Being a CIO in a regular company is hard enough—but consider what it’s like for a CIO in a technology company. Almost everyone around you is involved deeply in the business of IT, and you’re often pushed in ways that are unfamiliar to other CIOs. As is often the case, many of the people in the organization simply see the CIO as another problem to overlook—as they are perfectly capable of doing the work themselves.
Become the Difference
This post by Peter High on Forbes.com explains why that’s certainly not the case—and how the CIO of a tech company can differentiate themselves in such a way that the tech company stops viewing them as such. The lessons include:
1. Changing your mindset from order taker to essential advisor
2. Recognizing the advantage of breadth
3. Becoming customer one to the enterprise
4. Developing a “semester abroad” program
5. Develop ideas with financial impact
Each of these lessons is accompanies by an explanation of what the CIO can do to enact them, including this write up for the “semester abroad” idea:
Here I am using the terminology of my friend, Duane Anderson, who is the COO of Marquette Group/USMotivation, and used to be an IT executive at Harrah’s Entertainment. He describes the need for IT team members to do an assignment if not a longer stay with other departments of the company or even out in the “field” however that might be defined in a company. Especially in a technology-centric company, the technical facets to other parts of the organization are likely to be accessible to IT resources. IT should strive to be a sufficiently high performing team in order to justify that colleagues in other parts of the organization would wish to join IT for a period, as well. By walking a miles in multiple sets of shoes, IT and non-IT employees alike should benefit mightily.
<p style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”>This is a particularly great piece of advice for the IT department of a technology company. The truth is that the more aligned and understanding the IT organization is to the whole company, the better the results of communication, teamwork, and projects become. Rather than being seen as competition, the departments begin to understand that they are all part of the same team.