Executive credibility killers - how to avoid them

The intersect of ‘technology’ and ‘digital’ today has created big expectations for technology executives. Quality communication is critical; it needed to start yesterday and many of these expectations apply to any executive.


What and how do you communicate?

1. Costs Avoid listing costs by departments by ranking them from highest to least; 1 to 10 or 20. Include some succinct comments for each item, such as the time of the last review and benchmarks. Have separate tables for operational and project costs (i.e. run and change). 2. Capability and outcomes are multiplied by mentoring What is the number and percentage of people working in various parts of your organisation? What were they last year and what will they be next? As an example, resources in the technology ‘infrastructure’ team (e.g. data centres), should be declining and those in emerging domains (e.g. data science) increasing. Have those emerging capability areas mentor others. 3. Criticality What is your list of initiatives beyond BAU? How are they linked to business priorities? These priorities might not be projects and could be work added to an agile team’s backlog. Prioritise these based on business value. This list is dynamic; regularly review and update it. 4. Stop stuff Before stopping anything, consider:

  • Accelerating items that are two-thirds complete (consider yourself an air traffic controller clearing the skies)

  • Integrate initiatives; there are always similar requests from different areas

  • Are you stopping stuff? Be open and communicate the greater business value of other initiatives

Communicate regularly with context; be personable so people read it. BLOG weekly! Transparency builds trust and then empathy; these can be essential foundations for the future. Avoid seeking understanding and empathy when there is no transparency; it is a credibility killer.