Finding The Time To Be Strategic

by drjim on January 13, 2016

CIOs Need More Time

CIOs know that they need to be strategic, but where is the time?
Image Credit: Thomas Hawk

Pick up any IT trade journal and you’ll probably find an article that is telling CIOs that because of the importance of information technology they need to get a seat at the company’s planning table. In order to do this, they need to become more strategic. I think that we can all agree with this idea; however, the real challenge comes when we try to find the time to do this. Our plates are already overflowing with tasks that we have to do. How is a CIO ever going to get good at doing this strategic planning thing?

It’s All About Habits

I hate to have to be the one to share this with you, but the reason that you are not finding the time to be strategic is because you are not making the time to perform this function. In order to fix the problem, you are going to have to make strategic planning a habit.

Although this may sound like a relatively simple thing to do, you may be surprised at just exactly how hard it will turn out to be. As with everything else in our lives, whenever we try to schedule something it seems as though things instantly start to try to push it out of the way. You are going to have to stand firm and make sure that you really take the time to do your strategic planning no matter what else happens.

Time To Meet With Peers

I’m not sure about you, but what do you think that strategic planning really looks like? If you picture yourself alone in a room with a table, a piece of paper, and a pencil, then I think that you might be missing the point. Strategy is all about taking in new ideas, sorting through them, and then picking the ones that will work best for your company.

What this means for you as a CIO is that one of the best ways to engage in strategic planning is to spend time with your peers. Since this may not be something that happens as a normal part of your day, you need to take steps to make it happen. One way to do this is to host an IT summit that brings together IT professionals from your company and other firms. Just by allowing this interaction to occur, you’ll be able to exchange ideas and you’ll discover that strategic planning is happening.

What All Of This Means For You

Strategic planning is a very important part of the CIO job. However, one of the biggest challenges that we face every day is that there never seems to be enough time to fit this important task into our routine. What we need here are some suggestions on how to make time to do this.

One great way to go about doing it is to schedule it. Book time for you to do your strategic planning just like you would any other meeting that you go to. This way you’ll be able to make sure that it gets done each week. Alternatively, you can host IT summits where you invite IT team members and others in the industry to attend. The exchange of ideas and opportunity to meet and talk with other IT professionals will provide you with a unique opportunity to do your strategic planning.

The good news is that yes, as the person in the CIO position, you can find the time to do your strategic planning tasks. However, it’s not going to happen unless you make an effort. Start today and you’ll be impressed by just how strategic you can become!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: How much time each week do you think that you should spend on strategic planning?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As the person with the CIO job, you have a challenging job. It is your responsibility to understand that importance of information technology and to keep watch over your IT department as it works to service the rest of the company. If there is an issue, then you deal with it. You visit the people who are working for you and you take trips to the various IT sites that the company maintains. However, things are changing in the world as more and more things get connected to the Internet and then have to be monitored and managed by the IT department. Just imagine what a challenge it would be to be the CIO of a gold mine where most of your IT equipment was located up to two miles beneath the surface of the earth?

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