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13 ingredients for IT transformation success

Richard Pastore | March 28, 2016
Transformation and change leadership are not new challenges for CIOs. However, today’s CIOs are faced with the digital remaking of the entire business landscape. This baker's dozen recipe will help you cook up an IT transformation success.

9. Focus on the IT masses – There are change boosters, there are change resisters, and then there are the other 80 percent of the IT department. The latter are the people whose hearts and minds you need to win. Make the transformation matter to them personally (see No. 2: Create a vision, above). The resisters will weed themselves out over time; don’t sweat them.

10. Build talent – You and everybody else are lacking the talent needed on a future-ready IT staff. Identify the biggest current and anticipated needs and gaps, then create a campaign to attract talent from the outside and build it from the inside. This needs to be a priority for your company’s HR leader. If your staff is heavy with 30-year veterans, institute a reverse-mentoring program and present them with opportunities to learn new disciplines at company cost.

11. Create an IT transformation brand – Give your IT organization transformation a catchy but meaningful name that will work in conversation and look good as a Facebook page. This is your rallying flag.

12. Measure success, document wins – It’s a long slog, so measure success in reaching transformation milestones. Create an online IT transformation “tachometer” and update it weekly.

13. Communicate everything – Nobody outside IT is paying any attention to your transformation gambit. Same goes for many in IT. Communication is a necessary part of the transformation overhead. You’ve got to communicate intent, progress, leverage your transformation brand, celebrate wins and explain setbacks.

Don’t even think about doing this in a newsletter. Create a Facebook page and invite followers. Ask for advocacy from your business partners, who can speak to the program wins and share in the glory. Get external recognition through awards programs. Tell your story publically via the media (here is where the CEC’s Global Media Bureau can help). Don’t assume you can’t talk about it till you’re finished—people want to know what you are up to and how you are going about it. This will attract attention and, potentially, talent.

Transformation and change leadership are not new rodeos for CIOs. Neither is the threat of irrelevance and of being sidelined. But, never have CIOs faced an inflection point like this one, the digital remaking of the entire business landscape. A future-ready IT organization led by a Future-State CIO™ is the only solution that will serve.

 

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