I was reading an article in Computer Weekly by Robina Chatham where she talks about the rise .. and fall (!) of IT representation on company boards. It talks about some research she has done into the subject and also includes a set of key messages which I wanted to share with my readers. Here’s what she recommends:
- Sort out your service and project delivery. Recruit first-rate people beneath you who are team players; then delegate and let go
- Nurture and reward talent. Exercise consideration, compassion and sensitivity in your dealings with people and hence engender trust and loyalty
- Win friends and influence people; build relationships upwards, downwards and sideways. Build trust and respect; generate goodwill and take the opportunity to learn from this diverse network
- Develop your business knowledge and political acumen. Learn the art of influencing, make yourself useful and get noticed. Be passionate and inspirational.
- Take an interest in the wider world. Have an opinion and contribution to make in relation to every item on the board agenda and demonstrate original “out of the box” thinking
- Do now wait to be told what to do; take the initiative and be prepared to make “bold” decisions based on your heart and your gut instinct. Have the courage to challenge authority and accepted wisdom. Remember, it is better to ask for forgiveness than to seek permission.
- Ultimately, become one of the new generation of chief transformation officers who have the ability to give their organisation a competitive edge and to become role models who help others follow in their footsteps.
There’s some great advice there, which would apply to anyone I think. Regardless of whether you’re the IT manager in a small firm of Seattle injury lawyers or an IT executive in a large multinational organisation, focusing on your softer side and having a wider view than just the IT department will hold you in good stead for your future.