Chief Information Officer
Technical College System of Georgia
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Industry: Higher Education
Steven Ferguson tells his staff that they are building the plane while flying it, so he doesn’t expect perfection, but he does expect results. As the chief information officer at the Technical College System of Georgia, Ferguson said he is never satisfied with the status quo or mediocrity.
“I readily accept new opportunities and work diligently to bring others along,” he said. “I embrace my leadership role and delegate command to the furthest levels so that everyone can take ownership of their circle of influence.”
This, according to Ferguson, allows him to focus on expanding reach, building partnerships with other industry leaders and launching new and exciting collaborations.
The mission of the Technical College System of Georgia is to build a well-educated, globally competitive workforce through technical education, adult education and customized training for Georgia’s businesses and industries. The 22 colleges within the Technical System of Georgia provide state-of-the-art training in high-demand technical fields.
TCSG oversees the state’s technical colleges, adult literacy programs and a host of economic and workforce development programs. It embraces a unified system of technical education, adult education and customized business and industry training through programs that offer easy access to lifelong education and training for all adult Georgians and corporate citizens.
As the chief information officer and interim deputy commissioner of economic development, Ferguson oversees the IT, research, business intelligence and economic development departments at TCSG. Under his leadership, these three seemingly unrelated departments have joined together and utilized the strengths for each department to make a stronger organization. He is a 26-year veteran of the IT industry and began his career with the college system in 2001.
His staff describes Ferguson as a leader with an entrepreneurial spirit who seeks out projects that would improve the company’s ability to serve its customers. For example, in 2013, Ferguson built a business case and launched a multi-year voice over IP project that resulted in over $2 million in cost avoidance and an average annual savings of $1.2 million.
According to his staff, Ferguson uses his influence to create opportunities for collaborative efforts. “Steven is big on staff taking ownership at all levels of the organization,” they said. “He leads effectively through decentralized command, empowering his team to innovate, take calculated risks and execute at scale and speed.”
For his commitment to leading by example, Ferguson has been named a Titan
Steven fell completely out of his chair during a TCSG State Board meeting. The Chairperson scored this fall a 9 out of 10 because he didn't stick the landing.