The Well framed Questions can Help Leaders Contemplate their Role More Profoundly!
Spring is coming; it’s the time for planning, change, and transformation, either you are a current CIO or prospective CIO; CIO promoted through IT rank or an unconventional CIO taking the different path, here are set of the questionnaire for interview preparation or contemplation more profoundly upon CIO role.
It is based on the passion you see in the eyes of the individual answering it. Do they have a passion for what they are doing? Will they have a passion about the vision and mission of the enterprise? Will they have a passion about the employees in their charge? Do they have a passion for success, and know how to envision what that should look like? Do they have a passion for being a CIO?
- Strategic Thinking: The title isn't what makes someone a CIO or not, rather it's their mind and capabilities. A CIO needs to be, first and foremost, a strategic thinker - with a good knowledge of technology and, more importantly, the ability to be able to connect the dots by proposing ways in which the business can use technology to create strategic advantage.
- Gap Identification: This question will help in evaluating the logical thinking of the prospective CIO who will try to explain the gap that she/he can fill in the organization, be it resource gap, knowledge gap, quality gap, or capability gap. Based on your findings what recommendations do you have and how do you plan to achieve results? The most important thing is his/her knowledge, understanding, capabilities, and leadership that will be realized by answering the question related to building the IT Strategy, the Planning and the Execution of it in alignment with the business goals and objectives
- CIO’s Insight: This question will help know the person's interest in the organization as she/he will also be explaining you about your organization's vision and strategies, which is an essential part of any interview preparation process. This question will help know the person's awareness of self-adequacy, knowledge, thinking process, experience, responsibilities undertaken Her/his answer will automatically fall into how she/he sees the role of the CIO, who can speak in depth about information and its importance to the business rather than about technologies and how great they are.
- Culture Influence: What moral booster (innovation, etc) are you able to bring into this organization that would maximize profits/productivity/personalization?
- Passion: To give their absolute best in the job. CIO job involves solving and working with a variety of challenges. The CIO might not always know all the answers - but it is this passion that will drive the candidate to learn and find out and work towards the best solution for all stakeholders. Followers like people that are passionate about their job. On the other side, when making decisions, CIOs need to have enough distance in order to choose what is best for the company and not what they like better.
- Vision: CIO as a senior business executive, needs to have vision upon business and IT. We do not live in a utopia, but a dystopia, as such, there is always motion, or as we know it, an ever changing environment. Since change is the order of every day, embracing and harnessing its power the step towards sustainability, a leader, any leader, must know how to create a vision to accomplish that. Creation of vision takes passion, for without passion, the vision is devoid of organizational objects that will create growth. A great many CIOs were placed because of technical competence but lacked the ability to create a vision that their people could support. It is not enough to tell those folks, we do what we do because the business needs us. That is not a vision; it is simply a reason for maintenance. Vision is the ability to see growth and increased productivity within an organization. All else are tools in the leaders toolbox. Knowing why you want to use that toolbox is the first step in creating a viable vision.
- Strategy: CIO is part of senior leadership team whose role is to drive strategic thinking, strategic planning and strategic execution, as a team they must leave their silos behind and embrace collective thought. As a team they must distill strategy to one piece of paper so that it can be communicated and executed collectively. IT strategy is integral component of business strategy, keep it simple. CIOs need to be technology strategist and integrator, sometimes he/she runs the operations, align IT with business priorities (streamline business processes with technology support), but more often, technology also become a game changer, significantly drive business trends and directions.
- Promote and Execute Strategy: If every CIO is currently entrenched and aware of competition from outside the company, understand IT transformation from a cost center to value creator; from back office to innovation engine, they will be seeking ways to cement and fortify their positions as masters of value / profit. Thus, in order to become more effective in conveying the vision and strategy, today's CIO literally needs to have experience in sales and marketing within their market or similar in order to be fully effective. Intermediate knowledge of technology and software systems should be a baseline but having the knowledge of how to employ them to improve all areas of a company is not only key but rare, PCI, marketing, sales, web design, mobile realm, app design & integration, UX & UI mastery, when applied to monetization and behavioral modification, they have to be effective on both promoting vision & strategy, execute it collaboratively.
- Transform IT as business partner: What is your strategic vision for how IT will support the vision of our company. The answer will demonstrate some degree of homework about the company; provide an opportunity to discuss innovative ways to make IT a profit center. CIO is hired to enable the core vision of the hiring company. Most company's vision is to create and sell a product or service and in doing so - to create value for either shareholders or other stakeholders by increasing revenue from the sale of such products or services, and reducing the costs of production and delivery of these
- Insight upon digital technology and methodology such as SMAC: What’re prospective CIO’s vision upon emerging digital technologies, and how could apply them to achieve business goals effectively? He/she should also therefore be able to talk about data, including Big Data and Business Intelligence, in an intelligent way, and should understand the challenges of using the Cloud to store information (not just the technical challenges, but for business transformation).
- SWOT Analysis: Based on analysis, identify technology solutions/ improvement opportunity so that best value is provided to customers. Not only be giving the company recommendations on how to capitalize on its strengths, and use information and technology to mitigate its weaknesses, but also be delivering any transformation programs that need to be implemented as a result of such recommendations (if on board).
-org structure and org systems
-leadership & management
If CIO is one of the highest executive profile in an organization, then It really does fall on that person to take the reins and forge solutions for the company that minimizes human labor and error while maximizing the tools and resources to other departments so that they can not only increase sales but also provide a solid customer service experience that yields positive feedback.
- Well align with business strategy and supporting the needs of the business. Today too many companies have too many departments that are not tied together culturally, or even directed by a steering committee. The CIO's goals should be aligned with company goals. They can only be aligned with the CEO's goals if you actually have a discussion about the long-term plans for the company
- Balance IT Role as business enabler and driver. Typically IT is seen as an enabler for business rather than driver for business. How does a CIO or IT Director draws a balance between the two is the question that can be asked. Given the fact we know a CIO is expected to be a trustful team player for the CEO (management or executive board), thus IT is to balance customer service and tech support with advancing the organization's business further...
- Setting Milestones for Digital Transformation: CIO must align with business providing information and knowledge to increase the effectiveness of decision making, identifying opportunities, and reaching objectives for each customer and person in the organization. This is the business value that the CIO and the IT department bring to the table. Leverage resources to achieve short term business goals, but set the milestones for long term digital transformation.
Hear from the applicant is how he/she can use existing information (or perhaps access new sources of information) to transform the business. How do you see the goals that a CIO has to meet, and how would you organize to get to realize them?
Q11: What are your thoughts on measurement criteria for transformational IT? How do you measure the revenue creation opportunities for IT? Measuring IT is multi-dimensional effort, it needs to define the set of KPIs well reflect the result business concerns, rather than just internal IT parameters.
How would you create a framework for assessing the need for transformative steps leveraging the value quantification framework? Discuss modern approaches for obtaining and supporting infrastructure; managing a motivated workforce; and, supporting all aspects of the business.
Q17. How can we be agile enough to meet demands of our environment today but not lock us out of changes that will be necessary tomorrow? How would you create an environment that will allow us to make quick changes as we see opportunities?
Q18: How will you encourage your senior IT staff to get out of their comfort zones and be more open to looking at disruptive technologies that will help us create that competitive advantage and move IT more into helping to generate bottom line revenue?
This question will provide a solid measure of (a) does the person truly know the company beyond the obvious (b) does the person have some sort of a plan (c) how well do they articulate the plan and (d) does the plan make sense or is it full of generic "hot air"
Understanding the cost of IT, the value add of IT and how this contributes to the bottom line of the organization is critical to gaining the financial support necessary to achieve strategic IT goals. Many have difficulty speaking to the quantifiable value that IT adds to the organization in order to gain financial support for initiatives. Know the core value and how it contributes to the bottom line will help gain financial backing of IT initiatives that further improve the bottom line. Given that the candidate understands the direction technology is taking and can articulate a vision, the key question is 'how to achieve the clarity necessary for balanced investment'