Organizational change can be a disorienting experience. We all have bristled against it at one time or another, unnerved by the unknown. However, leaning into change and following the path of disruption can be a liminal moment for organizations and the individuals involved. Our guest this week, a self-described change junkie, knows all too well the discomfort and rewards of Disruption.

Michelle McKenna is currently the Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer for the NFL. She is responsible for their technology strategy, shared service delivery and management of the league’s technology activities. Michelle has been at the NFL since 2012 and is executive sponsor of the league’s Women’s Inclusion Network. She has been awarded the Game Changer Award by Sports Business Journal. In 2013, Forty Over Forty – Women to Watch named her as one of the top 40 women in business

Prior to joining the NFL, Michelle served as the CIO at Constellation Energy where she led the acquisition of competitive energy businesses and the ultimate merger with Exelon.

Michelle has extensive experience in the media and entertainment industry as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Universal Orlando Resort. In this role, she was responsible for the innovation, oversight and leadership of technology at Universal Orlando Resort, including the launch of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

In this episode we learn the benefits of asking why we do it this way and how important it is to never stop innovating. Michelle offers an inside take on producing the 2020 NFL Draft and previews the future of data driven decision making for players and coaches.

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  • Don’t be afraid to ask, “Why do we do it this way?”, even it is outside your area of expertise. Michelle shares the story of how centrally managing the frequency communication systems within stadiums and moving to a digital delivery system for sideline communications, improved performance and the game day experience for those on and off the field.
  • Never stop being able to innovate and get new ideas. Although the pandemic created constraints on the normal planning for the 2020 NFL draft, creativity abounded! Junior team members felt emboldened and contributed in new and inspiring ways. The result was so impactful that it has changed how Michelle will launch new projects from here on out.
  • Invest in relationships. Although true in any job, this is especially important if you are a change agent. Michelle explains how building relationships with your team members and partner organizations, grants you the trust necessary to effectively and compassionately lead through the change.


Michelle McKenna




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