Smart City: Bridging Strategy and Governance in a Smart City

Kevin Gray - City of Burbank - Tomorrow's Jobs Today

The following excerpt is based on the book Tomorrow’s Jobs Today, available at fine booksellers from John Hunt Publishers.

If we cower in the face of disruption, our ideas will get stale, our skillsets will grow old, and our energy to adapt will precipitously decline. Tomorrow’s Jobs Today is a resource for smart people like you who realize the jobs of the future are very much here today and ours to adapt to. By absorbing the observations and advice by the people who are in love with these new careers, we can transform anxiety over the winds of change into opportunity. That goes for folks working in the private sector and the public sector, such as those employed in a smart city.

We interviewed a business leader for our new book Tomorrow’s Jobs Today who exemplifies the power of change and adaptation. He is Kevin Gray. the Chief Information Officer for the City of Burbank, leading an IT department responsible for administrative management, geographic information systems, and technical services for over 1400 city employees across 15 departments. Before assuming this role, he served as VP of Global Media and IT for Viacom, one of the world’s premier entertainment entities, overseeing an international team located across six continents.

“You have to be a true partner with the business. The technology is the secondary piece. The technology is what you use to try to find the solution for the problem the business is trying to solve.

Kevin Gray of the City of Burbank

The following excerpt is from Tomorrow’s Jobs Today: Discover leadership secrets and technology strategies being pioneered by today’s most innovative business executives and renowned brands across the globe in this entertaining collection of interviews and stories exploring new careers of the Information Age.

From the interview

Kevin, your education continued well beyond your initial degree work, leading to a SCRUM master and PMP certification. In today’s competitive career landscape, how have these credentials aided your professional development, and what designations do you advise others seeking IT leadership roles pursue?

My perspective is a little different here than some of my peers. Yes, continued education is an absolute necessity. You have to continue to learn. You have to continue to grow. As people get older, they naturally get accustomed to their ways, but sometimes they get too comfortable. They don’t look to learn and grow. Hence, you get guys and gals that have been a mainframe administrator for their entire career, and they stay a mainframe administrator until they retire.

I learned then, early in my career, that the worst thing that we can do was get stuck in our ways. Get stuck in the technology that we focus in. Get stuck in the way with which we conduct our careers. So, I’ve always embraced that principle. What I don’t necessarily embrace on its face are certifications because I’ve known a lot of certified idiots.

Some folks have ten certifications, but practically they can’t accomplish much of anything because they live inside of a book. You need that book to learn the concepts and methodologies. But to transition that to real life, you need to deploy it in real life, to find out what works and what doesn’t. What works out of the book. What doesn’t work? What applies? What doesn’t apply? Once you do that, you need to get back into the books and keep learning. You’ve got to figure out what’s my next step. What’s the next step in the journey to continuous improvement? What’s the next step in the journey of both personal, professional growth?


To read more about incredible careers like Kevin Gray’s and change your life in the information age, buy the book today!

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