Change Is Always In The Air For CIOsChange Is Always In The Air For CIOs
Time for a change? If you're a CIO, it's always time for change. Whether it's the more optimistic, positive sort of change (i.e., growing the business) or the less pleasant (heck, painful) kind of change, like cutting costs, you'd better be ready.
September 9, 2008
Time for a change? If you're a CIO, it's always time for change. Whether it's the more optimistic, positive sort of change (i.e., growing the business) or the less pleasant (heck, painful) kind of change, like cutting costs, you'd better be ready.If a CIO doesn't step up as a change leader, "companies will say 'we'll find someone who can,'" says Marc Cecere, a VP of Forrester Research, and lead author of a new report, "How CIOs Can Drive Business Change."
That goes for whether it's implementing a better system that eliminates costs during hard times, or one that will help grow revenue in good times, said Cecere in an interview with InformationWeek. The CIO has got to be thinking about change -- including identifying what kind of business changes should be made and how to best facilitate them. Cecere's report outlines "16 key success factors" for CIOs to be catalysts for change. Those factors are broken into four groups. Among some of the big themes are "credibility, communication, team, and competitive information." (As an aside, InformationWeek recently reported on another big change that companies make -- how they find their "next" CIOs. You can check that out here.) When it comes to team issues, one of the big temptations for many CIOs is to be a hero to the business at the expense of the IT team, says Cecere. "It might seem counter-intuitive, but heroism is a character flaw," he says. That's because CIOs can become so obsessed with solving a customer-oriented problem that they and the IT team are driven into the ground, burned out. "You can, as a CIO, lead change by power and will, with long hours and Tums," he says. However, what's better is the CIO knowing when staff can step in "and carry the movement," he says. Being a control freak CIO doesn't necessarily help facilitate change, but can hinder it. That's because CIOs need to understand the talents and strengths of the people around them and trust those folks enough to "hand off" elements essential for making change, says Cecere. You can learn more here about what else Cecere says about CIOs driving change. In the meantime, what advice do you have for CIOs as change leaders? Let us know.
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