Friday, December 1, 2017

Enhance Digital CIO Personas with Enriched Leadership Portfolio

Digital CIOs should strengthen their leadership strength, apply their leadership philosophy, enforce their unique leadership styles in order to lead effortlessly.

Overall speaking, CIO is the leadership role, how CIOs provide the appropriate leadership and how they convey to leverage IT for the business value depends on the CIOs' vision and leadership strength and style. With the increasing pace of changes and fast growing information, clearly, the role of IT and that of the CIO is going through significant changes. Because every company is in the different stage of the business growth lifecycle, thus, every CIO is different and whatever the management team needs or wants at the time out of the CIO will also be different,  and by the type of business needs will be different. Thus, the CIO role needs to be continually reimagined, refreshed, and reinvented.

Unique perception: Every CIO is unique. Digital CIOs, are born to change, how they overcome the digital transformation challenges depends on their ability to think, adapt, proactively plan and execute, with a sense of humor. Being a unique CIO with fresh perspective means that the IT leader should be informative, persuasive, and empathetic to close leadership and communication gaps via their niche talent and skills. Refreshing IT leadership is to keep the digital tempo for creating the business synergy and accelerating digital transformation. CIOs must understand the issues or opportunities they should deliver a message to the colleagues on C-level and convince them to support their ideas, with the goal to enforce communication and improve leadership effectiveness. Digital CIOs should be equipped with the advanced mindset to make sure that nothing is dismissed due to out of date beliefs or natural human emotions. Unique CIOs are often outlier visionaries who are good at the perception of technology trend, emerging business opportunities, or alternative business solutions. The digital CIO is skeptical about conventional understanding of the problems so that they examine everything before accepting it for its real truth or advising it to others. The CIO needs to be able to listen to a wide range of opinions and approaches and understand how that might benefit the business. It provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things. To refresh the CIO leadership, forward-looking organizations often take the “fresh blood” scenario where a CIO is brought in from outside the vertical industry to reinvigorate an IT organization. So, the CIO can bring the fresh viewpoint via “out of the box” thinking and multidimensional reasoning. A unique set of digital thinking helps IT leaders think broader, deeper, use longer-term frame, and take a holistic lens, to improve IT performance and maturity.

Develop creative leadership practices: No matter where you are in IT, the world changes with accelerated speed. IT is in the middle of a sea change, CIOs need to have the capacity to learn, relearn, and adapt. The ability to keep things up is the key. But to have the willingness to try something new, to test, to learn what you knew again, with new perspectives, to listen and remain balanced, can make IT work in an optimal way. Digital is the age of innovation, it is particularly important for practicing innovative IT leadership. Digital CIOs need to be creative enough to dream bigger for envisioning the future of the business and “sell the dream” via creative communication; bold enough to take the adventure, but also logical enough to implement it, guide the team and make it happen. Creativity contributes to the growth strategy, progression; creativity contributes to an alternative solution to a problem, and creativity is appreciated by the end customers to improve customer satisfaction. Digital is the age of options, it provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things, it forces IT leaders getting really creative on how they orchestrate and implement change and be experimental to try new things, to ensuring IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next.

Enhance digital CIO personas via practicing situational IT leadership: The scope of IT is broadening daily, social and environmental needs are increasingly driving the type of access that people require. IT needs to take quick action to changes. Digital CIOs also need to be able to communicate skillfully to avoid the “lost in translation” syndrome. It’s now more relevant than ever to have the versatile leader who can play situational leadership to enforce IT influence across the digital ecosystem. Digital CIOs have “multi-faceted personas,” to practice the situational leadership accordingly. They need to be the business strategists, digital visionaries; customer advocates, talent masters; process overseers, and governance champions, and most importantly, they are the innovative leaders to drive the business’s digital transformation. Although the title is not as essential as responsibility, the standard needs to be built and the priority should be set. An effective leader is included regardless of the title but by the contribution and input they can provide. CIOs need to present their leadership authenticity, enhance their own leadership strength, practice the management philosophy they believe in, and tailor their own leadership/management style to make a digital fit.

CIO is the leadership role, every leader is unique, and thus, every CIO is unique. The leadership roles such as CIO need to share the unique point of view, break down conventional wisdom and lead their organization up toward the next growth cycle and catalyze digital transformation. The focus of IT upon business transformation is not about changing the title, but keep updating the mindset, skillset, toolset, and setting up the standard, to improve IT competency and maturity. Digital CIOs should strengthen their leadership strength, apply their leadership philosophy, enforce their unique leadership styles in order to lead effortlessly.


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