The role of the Chief Information Officer has grown over the years. The disruptive potential of artificial intelligence, Internet of things and rapidly developing technologies mean the role should become even high profile and strategic. CIOs at large enterprises must be prepared to play a more central role in their organization.
They key to successful leadership in the digital age is to accept and embrace the changes and improvements that new technology brings. Leaders are not immune to technology. As these technologies are integrated into the workplace, their role will change just like everyone else’s in the organization. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and ready for the new reality.
Relying on the strength of others
Post-war, 1940s and 1950s managers adopted military-style, top-down leadership styles and expected deference to authority. They knew what was best for the organization and often paid little attention to the skills of others when making decisions.
That type of thinking has gone the way of the dinosaurs. Today’s leaders at large enterprises have to rely on the expertise of their employees, as the world of business is simply too complex for everyone to have all the answers.
Counting on the expert knowledge of other team members is even more crucial for the modern CIO. Information technology tools are constantly changing and advancing with the introduction of systems. A good CIO is well aware that junior members of the team may have vital expertise and they’re ready to put these skills to work for the overall benefit of the organization.
Responding to a changing environment
In decades gone by leaders stubbornly stuck with a course of action even when it may not have been in the best interests of their organization. They believed this showed resolute leadership and strength. The results were often disastrous. Fortunately, this type of thinking has been purged from most modern organizations.
No leader in an organization must be more willing to adapt to change than the CIO. The rapid expansion of technology in the workplace is creating an ever-changing environment for IT departments. Their role in the organization is more important than ever and they must be ready to respond to new realities if their organization is going to survive.
The revolution is not about providing tools to workers any more, it is about creating a new type of organization. The role model to follow is Amazon who has, so far, been able to apply its formula of automation plus innovation plus data-driven everything to seemingly unrelated business problems.