The 3 Most Common Mistakes in Internet Advice on Getting a Seat at the Table...

Mar 23, 2014 by

Can you learn how to gain respect and credibility from what you read on the internet?  The obvious answer is “yes,” I guess – you can learn almost anything on the Internet.  (And, since this blog is positioned to help you learn exactly those things, I’m obliged to think it’s a great idea!)  But just as reading blogs on brain surgery won’t get you medically licensed to do the job, following management advice on the Internet, even in some of the most respectable leadership forums, may keep you sitting on the sidelines.  I’ve seen a lot of things in my recent research on best practices which point in the right direction, but come up well short of the target.    Here are the 3 most common: Too little focus on the communications aspects of the...

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Communicating to Overcome Resistance...

Dec 19, 2013 by

From time to time you can find a real jewel among all the dross on the internet.  This one, in which Mark Goulston interviews Dr. Xavier Amador on “Practical Tips for Overcoming Resistance”, is one of the best things I’ve read in a while. It’s short, but crystal-clear and very pragmatic.  All our communications would benefit if they were structured around these principles! Name(required) Email(required) Website...

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And Now a Word About…. Marketing...

Nov 21, 2013 by

We’ll come back to governance as a subject in future posts, but in the meantime I’m willing to make a bet with you:  You do not spend enough time and energy on marketing your internal-services group to your colleagues across the company. Why would I say this?  Because in 20 years of experience leading large Information Systems groups – and being part of the executive team of service-group managers – I have never seen an organization that could not do more to market itself in its business environment. I can guess what you might be thinking: I don’t have time – and anyway I have an operation to run. I don’t have time – and anyway my job is to set our direction and lead my team to execute it. I don’t have time...

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The “G” Word – Let Others Help You Run Your Department...

Oct 21, 2013 by

Let’s talk for a minute about governance — not the vast and very serious subject of corporate governance, but the kind of basic blocking and tackling you need to have in place to help you run your group. When I first got the job to lead a large IT group, I found out quickly that no one knew what it took to get a new project approved or how to prioritize our backlog of hundreds of requests for system modifications.  When it came to infrastructure activities, like issuing PCs to new employees or upgrading network lines, the popular wisdom around the company was “the person who yells the loudest gets served first.”  At dozens of management conferences since then, I’ve met CIOs and other service-group managers who operate in the same frustrating fog, letting...

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Why don’t we already have “a seat at the table”?...

Sep 29, 2013 by

If you go to executive conferences or read our profession’s trade magazines, you’ve certainly heard one of these complaints: ‘My IT group didn’t get included until the last minute when my company was trying to acquire another business.  When we told them how much it would cost to integrate the new company they blamed us for ruining the deal.’ ‘I can’t seem to convince our President that having additional people in my team would create value for the company.’ ‘The people who work for me don’t feel like we’re respected by our colleagues in ‘the business’.’ ‘We scheduled a monthly update with the head of Manufacturing but she’s cancelled at the last minute for three months in a row.  It feels like she doesn’t take us seriously.’ ‘Everybody thinks we’re a sinkhole for costs...

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