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CIOs In Training: 3 Factors For Success
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SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
9/2/2014 | 7:34:50 AM
Re: Customer Skills
Aside from the additional skills, the knowledge that you have not always been in IT means something to other people.  It is funny to have people guess where I started out my career and they are surprised to find out that my first job was in a large AP department.  I guess as much as I might break the IT stereotypes I'm even further from the accounting ones.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
9/2/2014 | 7:21:45 AM
Re: Customer Skills
I'm not trying to start fights here but yes, IT and marketing skills are not ones that I see mixing very well right now.  I see a lot of marketing push that relies heavily on technology but they don't understand the underlying function.  IT sees the softer marketing skills as a bit of voodoo and I'm sure marketing sees the complexity that IT points out as equally mysterious.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
9/1/2014 | 11:00:16 AM
Re: Business Knowledge
Exactly - we are handling high-talent people instead of pure labor force. Salary is not the only factor for them. In addition to good offer, they would demand challenging opportunity with a bright future and a team will good climate. So managing tech team is a challenge. You cannot be just a boss but also a coach/tutor.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 2:37:59 PM
Re: Business Knowledge
Office politics do not allow for such easy management. There always are other factors. IT employees are always looking for advancements in salaries/benefits and for that they are ready to be the pet of managers, and this creates all the problems in managing the Tech directly by the staff without the Boss overlooking the Staff.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 2:35:35 PM
Re: Customer Skills
Plus there are other benefits as well, like suggesting any other department where one hs previously worked, on some models/ideas. It makes the work flow smoothly and develops better inter-employee relationships and also makes up experience from the one who's helping and the one who is being helped.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 1:11:34 PM
Re: Business Knowledge
@shamika: I think the way to think of it is this:

Your employees manage the tech.

You, as their boss, manage them so that the tech gets managed in the right way.
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 12:10:34 PM
Re: CIOs In Training: 3 Factors For Success
Thanks for this, Jonathan. Maybe most IT professionals don't sit at their desks thinking 'what can I do to become CIO', but then again, maybe they should start. Even if they don't make it all the way to that big chair (at least, not at their current company), there's no doubt that the suggestions you provide here will put them on the right path, and provide them with plenty of valuable skills and experiences along the way. After all, pulling back the veil even farther, it's often not the money that motivates people at that highest level, is it? It's the desire to be better, to improve themselves, and see how far they can go - to that end, these are all great ways to keep building yourself up.

The bit about people being more important than tech at the CIO level is oft-repeated, but it seems that's necessary, as many IT execs still don't seem to embrace it. That thought ought to impact every decision you make - at the macro level, does this technology project serve a business need? At the micro level, you need to build your relationships with other execs on something other than technology and your know-how therein - it's good for the company, it's good for your job security, and it's good for your mental health. SaneIT's point is very good - there's a big difference between thinking you're good with people and actually being good with people. Get someone you trust to tell you the truth.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 6:19:44 AM
Re: Business Knowledge
I like the fact "People first, not tech." we always need to work with people. Understanding them better and providing them with required trainings, opportunities and challenging work has to be part of CIO role. 
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 6:14:08 AM
Re: Customer Skills
@ Laurianne, you are correct. it is important to have the customer focus at the same time it is also important to know his boundaries when providing the customer service.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
8/31/2014 | 6:11:53 AM
Business Knowledge
The CIO we had did not know the business at all. And he was trying to incorporate the software development culture, which did not fit in to his current industry. As correctly said it is important to know the business better.
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