Top Key Skills Needed For Today’s CIOs (Part 2)

In my previous post “Top Skills Needed For Today’s CIO” I discussed Visionary & Strategic Leadership.

In this post I will be looking at the key CIO skills to Build High Performing Teams that are lean, agile and highly focused

Building High Performing Teams
To succeed in building a high performing team, there are a number of critical competencies that the CIO needs to develop across the technology organisation. These include

  1. Strong Customer Focus
  2. Commercial Orientation
  3. Team Motivation

1. Strong Customer Focus
In my experience, all high performing teams need to focus on treating the business as a true client and manage the technology organisation as a business.

This can only be achieved by generating energy and enthusiasm to understand the client’s business, their commercial drivers and pinch points through to the client’s products and supported services.

The technology organisation will need to be truly passionate about the organisation, its commercial drivers and cash flows. This includes demonstrating a deep understanding of how the financials for IT work, the costs / benefits of the IT investment and how this compares with other investment opportunities.

Only by building inspired client relationships with the business can the technology organisation become a true trusted advisor and exceed customer’s expectations in today’s fast moving, global market place.

2. Commercial Orientation
Strong commercial orientation is critical for all leading technology organisations and is often overlooked.

Only by understanding what the commercial hot buttons are, coupled with a detailed understanding of the technology landscape can you become a valued and respected trusted advisor to the business.

Direction should be focused on inspired conversations with the business and the commercial insight to recognise that you understand their business, the products they trade and the positive impact that technology investment will have on top line revenue growth and bottom line earnings.

Only by being on top of your game both commercially and technically, can the IT organisation build inspired relationships as a trusted advisor that are critical to the success of the business today, tomorrow and in the future.

3. Team Motivation
Creating a high performing team requires an environment where all members of the team feel valued and that their contribution is recognised.

Staff need to have the opportunity to discuss the bigger picture. Key to this is regular and timely briefings to discuss the commercial picture, the strategic drivers and the business value that the technology organisation will deliver. This can be achieved through town halls, leadership briefings and deep dives.

Deep dives gives the individual the opportunity to showcase their expertise and increase the overall knowledge of the team.

For the individual, there needs to be a clear value proposition – what are their personal drivers and how can the organisation meet those needs both in the short and longer term. This is underpinned from recruitment – from hiring for attitude and training for skills, through to an established talent & performance management programme that nutures and develops expertise across the technology organsaiton.

Building a high performing team requires a new value propostion from the technology organsaiton.

This need to be driven by strong customer focus, detailed commercial orientation and exceptional motivation to leverage the true value of technology and its people. This in turn drives business strategy, innovation and competitve advantage.

I look forward to your comments on Building High Performing Teams. In the next post I will discuss Operational & Technical Excellence.

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