The Changeling: A New CIO Organization

The Changeling: A New CIO Organization


It is ironic that as a discipline, IT arguably ?inflicts? more change on an organization and on a society than almost any other discipline.  So, here I am, leading an IT organization through a change and thus, need to give a lot of thought to my difficult task of leading myself, them and us successfully through a successful organizational change. The change affects individuals; it is personal; it is scary; it feels like death. 


The fear of change is clearly expressed in both folklore and fiction.  In folklore, changelings were children who were substituted for parents? real children.  In superstition, a changeling was suspected when any unexplained or bizarre change occurred in a child or infant. 


Evil Star Trek Space Probe NOMAD 

Of course, I have to offer a Star Trek example in ?The Changeling?.  NOMAD ? no, not NASA Operational Messaging and Active Directory Service which offers email, tasking, and calendaring capabilities ? but the deadly space probe launched in the late 20th century by Jackson Roykirk and found over two hundred years later by Captain James T. Kirk. Its original programming, which was to seek out new life forms, was changed by an untimely crash with another space probe.  The programming was changed to ?See the universe, meet interesting people, and kill them.?  [See for Star Trek Inspirational Poster]



Those of you who have read earlier posts know that I am a proud introvert.  When I was a little girl, the worse thing that my mother could tell me was, ?Go outside and play!? A fate worse than death.  But, every now and then, in our close-knit neighborhood in Northeast Washington, DC, a new person would move in.  Surprisingly, this introverted little girl would eagerly go outside and say ?Wow, someone new to play with!?  So when I found out that Goddard Space Flight Center was getting a new Center Director, I couldn?t help but revert back to my childhood and think, ?Wow, someone new to play with!?  Curiously, when I made some changes in my leadership team, and changed some positions around, an employee came to complain about why she had to cope with a new supervisor.  Compare and contrast my thinking about my new boss and her thinking about her new boss.  Humm, I am leading people who are not like me.  So, I guess I need to change and need a change strategy that takes people like her into account. 


A leader?s challenge is making an organizational change strategy personal.  What?s in it for me?  Do I have someone new to play with?  What do I get? Oh, and what have you done for me (or to me) lately?  John C. Maxwell, in his book ?Thinking for a Change? says, people change when they:   

* Hurt enough that they are willing to change.

* Learn enough that they want to change.

* Receive enough that they are able to change.  


I like this definition of ?changeling? that comes from


Philately. A postage stamp that, by accident or intention, has been chemically changed in color.


I need a plan, not by accident, but by intention.  I need a masterpiece that changes the color of the organization.  A portrait that paints a picture of change that transforms me, my stakeholders, and the my organization. Time to get out my palette, colors, and canvas and get busy.

6 thoughts on “The Changeling: A New CIO Organization”

  1. Linda, This is the blog I intenentionally left blank to make a point of PURPOSE! Please take the time to read your own message. I feel that it was written with true heart-felt sentiment. To FOCUS on your feelings as a child and relate to them in the present, can be a refreshing release. The AMBITION as stated in the last three lines can only be acomplished with strength and DETERMINATION. You have inspired in ME a sense of realism. I believe in you….(R.T.)

  2. I’ve been watching the series regarding the trip to Mars and the design suggestions that NASA has been considering, which prompts me with two important questions:

  3. It’s funny how the feelings we have as a child still linger with us in our later years.

    It’s also funny how things, no matter how we innoculate against change or even overlook the impact, change us nevertheless.

    I just noticed God’s masterpiece, in the beauty of a Rose. Transformed by truth, love, and beauty … in something you see every day and surrounds you.

    I think I’m a Changeling.

  4. In folklore, changelings were children who were substituted for parents?
    Thanks a lot for very interesting you wrote here.

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