As a Technology Leader, Where are You?

 

Where are you sitting?  Figuratively and literally?

Today’s business imperative defines your role, that of a technology leader, as sitting at the front, as a driver, as a visionary.

 

Recently, I spent time with David, CIO of an international 3+ Billion consumer facing company.  His experience provides a cautionary tale and 7 critical steps to taking the front seat.

David is a well-respected and long-time CIO.  He is liked and respected by his team, sitting in the leader’s seat for well over 20 years.  His direct report team is mature and has been in place for nearly as long.  Under David’s leadership, the organization established well understood processes and responsibilities.  His company ran stable systems and David met his operating budget confidently, keeping the CFO satisfied year after year.   By any measure, this is a fabulously successful enterprise technology organization.

But what happened? When first getting to know David, he proudly shared his stature in the technology community and respect of his peers.  Yet, David’s team began to get uncomfortable, and his peers showed visible frustration.  The industry competition demonstrated strides in consumer engagement, analytics and moving quickly with their mobile technologies.  Now, the company stock began faltering.

David’s narrative of, “I meet my goals, I meet my budgets, my teams are engaged” “we delivered quality software, it’s the businesses responsibility to make the rest happen” …

… Started to unravel …

What even the most successful and respected leaders in the industry need to realize is the expectation of their role and the role of enterprise technology shifted dramatically.

Now leaders in any industry, CEO’s across the spectrum; expect and need their technology leadership to TAKE a FRONT ROW seat.  BE the BUSINESS.  The business is not some outside group, if the technology organization is not the BUSINESS then what are they?

This is an exciting time for all technology leadership.  It is time to step out of the middle, come to the front and engage like success depends on you.  Because it does!

David redefined his motivation, relationship with peers and reinvented his role with these

7 Guiding Principles

  • Own the business results
  • Define success collectively
  • Be the partner you wish you had
  • Define, think, live and amplify the strategy of the organization
  • Be open about successes and trials within the team
  • Be present and authentic
  • Be curious, be a teacher, be a learner

David’s transition challenged for him personally.  He pushed out of his comfort zone, he shifted to the place of deeper accountability, vulnerability and authenticity.

By stepping up and into the front, you, as a Technology Leaders must shift to Business Leaders with expertise in technology and make way for your teams to do the same.  Ultimately, making way for your company to take the front seat and stay there.

Reach Partners walks this journey with you.  Helping you to reimagine your vision, your organization, realize your role and the tangible roadmap to the future.  Reach Partners combines deep in the seat experience, results driven expertise with change driving story telling.  Whether you are 20 years in the seat or brand new to your role.  We can help you Reach the Front.

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