To succeed as an
IT leader, you need to develop
The CIO.com list of Ones to Watch includes
folks, mostly directors and VPs, who appear headed for the CIO suite. More
than ever before, their skills go beyond the purely technical; they exhibit
vision, the ability to influence others and a knack for getting things done.
New Roles of a CIO
A wish list includes
11 traits of a
true IT leader.
Some examples: fluency in both technology and the business, the ability to
work at tactical and strategic levels simultaneously, marketing competence,
consummate communication skills, and a readiness to
Finding such people isn't easy. "They need to
be good at a lot of things," says Agnoli, awards judge and CIO of
Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham. "They have to be able to delve from
the really high-level stuff all the way down to the minutiae, sometimes at
the same time. It's a very difficult skill set to find, so you want to hold
on to them."
There are some telltale signs that an IT leader
is – or should be – headed for the top. Leading companies recognized for
their rising-star status in the IT world, display three overarching
characteristics the wise CIO will watch out for. They have vision, often
creative approaches to solving business problems.
4 Types of
Problem Solving Strategies:
Creative Problem Solving
How To Solve
Turn Problems to Opportunities:
influence, with superior
communication skills and the ability to build
consensus. And they get things done, executing
enterprisewide projects successfully time and time again.
is as a core competency is the kind of trait CIOs just know when they see
it. It comes in many forms, from the ability to envision an executable plan
to figuring out how to enable a new business product. But the qualities that
lead IT up-and-comers to
solving business problems
are easier to boil down. They need a thorough understanding of the
down-and-dirty details of both technology capabilities and business needs,
the flexibility to adjust to changing conditions in either or both, and the
ability to bring the two together into a very high-level
ICT-powered Value Chain
The Tree of
How To Create Greater
Business and Revenue Models
Influence. Of course, giving
doctors and nurses innovative new technology tools is one thing; getting
them to use these tools is quite another. That's where
influence comes in.
Often, CIOs must call upon a whole host of skills to get business buy-in
for, and usage of, IT-enabled change – from being willing to learn more
about what the business needs to
gaining the trust of key stakeholders to marketing big, enterprisewide
relationships with various (often very different) constituencies.
Value Created by
are essential qualities for future CIOs. But without solid execution,
successful marketing campaigns quickly fall apart. You've to stand
It takes time though to truly judge whether an
IT leader is good at getting things done. "You have to look at the scope and
reach of what they're doing. It's one thing to do a successful project; it's
another thing to do it across the entire organization," says Agnoli.
"You also have to look at how successful they are. They need to build a
track record over time, not just one good
project." To do that, IT leaders need to be able to employ
solid project management practices, hire and manage the best employees to
execute those plans, and either get involved or
Project Leader Skills
And though it sounds rather circular, it takes an IT leader who has vision
and influence as well.