How CIOs Can Prevent Negative Business Engagement
by Betsy Burton
I’ve been reading a few posts recently from CIOs and enterprise architects regarding their role in their organization. A few have commented that they equate their role as business or technology leaders to that of “herding cats,” or even a “goat rodeo.”
While I understand the sentiment—and the joke—it strikes me that saying this is a bit derogatory, even if you are a fan of cats or goats, and maybe leading to unhealthy engagement with your peers.
Words Become Actions
I think there is a lot of truth in Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions.”
Do you or your team face challenges communicating and collaborating with your business and technology counterparts? As a CIO or IT leader, are your words inadvertently setting up a divisive culture?
Maybe part of the issue is rooted in how we think and speak (even joke) about our peers. Are we communicating that we view our role in negative terms? Are we communicating that we don’t view our peers as important and valuable; that we view them as difficult and demanding?
Internal Management Consultancy; Trusted Advisor
Our role as technology leaders is to work with our business counterparts as equal peers. Our business requires technology and the only reason we have technology is to enable the business to operate and grow.
Therefore, our role as CIOs and enterprise architects is to provide trusted advice, counsel, support, collaboration, and coordination across business and IT. And yes, sometimes it means we need to provide a bit of counseling and encouragement to help groups come together. But this means working with people to help them understand the business value and benefit of working together.
Creating a Positive Culture of Collaboration
The reality is, your business counterparts can often deliver significant value and insights into technology-driven business investments. Particularly with respect to information analytics, business applications and processes, application of AI, operational technologies, and digital business.
The most effective and impactful organizations create teams of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences from across the organization to work together to address technology-enabled opportunities and challenges. Creating these collaborative teams breaks down barriers and creates a positive and inclusive environment which can be a source for growth and innovation.
Recognize how our words may be inadvertently setting up a divisive culture that may be impacting our ability to collaborate across the organization. As business, IT, and technology leaders, it is critical and our responsibility to create an environment that brings out the best on our teams. Not just because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is the most effective and efficient way of running our business.