4 Tips to Lead IT through Uncertainty

The future of IT as a whole is ambiguous at best, a digital Wild West at the worst. With that in mind, there are certain steps a business can take to stay competitive. In an article for CIO magazine, Alok Tyagi draws upon leadership training gained at West Point to give four things IT leaders can do to achieve success in the face of uncertainty:

  1. Build core values that come to work every day
  2. Embrace constraints
  3. Be clear on the purpose (what) of the mission while allowing improvisation to the plan (how)
  4. Practice grace under fire

Uncertainty Unraveled

The trick with core values in the modern age is that they can’t just be simple slogans slapped onto a wall somewhere. They need to be a part of the very fabric of the company that drive the decision-making process. Amazon, for example, instills these core values into each level of their workforce to ensure that they can continue to be an agile and flexible company, despite now being an industry titan.

Another step to improving IT leadership is to embrace your budgetary constraints. While this may seem counterintuitive, constraints force people to be more creative with their solutions to particular problems. Budget constraints make leaders stop focusing on the structure dynamics and instead focus on solutions to the problem with the resources they have.

The plan and the purpose of any tasks at hand should be made crystal clear to everyone in the organization. Writing down a quick one-page charter can help you get the purpose, objective, and measure of success nailed down so everyone can align themselves with the goal.

With a very ambiguous future for IT ahead, it is important to note that setbacks are just a natural part of any technology initiative. Gauging how you react when things don’t go according to plan will truly test your mettle as a leader. Tyagi gives some examples of changes you should implement to help adapt to setbacks:

  • Be comfortable with more listening and less talking. Ask different questions from various constituents.
  • Be comfortable seeking multiple POVs where some feedback can even be contrary to me.
  • Recognizing communication is what is received and not what is sent. Watch for its impact as it can be negative despite your positive intent.
  • Be self-aware and check your emotions. Leaders who fake it don’t make it.
  • Change the mental model where the role of a leader is about creating a safe environment that allows people to try new things over keep doing the way we have done always. And when something fails how quickly we learn and adjust.
  • Be comfortable with having less control and a plan that stick. Become more comfortable with the team experimentation, learning, and adjusting.

You can view the original article here:

Austin J. Gruver

Austin is a Staff Writer for AITS. He has a background in professional writing from York College.

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