Getting comfortable and being valuable within the first 100 days at a company are important. If you multiply that importance by one thousand times, you have a rough measure of how much more important it is for a CIO. A new CIO is stepping into an IT organization that has already formed without them, a company that already has an opinion (good or bad) of IT, and a series of problems and challenges that the CIO can only guess at, in most cases. That’s part of what makes this interview between Peter High (writing for Forbes.com) and CIO Michael Lucas so interesting. Lucas stepped in as global CIO of law firm Hogan Lovells, one of the largest law firms in the world. While Lucas has since established a unified IT strategy and IT program to increase innovation, his first 100 days were spent getting used to the new post and trying to have as much impact as possible. One of the major lessons he learned was to make communication a huge element of his early tenure:
It was critical in the first 100 days to communicate as often as possible to the various stakeholder groups. I’m a big believer in cascading information so that everyone feels informed at all times about what is happening. So today, information and decisions from technology leadership meetings is validated within core governance meetings and communicated via executive briefings, and then played back to all in the technology function in the form of global ‘All Hands’ meetings. As a final step, global technology updates are issued to all in the firm. I think developing a proper cadence and consistency in cascading information about our plans and accomplishments has served us well thus far.
Expanding the Goalposts Across The World
Lucas goes on to explain that one of his main focuses in organizational change was a re-emphasis on service delivery and putting governance in place as a main driver of how business was done. After this, Lucas made sure that alignment of this governance and service delivery was carried throughout the organization globally. The end result was an IT organization that not only knew what work it was supposed to do, but also understood the work of other areas of IT throughout the world, and a level of communication between them not thought possible before Lucas arrived as CIO.