The Grit

Thought Bubble: Thrive By Design

Posted by Marc Kolp on May 18, 2018 3:31:48 PM

The subtitle to Thrive By Design: The Neuroscience that Drives High-Performance Cultures may scare you, but don’t let it. Don Rheem, CEO of E3 Solutions, lays out and summarizes the latest thinking on what drives employee engagement in high-performance cultures. Rheem circumvents the typical quick fix ideas and gimmicks found in many management self-help books to provide practical solutions grounded in the latest research in neuroscience and sociology. 

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Topics: Leadership, Book Reviews

Emotional Intelligence: Distancing Yourself from the Field

Posted by Rick Milter on May 15, 2018 3:53:27 PM

What distinguishes emotionally intelligent leaders?

Listen in on a discussion of emotional intelligence with Dr. Rick Milter, professor and faculty director of capstone programs at The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Rick also instructs and consults leadership development at our Center for Leadership and Innovation, many of which include the EQ-i® instrument as a training tool, and was kind enough to sit down with us to discuss his experiences with leaders as they try to accommodate subjective leadership styles according to their EQ-i® results.

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Topics: Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Cognitive Empathy

Checking the Pulse of Agile Project Management

Posted by Jean Radish on May 10, 2018 2:37:32 PM


Every year, the Project Management Institute (PMI) releases the Pulse of the Profession® report, a much-anticipated overview of trends in the field of project management. This year's report has some good news for project managers who've incorporated agile methodology into their practice. Last year, 71% of organizations surveyed reported using agile approaches either sometimes, often, or always. This year’s report delivers a continuation to the growth trend we've seen, with agile use increasing from 71% to 87%*. With so many new, competing methodologies available, it's becoming more important to select the correct project management approach to deliver expected business value.


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Topics: Agile, Project Management

How (and Why) to Rethink Your Wireless Network

Posted by Dan Gutierrez on May 8, 2018 3:20:10 PM


IT Innovation has many facets. You can make both technical and non-technical upgrades, running the spectrum from written security policies to the latest in cloud data analytics. Upgrades to the physical IT infrastructure lie somewhere in between the two. Most of us would expect these upgrades to replace traditional desktops workstations with more robust, portable laptops, throwing an iPad in every employee’s lap, or even upgrading your operating systems from Windows 7 to Windows 10. What we tend not to consider is the wireless network. Really, more attention should be focused on the infrastructure that provides connectivity for portable devices, and modernizing the wireless infrastructure comes with two immediate, crucial benefits: speed and security.

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Topics: IT Modernization, Network Security, Wireless Networks, Cloud

Skunkworks and the Edge of Innovation

Posted by Gib Mason on May 4, 2018 4:11:12 PM

Innovation—tapping the fresh, value-creating ideas of employees, partners, customers, suppliers, and other parties beyond established boundaries—is incredibly difficult to foster.

Upon presenting a new and innovative idea, we have all experienced the response, “But it’s how we have always done it; why change things?” In most corporate cultures, people view any change as painful and problematic. Shifting paradigms to a culture that embraces innovation seems unattainable. How does a leader overcome the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality plaguing many corporate environments? After working through these issues with many organizations, I am certain that opportunities for innovation can be found anywhere or created by anyone.

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Topics: Leadership, Innovation

Agile from a Developer's Perspective

Posted by Jason Grove on May 3, 2018 4:56:45 PM


"As part of our modernization efforts, we are going to become an agile organization," says the new CTO to his teams. A pronouncement like this is likely to spark several reactions that can vary from excitement and curiosity to confusion, skepticism, and fear. This is story we’ve all heard before. To narrow the frame a bit, I’ll talk about software developers, one of the groups affected in a radical way by the switch to agile, and the initial change they’ll face: unit tests.

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Topics: IT Modernization, Agile, Software Development

Canaries in the Data Mine

Posted by Dave Flanagan on May 1, 2018 3:41:25 PM


The abundance of data generated by consumers using social media and mobile devices has driven advancements in data analytics that enable organizations to search, aggregate, and cross-reference much larger data sets than we’ve ever seen. Combine this proliferation of data with the processing power of the cloud, and data analytics is now even more essential for businesses to use this data instrumentally to gain insight into their customers. However, recent controversies over data usage remind us of the potential ethical and security problems that accompany big data.


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Topics: IT Modernization, Data Analytics

Thought Bubble: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Posted by Gib Mason on Apr 27, 2018 3:08:35 PM

“My colleagues, students, alumni, and their families came to the game knowing the team would give the game their all. Our men’s basketball team embodies our definition of grit. We knew the players were bringing both passion and preparation to the game. We knew that they would listen to the guidance of head coach Ryan Odom, support one another, give their individual best, and get tougher and tougher as the game went on.”[1] - Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of UMBC, speaking after the unprecedented upset of the UMBC Retrievers over the number one Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament.

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Topics: Leadership, Grit, Book Reviews

DevOps: Embracing Behavioral Change

Posted by John Fitzpatrick on Apr 26, 2018 12:58:45 PM

UMBC Training Centers recently published a whitepaper describing the four pillars for organizations engaged in modernizing, fortifying, and scaling their IT systems. Reaching these objectives is a critical imperative and more achievable than ever given the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act which provisions the needed resources for modernizing government technology.

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Topics: DevOps, IT Modernization

The Importance of Agile to IT Modernization

Posted by Marc Kolp on Apr 24, 2018 6:12:55 PM

We’re in the Shark Tank with Jeremy Deighton, Program Manager of the Center for Leadership and Innovation, as he asks Director Marc Kolp for his thoughts on the importance of an agile mindset in the workplace, especially as it relates to IT Modernization.

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Topics: Agile, IT Modernization