“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
– from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland
It is said that, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” At Schuff International, the IT vision is to become a World-Class IT Organization. It is your job as CIO, or a senior IT leader, to create a vision for your team. Without a solid vision of where you want to go, it is easy to get someplace you don’t want to be.
Becoming a World-Class IT Organization is a vision that is achievable over a period of time regardless of the size of your company or IT team. Why would you settle for anything less? When executives throughout the company hear this, they might start to think this means a larger investment in IT. Becoming a World-Class IT Organization is not so much about financial investment as it is an energy investment and an investment in continuous learning and improvement. It is a commitment to change.
The challenge is to get everyone in your IT organization to buy into the vision. That goes back to making sure you have the right team. If you are doing your job as a leader by creating the vision and charting a path that makes achieving it possible, then your team should be able to support that vision.
So how do you create the vision to become a World-Class IT Organization? I am not sure that I have an answer that will work for every organization and work culture, but here are the steps that I followed:
- Decide to take the journey to become a World-Class IT Organization
- Determine what being World-Class means, e.g., what do the best companies do?
- Assess which IT competencies and capabilities you can improve over the next 12-18 months that have the largest ROI for your business
- Engage your IT leadership team by empowering them to participate in implementation plan development
- Secure any additional funding needed to begin the journey
- Communicate the plan to your entire IT organization
Notice that each step begins with an action. It is going to take strong leadership and action to create and implement a vision for your organization. The steps you take might be different than the path that I mapped out, but the important part is to decide to be World-Class. Make a case for it to your IT leadership team and then get them to participate in developing the vision since they are going to be the people on the front lines when it comes to implementation.