Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Digital CIO as “Chief Interaction Officer”: Take a Logical Communication Scenario

IT leaders need to not only communicate, but also connect, inspire and motivate.

With rapid change and exponential growth of information, the CIO is an inherently cross-functional senior leadership role to bridge business and IT; information and insight, the current state and future state of the business. Leadership is an influence, influence comes from progressive mindsets, logical communication scenario and step-wise actions. Contemporary CIOs should communicate more often and work collaboratively with varying stakeholders to tailor business needs and deliver multidimensional business value through effective communication with the multiple stages of preparing, listening, questioning, participating, and promoting.

Preparing: With the digital nature of hyperconnectivity and interdependence, IT is no longer that isolated back-office function, but a trustful business partner. The CIO’s proactive attitude in harnessing communication or trying new things shall not get confused with spontaneity or do things without a plan. There are so many things in the CIO’s leadership agenda nowadays, prepare, prepare, prepare.

CIOs are able to communicate their leadership messages in various forms and forums, including investor relations, business partners, IT personnel, the other CxOs in the company, The meticulous preparation enables modern CIOs to collect enough information, listen to different points of view, see things from different angles. As everything has more than one side, there are often two sides of the story, and you need to gain an in-depth understanding of varying business issues in order to tailor different audiences and convey the persuasive messages.

Listening: To keep evolving, the best way for IT to achieve partnership is to listen to what the business says they need. Let them tell you their stories, challenges. Listen to customers, stakeholders, vendors, partners, and staff. The CIO needs to understand the needs of the different business units via the reciprocal cycle of questions and answers.

Listen, comprehend, and understand the people, the problems and the business they are part of, before embarking on any business initiatives. If you do not listen, you will lose the goodwill of the collaborators. The biggest communication mistake is to assume it has occurred. Communication has occurred when the message is received and understood. Encourage people to speak, actively listen to what they say, engage in candid “giving and taking” communication. The goal is to diagnose the real business problems and solve them radically.

Questioning: IT is complex by nature and it's one of the most critical components of running digital organizations. CIOs as true leaders have always been intrigued and they have always asked questions, to themselves, to circumstances, to books, to experiences, and to other fellow people for either accumulating new knowledge or discovering better answers to issues on hand. Asking the right questions helps to validate how thorough and deep of your thinking is on a particular issue. It can also assess whether you consider various different perspectives.

From a leadership perspective, it's always about the questions, particularly to get your team to come up with their own answers to solve a problem or address an issue. By doing so, you've led them to easily buy-in on the direction to follow. In fact, a good attitude of a leader should aspire to have confidence in both asking questions and giving answers rather equally. It’s a good attitude to ask insightful questions for gaining different perspectives. And it’s the soft science of communication embedded with hard science of problem-solving capability.

Participating: Today's digital companies need to be organized in keeping with the quantum world. They need to emphasize participation, relationships, and realize that they will need to renew themselves periodically to cope with changes effectively. A digital IT organization builds up a momentum that draws creative contributions from the participants that they did not previously conceived or understood they were capable of.

Digital CIOs set up idea forums to engage the business and build business liaisons proactively to help shape the problem or opportunity. Invite the business executives to the vendor and industry tech events, such as forums, presentations, expositions or conduct presentations with management on new technologies. Have problem-solving forums for any issues that may be contentious so that staffs can have genuine input if possible. IT can earn a reputation to build better credibility, and gain respect from business peers through participating and solid problem-solving capability.

Promoting: The effective IT promotion skill is to know how to explain technical concepts to technical people and non-technical people. They also can have the expertise to understand the value and benefit of an IT initiative and how that will positively change an organization or business process. 

As a strategic leadership role, digital CIOs need to learn how to promote IT as a trustful business partner by telling the vivid leadership story. The messaging needs to be written that's relevant to tailor different audiences and achieve clear business goals. Visual representations provide a neutral language that is not laden with technical terms and allows an effective conversation to clarify: Is the proposal compelling? Does it address a critical purpose or goal? Is it valid? (Can you demonstrate to a non-technical person - that it will work as claimed?). Is it implementable? (Can you execute if we commit). It's a specialty that requires a blend of technical understanding and expertise in best practices in communications.

Nowadays, IT is impacting every business unit and is becoming the driver of the business change and digital transformation. IT leaders need to not only communicate, but also connect, inspire and motivate; the ability to help people achieve their goals and objectives; the ability to help people overcome their challenges and more importantly; the ability to help businesses navigate through difficult changes and lead a seamless digital transformation.


I got here much interesting stuff. The post is great! Thanks for sharing it! Key performance indicators sample for Cloud BPM

Post a Comment