To keep a company moving forward, sometimes you have to change its direction. That's been the strategy for Tim Platt, vice president of information systems and information security at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America.
Recognizing a need for Toyota to be more competitive, Platt has overseen his IT department's transition from a reactive role to an active one. Not satisfied with simply implementing and supporting reliable existing systems, Platt's staff now takes the initiative in offering improvements and innovative ideas to other departments.
The necessary training and resources are provided to staff through the IT Antenna program, which Platt has used for his own personal transformation. Coming to the CIO role from a background in IT architecture, Platt says he "recognized there was another part of the world I needed to engage in." He joined a roundtable of Cincinnati-area CIOs who share benchmarks, best practices and speaking engagements. "I've transformed from a person who was primarily focused internally on IT management processes to someone who is engaged outside of my organization," says Platt.
Connecting with people inside and outside the department makes Platt a leader his staff is enthusiastic to follow. "His ability to visualize complex scenarios and relate to every level of the organization personally is amazing," says Joseph Lucas, manager of IT business planning and management.