Have you noticed that progress toward a stretch objective does not always go in a straight line? It is like tacking a yacht; you are constantly adjusting your course to reach your destination. Having a stand for a bigger future helps you stay on track.
When Greg was appointed as CIO, he affirmed his conviction that a digital and technology strategy was vital to the success of the business. He also declared his stand to make a difference. However, initial conversations with senior executives about future strategy were often railroaded by IT network outages. Their view was, “What would you guys know about the business…..you can’t even keep the lights on!”
It would have been easy for Greg to put his entire focus on fixing today’s network issues. But his stand prompted him to similarly stay on a future course. He implemented a two-speed approach which tackled the operational challenges as well as the development of the digital strategy. He challenged his team to fix the network issues and inspired them with his vision of the IT department as a trusted advisor to the business. At the same time, he established influential relationships with CXO’s from the business and identified their problems that his digital strategy could help resolve.
Greg also had to stand for himself. There were times when he doubted if he had the capacity to deliver in the face of opposition to his ideas. But his stand to make a difference caused him to step up his leadership and remind himself of the value he brought to the business. He redefined his own style of authentic leadership. His advocates grew and the conversation gradually shifted from, “What would you guys know…” to “What do you guys think?” They are now seen as trusted advisors to the business.
The market demand for game-changing leaders like Greg will grow stronger according to recent market intelligence. A 2017 Gartner global survey of C-level leaders found that 58% of CEOs rank growth as their number one strategic priority for 2017/18. They see digital transformation and information technology as key to that growth. Gartner believes that CIOs are well placed to propose creative digital business strategy actions and ideas to meet that demand.
What are you standing for?
Best regards, Brian
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