Here’s how CIOs can cultivate a strong leadership culture that drives business performance. By Priya Prakasan
Business in this digital era brings a new mandate for leadership and IT leaders today are faced with constantly evolving roles. They work on operational and transformational pillars, while pushing for accelerated innovation to increase business, reduce operational inefficiencies and enhance company prospects. Here’s what CIOs need to keep in mind to cultivate a strong leadership strategy.
1. Infuse a good work culture
One of the first steps to ensure company success is to create a value-driven company culture. Focus on values that matter, one’s that drive your company’s vision and will help build a strong, ethical work culture. Identify the values you wish to drive in your team and then embody those; you need to set an example of the values that you preach; the values should seep into your work. These are also the values that will drive key company decisions, so think them through. When you’re in a position of leadership, it’s extremely important you are seen walking the talk. Or else employees will lose trust and confidence in your leadership, seeing you as someone who holds double standards.
2. Empower your team
A leader is only as strong as his team. Your company’s success depends on the productive people who are part of your team and how much they are willing to work hard for you. So it’s crucial you work towards build a strong, high performance team. An important way to do this is by creating an environment of trust and loyalty. Help them understand their role in the company’s vision, engage team members and incorporate their feedback. Don’t micromanage, give employees autonomy (where possible), let them take charge of their work and be responsible for the outcomes. Empower them to take on larger roles and grow. It will increase their ownership over their decisions and projects, as well as increase productivity.
3. Leverage business process re-engineering
CIOs are in a great position to leverage IT as a key enabler of business process re-engineering. BPR programs are instrumental in transforming organisational process, and CIOs need to harness their power for innovation. You can reinvent, redesign, redirect and rebuild to help your company grow at a blistering pace and obtained desired business outcomes. In this increasingly digital world, change is the only constant, and CIOs need to use all the tools at hand to achieve operational excellence.
4. Engage through transparency and accountability
Transparency and accountability in daily functioning go a long way towards increasing employee commitment and engagement. The transparency will streamline IT processes, make your workforce more productive and also improve customer service. When businesses make transparency a priority, they also promote internal loyalty, which in turn makes a tremendously positive impact on corporate culture, thereby enhancing stability throughout the organisation.
5. Invest in training
Your employees are your company’s future, so invest in them like you would with any other resource. Help them acquire new skills, sharpening their toolsets, learn new concepts and techniques, and grow beyond their roles. Invest in a regulated training program for all organisational levels. This will help with employee retention as they will feel appreciated and valued, and therefore less likely to leave the organisation. Training is also great way to empower your employees to stay on the cutting edge, and one step ahead of the competition.