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Can CIOs Change Fixed Organizational Mindsets for Digital Transformation?

Nastel Technologies®
May 4, 2022

Digital transformation involves change, which includes change in how people think. Digital transformation today is not a one-and-done. This means businesses should increasingly be looking for people that are change ready, starting with their CIO.


According to the research of Paul A. O’Keefe, Carol Dweck and Greg Walton, people tend to gravitate to one of two mindsets — a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Fixed mindset people spend their time being excellent, proving how good they are and seeking to be right. Growth mindset people focus on learning, keeping an open mind toward new information and are less concerned with being good and more concerned with getting better. The struggle for CIOs leading transformation initiatives is working with, and sometimes through, those with a fixed mindset.


Changing Hearts and Minds for Digital Transformation
Digital transformation, without question, starts by changing hearts and minds. Where do CIOs find the most resistance and most fixed mindsets? Where do they see only historical ways of doing business? CIOs are clear that the fear of change can even exist within IT itself — the organization charged with changing the business. For example, an IT department, can be stuck in an “I do not trust the cloud” mindset.


CIOs suggest that after convincing top leadership, changing hearts and minds can involve asking people to give up control. According to Mevotech CIO Martin Davis, “Fear of change is a big problem. People may like the idea of change, but not like being changed. People tend to have a fear of losing something as the result of a change — status, position, knowledge and even coffee with friends. Another obstacle is making sure the business is thinking about change as business change and not just technology change.”


CIOs say common resistors, in other words those having fixed mindsets, include:


  • Incumbent/legacy lines of business stakeholders
  • Boards of directors
  • Staff that likes the status quo
  • Non-strategic CFOs


As IT leaders, CIOs need to help get stakeholders on board. In this process, they need to be a champion and a partner. Together, they need to assist fixed mindset leaders and consider perceived issues including:


  • What if we upset customers?
  • Will jobs be lost internally?
  • What is the why of the change?
  • When will the organization see results?


Harris Health CIO David Chou says, “Culture and mentality is where to start.” In addition, University of Michigan CIO Carrie Shumaker says, “The most resistance is priority misalignment. Major changes require coordination from many parts of the hierarchy. They must all be ready and able and willing at the same time.”


To succeed, CIOs need to be aware of where the fixed versus growth mindsets exist, and it may not be the same for every proposed change. “We all have things we learned that served us well when we learned them. We all have comfortable places. We find resistance when we do not bring people along and show them what’s in it for them instead of just the change itself,” says Miami University CIO David Seidl.


This article originally appeared on, to read the full article, click here.

Nastel Technologies is the global leader in Integration Infrastructure Management (i2M). It helps companies achieve flawless delivery of digital services powered by integration infrastructure by delivering tools for Middleware Management, Monitoring, Tracking, and Analytics to detect anomalies, accelerate decisions, and enable customers to constantly innovate, to answer business-centric questions, and provide actionable guidance for decision-makers. It is particularly focused on IBM MQ, Apache Kafka, Solace, TIBCO EMS, ACE/IIB and also supports RabbitMQ, ActiveMQ, Blockchain, IOT, DataPower, MFT, IBM Cloud Pak for Integration and many more.


The Nastel i2M Platform provides:


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