IT Leaders

IT Leader’s Five Resolutions for the new year

Here are what an IT leader’s new year resolution should ideally be

I will meet at least one business user every week

IT Leader

It’s important for every IT leader to know the business intimately. This resolution will keep you continuously connected with the business teams. Give this as a KPI to your executive assistant – that you would go out and visit your leaders on your own initiative (not a meeting asked by them). Especially someone you haven’t met in 6 months.

I will leverage my partners to expand my knowledge and expertise

IT Leader
Supriya Rai | DATAQUEST

I am sure you are augmenting your knowledge through courses and masterclasses abound today. However, be aware that your partners have many more practical skills and real-world expertise than their scope of work; or what you are learning online. 

Take a resolution to engage with your partners and challenge them to enlarge your perspective – something they aren’t doing for you which could help you. Challenge them to come to you with:

  • An exciting project they have done elsewhere with a new technology
  • An exciting project they have done with another customer in your industry
  • A new technology they are experimenting with and have done a successful pilot in any industry.
  • Ask them to come back with suggestions on the areas you can do much better in with new technologies that you are gathering knowledge upon.
  • Give feedback on how you can work better with them, and what you can change so that they can add more value to your operations.

Keep these discussions focused on learning and collaborating, with low commercial focus. Watch out for these becoming business development discussions. You are here to learn, not to give business. They will of course earn it if they do a good job.  When combined with your personal efforts in getting yourself trained on new technologies, a sense of realism can come by having such practical, industry-oriented discussions with your partners 

I will go through my organisation’s quarterly results or annual reports to fully understand the financials of my business and where I can impact

IT Leader

It always helps to be data-driven and knowledgeable about business performance. Beyond the typical watercooler buzz, go down into the reality checks – the data about your costs, manpower, the various avoidable costs like warranty, premium freights, etc. Evaluate performance parameters like your critical process KPIs, anything that you can find in the annual report or any investor presentation where technology can potentially make an impact. You can then be proactive in investigating the root causes and how technology could provide options. Eventually, these will come to you and you will be ready at that time.

At the very least, your conversations with your leaders will be much richer because now, they are grounded in facts and have a deeper point of view about business performance. 

I will drive the culture through my behaviour

The culture of any department is modelled on the behaviour of the leader. Look around and you will find that your behaviour is copied by your team. Collectively it becomes your division’s culture.

If you meet your business stakeholders regularly, your team will tend to meet them before you. If you challenge your partners on value, not cost; your team will do the same. Base your reviews on facts and data and they will develop a data mindset. 

Write down the five behaviours you want your team to display – the brand attributes for IT function. Put them on your board, or post-it, and try to live them day on day. You will shape a new culture in the new year.

I will behave as a business leader first

IT Leader
Supriya Rai | DATAQUEST

All IT leaders are business leaders. We just don’t realize this expectation that everyone holds from us as a business leader. 

People expect us to know business, to talk business value, to diagnose business processes, to troubleshoot adoption and change management issues.

Resolve that I’ll be a business leader. I will step into the shoes of my business leaders and look at their challenges with empathy. I will understand first hand, before I solve them collaboratively. 

We will measure ourselves on the impact we are making with focus on business KPIs rather than just the tickets we have resolved or the change requests we have released, or the availability of our systems. 

I will centre all my discussions on business value of technology, and hold ourselves jointly accountable with my fellow leaders on KPIs.

I hope these five resolutions will help you in expanding your own circle of impact, business leadership and personal leadership. 

Happy New Year 2022.

Please leave your comments here, or in the author’s LinkedIn Posts.

Digital Enterprise Trust

The article has been written by Jagdish Belwal, Founder and CEO, Jagdish Belwal Advisory

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