Strengths Spotlight: Ideation

by Heather Tisdelle
Assistant Director, Administrative Systems
Information Technology
Top 5: Strategic, Includer, Ideation, Individualization, Achiever

I think of this talent as a creativity and problem solving ability.  It is a brainstorming tool that is key to the way I think every day.  My ideation talent makes me better at my job in my role in Information Technology.  I work in the Administrative Systems department where we integrate and expand our Banner ERP system with other technologies.  We support business functions with creative technical solutions.  We are a small group and often times have collaboration and brainstorming sessions on how best to develop and deliver a solution.  In some aspects, our technology base is growing with the addition of Ellucian Recruiter, DegreeWorks, and the University Data Stream (UDS).  As this technical environment grows, so does the challenge of our role at Bridgewater State – to make sure that all of our systems are working together and new solutions do not break existing processes.  In addition, we are trying to maximize the software that we have already invested in.  Many technologies can be extended to serve more purposes than originally thought of.  That is when I use my ideation talent most – to find ways to create solutions with existing tools.

We are often asked “How could we get this done?”, or “Is it possible to do this?”.  I find that I am constantly thinking of the best possible way to implement a fix or enhancement and for it to fit with the rest of our environment like a jigsaw puzzle piece would.  To me, there is always a better way to do something and I strive to find the solution that “fits”.  Of course, someone with this talent could be seen not willing to take no for an answer, or is constantly changing agreed upon the path.  Over time, I find that I am rolling the ideas over and over in my head to make sure that they work in conjunction with everything else and will work all the way through.  Sometimes they won’t, and we have to adjust or change course.  Over my eight year tenure at BSU, and even before coming to BSU from other higher education institutions, my ideation talent has grown and matured as I have developed more knowledge and experience with the Banner ERP system and our vast database environment.  I have learned a great deal working with other departments and am familiar with the way that our worlds fit together.  I am constantly learning and tuning my practice in this respect.

For example, we have recently been asked for an easy way to check-in students for an event.  We are leveraging Argos, a tool that was originally implemented for reporting, to create an interface to Banner.  This allows users to actually update and store check-in information in the Banner database.  Combined with an inexpensive card reader, students can be checked in quickly and efficiently, with much less probability of data entry problems.  In addition, the check-in information is stored in our Banner database which enables users to access reports that can be run after the event.  These reports can include useful information such as contact email address, student class, major, etc.  The list goes on and on…  It is developing solutions like this that make my job a challenging and rewarding adventure every day.  I enjoy my work at Bridgewater State immensely and it is gratifying to see my solutions work to make other people’s lives easier.

About cindykane

Director of @BSUInvolved and interested in leadership and professional development strategies. Mom, scholar-practitioner, looking to make an impact!
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