IT says that. Human resources say that. All other in-house business silos that serve customer-facing business functions say that.
They want a table seat.
They want to be seen and treated as equal business partners and involved in helping the organization define its strategic vision, goals, values, and decisions.
These are the four capabilities that IT leaders must demonstrate in order to win a seat at the business strategy table.
1. Excellent technical execution
For IT, consistent, high-quality daily work is the number one job. Everything else is secondary. As an IT leader, if you fail to meet this requirement, you will be despised or ignored at best. In the worst case, you will be replaced.
High-quality IT can be divided into three common types of services: operational, on-demand, and project-based.
- Operational service Continuous availability and uptime of all existing production systems, data communications, email, internet access, and all other related services.
- On-demand service Help desks, service desks, and other retroactive IT features that serve people outside the IT itself.
- Project-based serviceAs the name implies, are all planned tasks with specifically defined results, such as major software upgrades, new system implementations, process reengineering efforts, and so on.
If IT fails in any of these three service areas, the credibility of the IT leaders in those areas, the CIO, and the overall reputation of IT within the organization will be compromised. .. For them, IT is just IT.
This generalization in the minds of IT business partners can reduce or boost the overall reputation of IT in any one of the three service areas mentioned above. The greater the general view of IT, the more likely its leader will have the opportunity to participate in business-related activities such as strategic planning.
2. Deep understanding of business
You cannot meaningfully participate in the definition of a business or industry vision, strategy, or purpose that you do not understand in depth.
A good understanding of the industry’s systems and processes does not necessarily mean that you understand the business nuances of your company’s customers, or that you have the necessary knowledge to properly position your company against your competitors. Not always. As a general example, just because you know how to implement a CRM system doesn’t mean you know how to sell it.
As an IT executive looking to secure a seat in the strategic table, you need to extend your knowledge beyond the company’s internal operations to include the business side of the industry.
3. Accept what you know
As an IT leader, you have spent years honing your practical and / or technical leadership skills. Similarly, colleagues in sales, marketing, finance, and talent have spent years honing their vocational skills. It is impossible to expect that you not only know their profession, but also your own profession. Don’t try unless you don’t want to leave IT.
Like IT, each profession has its own skills, knowledge and perspectives. Beyond that, sitting at the strategic table, regardless of core profession, requires an understanding of the context as part of the overall organizational and external competitive environment. This is easier for marketing and sales leaders than for IT leaders. This is because the main focus of IT leaders is customer service, and the main view of IT professionals is internal.
As an IT executive, you don’t have to be threatened by the outside understanding of your business partners to sit at the table of business strategy. Instead, you need to accept the importance of the company’s overall internal knowledge and how it can be used for the company’s competitive advantage and growth.
4. Emotional intelligence
People trained as technical experts in software development, law, medicine, science, engineering, finance, etc. have one thing in common. It is taught to get an answer or know how to get it. It’s all about gaining knowledge, skills and experience.
When you move to the role of technical leadership, it’s no longer about you. It’s about your team, your peers, your business partners, your customers, and your entire organization. Over time, as the level and responsibilities of an organization increase, success becomes less dependent on the ability to perform technically and on organizational, political, and interpersonal knowledge. In short, your emotional intelligence and the ability to use it effectively in the workplace determine your ability to succeed in the role of an IT executive.
The transition from an individual contributor to an IT leader is like the transition from single to marriage. It’s still a little about you, but now it’s about the team. It can be seen as a business peer as well as a business peer enough to motivate teams, define an IT vision to maximize value to the business, and empathize with business partners, customers, and senior management. It will be higher. As a head techny. This personal growth beyond technical skills will help you sit at the table of business strategy.
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