The Effective Enabler
The Effective Enabler
When taking the next step in your IT career from IT manager to CIO, it’s not enough to have a solid technical background and proven people management skills. In my experience, the most effective CIOs that I’ve worked with (and for) are those that understand and prioritise these two elements of their role:
- The Navigator; and
- The Enabler
This article focuses on the Enabler because this is where I feel new CIOs and sometimes experienced IT Managers get it wrong.
Over the years we’ve worked with businesses of all sizes but there’s a common theme when we’re called in to review ICT and help right the ship – it’s the disconnect between ICT and the business. When we speak to ICT about the quality and effectiveness of the service they provide, they rate themselves highly. When we ask the same questions of the business, we often discover the results are polar opposites.
More often than not, we see this disconnect occur because of a lack of communication between ICT and the business. This can come in many forms despite the presence of regular meetings or formal involvement in strategic planning. The underlying causes are varied and many and a topic for another discussion. Suffice it to say, communication is where it starts and ends.
Being an Enabler as a CIO (or experienced IT Manager) is about understanding you are first and foremost a business leader, not a technology leader. Ensuring you spend as much time understanding the business you work for, what it does and how it does it, is just as, if not more important than, understanding the technologies you employ.
Think of it this way. You don’t need to be a mechanic to understand which car makes the most sense for your family. Likewise, you don’t need to understand how to implement technologies that make sense for the business. Let someone else do the heavy lifting and focus on getting the right outcome.
Of course, this is just part of the story of being an Effective Enabler. We’ll cover more on this topic over the next couple of months so stay tuned…
By the way, Kirbi Solutions offers a vCIO service that can fill that CIO void in companies that aren’t ready for a full-time CIO, or to mentor in-house IT staff as they step-up into a more business-focussed IT leadership role.
Give Kirbi a call on 07 3635 7345 for a confidential discussion.