Andrea Walsh is passionate about representing women in technology and as CIO for Isentia she also understands the importance of managing the relationships between the disparate personalities of CEOs and CIOs. Andrea says that if you want to build greater synergy with your tech team, there are some obvious places to start.
Role model a mindset that embraces technology
When it comes to leadership, symbolism is powerful. When Gordon Bethune, as CEO of Continental Airlines, wanted to send a message that old rigid rules were history he ceremoniously set a ‘rules manual’ alight in a 55-gallon drum in the parking lot.
At a time when the tech industry is exploding, the only risk you shouldn’t take as CEO is to not embrace it.
This level of symbolism could be considered excessive, but leaders need to embrace technology in order to enforce it. Air New Zealand paints a powerful picture of the role of technology in their business success by referring to themselves as ‘a tech company with planes’.
Hire great talent
“The empires of the future,” Winston Churchill once said, “are the empires of the mind.” Build a tech team with technical prowess and intellect to propel your business into the future. Don’t outsource the talent that brings transformation – insource it to continually find ways of being smarter, faster, and more innovative. What would Apple be without Steve Jobs, or Tencent without Ma Huateng?
When it comes to organisational structure around transformation, flat is always best. US-based video game development company, Valve Corporation, has been “boss free” since 1996.
It’s not just a concept for the new kids: founded in 1958, Gore-Tex uses a management structure where its 10,000 employees work without bosses. Instead they work with the goal of gaining their peers’ respect. Both are incredibly effective, not to mention innovative businesses as a result.
Like any field that delves into the unknown – science, medicine, space exploration – technology transformation happens when leaders dare to imagine new ways of getting things done and place greater emphasis on the opportunity rather than the risk.
Who would have thought pizzas could be delivered within 15 minutes via an app on your phone? And with a money-back guarantee to boot. Domino’s Don Meij isn’t afraid of taking risks, and is certainly reaping the rewards.