Dan Kiskis, PhD

I received a fantastic liberal arts education at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. From there, I went on to pursue my PhD in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan.

My PhD dissertation focused on building software for testing networks of computers. Doing this work required that I understand how all the parts of a system worked together, and how to make it all work better.

Over the course of my career, I've worked at a national research laboratory, a military research laboratory, a small start-up, a small pastry business, and mostly at the University of Michigan. At UM, I have developed software for research projects, acted as a research scientist in the area of sensor networks, ran the IT shop for bioinformatics, ran the operations for the software that was used for all on-line courses on campus, worked as an Enterprise Architect for the central IT department of the university, and managed data analysts in the healthcare field.

Throughout this broad-ranging career, I've observed how organizations and their leaders worked. I've led organizations both through direct authority and through influence. Because I wanted to be a better leader, I studied leadership and organizational development.

The key lesson I've learned is that having and using a strategy is crucial for achieving success.

During my work as an Enterprise Architect, I was responsible for coaching around 50 managers, directors, and other leaders in the university's central IT organization to develop their strategies for their services. I discovered that there was a significant need to provide training and resources to these leaders to help them develop, communicate, and execute their strategy.

At Using Strategy, I want to share what I've learned with people outside of my own workplace. I want to help others have the tools to think strategically and use strategy to improve how they lead their part of the organization.