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Three Fundamentals for a CIO

“What do you think I need to do?”

That is one of the most common questions I have been asked over the last five years as I have supported CIOs and other CXOs, many new to their role.

I am still proud of the timeless quality of one of the first articles I ever wrote “Being a CIO”. (The publication invited me).

It detailed eight factors that I focused on as their new CIO within an industry that was, at the time, unfamiliar to me. (aka CIO fundamentals)

Beyond those eight factors, there are three fundamentals you must consider.

CAPABILITY - Who is sitting around your leadership table and what are they capable of?

The vision will remain just that without the right capability. In your first three months, you will need to see if experienced resources can deliver what is needed and if those inexperienced folk have the mindset of growing into what is expected.

EXPECTATIONS - What are the expectations of the executive of the business?

The board and CEO have made an external appointment to drive change. Many CIOs will have a steering committee that knows what the change is; they will be interested to know how it’s going. There is almost always a gap between expectations and reality. Being transparent about the gap and how it’s being addressed creates confidence.

CAPACITY - What resources are available?

It’s not the number of people or the money available, it’s the capacity of the deep specialist people within your department to deliver on an agenda that impacts progress. These people are difficult to replicate and allowing them to remove themselves from commodity work is paramount. If capacity and resources are not understood and addressed, progress is likely to be limited.

This is one of the many insights in my third book to be published later this year.


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