As organisations change, service delivery transforms and technology develops, the role of the CIO is evolving with it. While CIO job descriptions used to put technologist first, technical people manager second, and business manager, if at all, a distant third, today’s role is very much a reversal. Today’s CIO is entrusted with a growing remit, often being best placed in an organisation to take on additional responsibility – including people management.
To help with CIOs with their evolving role, here are nine top leadership ideas to help with digital transformation projects – as shared by people from our GovTech Leaders LinkedIn Group.
- Start by listening. It’s all well and good having a great strategy and long list of initiatives, but if you cannot listen – and then engage and enrol your organisation at multiple levels – you’ll get nowhere.
- Be positive, be part of it, be brilliant! Leadership, especially when change is happening, starts with you. Your delivery of objectives and ideas is the key starting point. Workshops can be a good idea in getting this message across – demonstrate what you’ve done, how they’ve made a difference and how future activities will deliver further benefits.
- A constant state of evolution is more effective than sudden technological change. Don’t overload people – it’ll only panic them, and they’ll respond by putting up barriers.
- Change management is something that will inadvertently happen, and for a smooth transition, what employees and organisations need is a lot of patience – take time and step back to evaluate and slow things down if necessary.
- Not all leadership is about big, bold statements. The subtle ways you behave can influence the whole organisation, often subliminally. For example, would it create a more relaxed, informal atmosphere that is suddenly less caught up in past rules and regulations if you dressed down? The key here is to say nothing – just give it a go and see who else follows. If it works there’s a sign that you are an influencer.
- Relationships, building trust, and seeking to understand should come first. The solution and technology later.
- People are individuals, so don’t try to impose single rules across the board. Also try to find out what makes people tick. As mentioned at one of the GovTech Leaders Breakfast Clubs, working from home may be great for some people, but not everyone.
- Mix up engagement methods. Weekly team stand-ups, monthly Sharepoint updates, brown-bag lunchtime conversations, one-to-ones, staff shadow opportunities and seminars bring variety and add talking points and excitement. Guest speakers can also go down well.
- Constantly seek feedback – anonymously if possible. This will help you monitor how changes are truly impacting frontline staff. The optimum way to manage feedback is to act on it.