Information Officer, Chief Information Officer. We would all like to be more like James Bond, but if you are a CIO, being more like 007 might mean success for you and your organization. This is the message of author Eric Berridge. You don’t actually need to be a secret agent for some of James Bond’s old tricks to work for you. Berridge notes that anyone can go “under cover” at work to learn more about the organization they hope to help prosper:
Go undercover. I’m not prescribing anything complicated – just physically picking yourself up and spending time with other departments. Attend their meetings, go to lunch with their staff, rub shoulders, etc. As much as possible, go to the trenches with them. For example, I highly recommend occasionally riding along with sales reps – you’ll learn more about the needs of your reps riding shotgun on one sales call than you will poring over a stack of trade magazines.
Berridge champions the notion of crossing departmental lines “with style.” Bond is able to travel from one exciting place to the next without much strain or effort. CIOs should be able to do the same between departments. Blending easily from one department to the next will create a more cohesive and inclusive workplace.
Berridge also notes that once a CIO is embedded as Bond would be, they must focus on department operations and challenges, employ frustrations, and customer frustrations. Learning issues of each department, just as learning the issues of a secret mission, will help any CIO get a better idea of how to reach a solution. Dealing with employees instead of department heads will allow a CIO to see a more accurate picture of the state of things. Finally, customers must be pleased. This is the end goal of your mission. By becoming your own James Bond, your management style will be more successful, and you will be the hero of your own story.