I recently attended a large, roundtable for CIOs that was centered around one specific, and important, question: How do you establish credibility with your stakeholders?
This is not a question with a one-size-fits-all answer. The solution can depend on a number of factors, including everything from the type of industry and size of an organization; to what issues and teams CIOs are managing.
After listening to the feedback of the attendees and panelists, some common themes emerged on how CIOs can make their mark on an organization:
- Ensure every project is focused on growing the business.
- Ensure there is a clear understanding of priorities.
- Build genuine relationships at every level.
- Communicate in business terms (avoid buzz words and acronyms at all costs).
- Be transparent– all the time, every time.
- Communicate problems early.
- Deliver consistently.
By nature of their job description, CIOs are in a unique position to connect everyone within an organization – to each other and to the outside world. As such, it was interesting to me that the majority of tactics needed for CIOs to successfully establish credibility is centered on clear and open communication.
What does this mean exactly? Practicing engaged listening, asking for feedback, and demonstrating integrity are all key parts to the puzzle. Without these tenets, the opportunity to put your technology skill set to work in a meaningful way can be missed. By putting an emphasis on clear communication, though, CIOs can begin to create trust among all of their stakeholders, both internally and externally.
I’d love to hear from our community on this topic. What do you think of this list? What’s missing or what would you add?
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