a-ha moments” that help you create significant momentum!

1. Help, I ‘m Too Busy (Blog)

If you are in IT you have probably felt out of control many times in your career.

If you are only starting out, chances are good that you currently feel like this and you urgently need ways to stop working insane hours and kill the tasks on your growing to-do list.

One of our IT Leader Mastermind groups tackled this question and we have summarised the conclusions reached (and added many helpful links) in this blog article.

2. More Than Just a Visual Board! – Intro to Kanban (eXpander)

If you are an IT manager or CIO that has heard the word ‘Kanban’ thrown around your professional circuit and want to learn more – this is for you!

The common misconception is that Kanban is merely a task board that helps you visualize your work.

Kanban happens to be much more than that and the way to exploit its potential is to apply it in full!

The Kanban method encompasses the principles of the Lean methodology, aspects of Agile and six core practices that help teams achieve their efficiency goals.

In eXpander Episode 10, Monica Georgieff and Mathias go over the history of the method, the first steps to applying it as well as the benefits and challenges you can expect as a new Kanban practitioner.

3. The 10 Limiting Beliefs We All Need To Leave Behind (eXpander)

In May 2018 Xuviate hosted the first-ever online IT Leader Growth Summit and in this recorded presentation I highlight the 10 most limiting beliefs I have observed while working with IT leaders from mid-sized businesses.

Doesn’t matter if you are in a tactical, operational or strategic IT leadership role, even if there is only one limiting belief you identify and challenge as a result of viewing this 30 minute presentation, the time spent watching it will have been totally worth your while.

Warning: It is not easy to identify and change a limiting belief!

4. Business CIOs Urgently Needed – But Most IT Leaders Still Don’t Get It! (Blog)

I seriously believe that every growth-minded mid-sized business will appoint a Chief Information Officer (CIO) within the next 3 years!

And not just any CIO, but a real business-savvy leader that knows how to create business value from technology and who is respected at the highest levels for strategic business contributions.

Even more contentious is my firm belief that most current IT leaders will not be ready to step up when the time is right.

Mark Geschke – May 2017

These were the opening paragraphs I used to introduce this contentious blog article 1.5 years ago … and I still fully stand behind what I said.

5. Busting the Agile Jargon – A Common Sense Approach to Digital Change (eXpander)

If you are an IT leader in a mid-sized business, chances are good that you are scratching your head about all the Lean/Agile jargon that is floating around, yet you want to make progress on the Digital agenda.

You know there is a huge opportunity for improving efficiencies in your IT department and organising for digital innovation, but where do you start?  

This is a must-see eXpander video interview for IT leaders who are just starting with their digital change project and are moving towards a Lean-Agile operating model as well as for more advanced IT leaders who want to brush up on generic concepts.

6. Digital Transformation for Dummies (Blog)

Not a day goes by that leaders of mid-sized businesses are not bombarded in one way or another by the increasingly urgent need to embark on a digital transformation.

But sometimes it seems there are as many approaches to digital transformation as there are IT consulting organisations on the planet.

The confusion this creates makes it incredibly hard for leaders to agree on a course of action for their organisation and to move forward with confidence.

My goal with this article is to not only clarify what digital transformation is, but to also outline the 3 essential steps for becoming a digital company.

Mark Geschke – June 2016

When I wrote this article 2.5 years ago I didn’t realise how influential our 4 Value Propositions of IT model would become, nor how often we would use the simplified model introduced in this specific blog article to gauge progress against strategic digital transformation objectives.

And yet here we are 😁

7. How to Kick-Start Digital Transformation Without CEO Support? (Blog)

Many IT leaders in mid-sized businesses strongly believe that digital technologies are undervalued by their employers and that they could be playing a much more influential role in shaping the future of the business.

If you are such an IT leader, however, you will also know just how hard it is to convince other senior leaders (including the CEO) to see the same exciting future you see.

Your one option is to chip away at their reluctance and hope they will come around over time.

You just don’t know how much time this will take and your past experiences are not really encouraging…

Or you could adopt our proven 7-step kick-start guide and gain serious momentum in as little as 3 months….

8. DX from the Bottom up – How to Start a Digital Transformation Without Support of the Executives (eXpander)

Whereas the previous blog post introduced the theory, this eXpander video interview approaches the same topic from the perspective of the IT leader.

Jason Sichkaryk, IT Director at Rosenau Transport in Canda, shares his journey over the past years and how he managed to get all the more buy-in from the business for his vision for the organisation. 

It was definitely not all plain-sailing and the transformation is ongoing, but Jason learned many important lessons along the way and shares them in this session to give others a head-start and some encouragement.

9. PopcornFlow: If Change Is Hard, Make It Continuous (eXpander)

Improvement without change is impossible. Yet, most people think about change as big, slow and scary.

“But what if you could make it infinitely small and learn to evolve fast, almost as fast as some of the most adaptive microorganisms on earth?”, asks Claudio Perrone, Founder of Agile Sensei Consulting in Ireland.

In this very entertaining eXpander episode, Claudio introduces us to PopcornFlow – an anti-fragile philosophy, principles and actionable techniques to help you fight personal and organizational inertia, introduce fast change and make better decisions under uncertainty through the design and execution of a continuous stream of small, traceable and safe-to-fail experiments.

Ok, that was a mouthful, better head on over to view the video.

10. The 5 Stages of Digital Transformation Maturity in Mid-Sized Businesses (Blog)

Most of the insights in this blog article have already been mentioned elsewhere but there is one element that has up to now not really been highlighted enough.

And this is that the “governance structure” of an organisation has to change pretty radically as we transition to higher and higher levels of DX maturity.

In this blog article I introduce the super easy 6-Stage DX Maturity Model and, more importantly, explain how an organisation has to change in lock-step with any digital advances.

Even though the article is a bit more theoretical in nature than some of the others, its core message of “organisational change” is absolutely critical and should not be ignored.

In Closing

All of the great insights, models and tools I have shared in this blog and eXpander digest will not mean anything if you don’t decide to do something with it.

Yes, ultimately it all boils down to how much you believe in yourself and how much you are prepared to move out of your IT-silo comfort zone.

Since engaging with Xuviate, I’ve dramatically improved my standing in the business and it only took three things: 
  1) Wanting to be better 
  2) Opening myself up to new ideas 
  3) Trying, learning and trying again

Jason Sichkaryk

And when you do decide to fully commit to this journey, remember, you are not alone. Xuviate and all the IT leaders and experts on the eXuviate Network, will be there with you.

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About the Author

DX Sensei, Mastermind Facilitator, Abundance Thinker or CEO, call me what you like, but know this: I am extremely passionate about helping IT leaders from mid-sized businesses discover their true potential and realise just how important they are to helping their employer survive and thrive in our increasingly digital world.

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