CIOs cannot simply think about strengthening their IT infrastructure. Instead, it is time for them to shift their focus towards making their organization more resilient.
Organizations have heavily relied on CIOs for their technical expertise. However, most of them are already at a stage where their IT infrastructure is bulletproof and robust. Now, the priority of CIOs is shifting towards supporting resilience in their organizations due to repercussions from the COVID crisis.
The past couple of years have shown that it is time for organizations to let go of their assumptions regarding their way of working. While some IT leaders have become hesitant to advance their work model due to the fear that it will jeopardize their business outcomes, the more pressing problem for them is returning to the old ways, which is even riskier than reinvention.
Today, organizations have reached a critical junction in the evolution of work. Hence, CIOs should lead the charge in rethinking the strategies of the organization to promote resilience. They should consider taking informed decisions to lead their hybrid organizations towards success heading into 2022:
Put emphasis on work culture
Most organizations are taking steps towards replicating their in-office cultural environment by deploying collaboration tools that support impromptu interactions and better collaboration. However, there is a considerable amount of work to be done as many CIOs state their culture is at high risk.
Since the workplace culture is dynamic, it predominantly comes down to behavior change. CIOs who can embrace this notion, and create a clear ‘why’ statement for change, are better positioned to overcome this barrier.
Moving ahead, CIOs should rebuild the culture of their team to support a hybrid work environment. They should involve employees at all levels and ensure they are consciously monitoring the emotional resilience of their workforce.
Manage relationships across the organization
In the wake of the pandemic, most of the CIOs saw a deeper, two-way relationship with the CEO and the organization. These stakeholders turned to CIOs for educating themselves on technology initiatives while assuming more accountability for IT projects.
Such stronger relationships gave CIOs greater leverage when planning the return to work as well as enacting new initiatives for their employees. However, CIOs today, are more focused on expanding their teams and direct reports in their leadership development efforts. But focusing only on these aspects can risk the CIOs’ executive relationships and influence among the board of directors. By putting too much stake in direction, they can suffer a backlash. Hence, it is crucial for CIOs to balance their relationship along with growing their social intelligence.
CIOs should create a dynamic approach to the development efforts of the organization that divides the time and focus intentionally across all directions of the leadership. This empowers them to amend any ensuing imbalance and decrease the risk of losing influence with the C-suite.
Also Read: The 2022 State of Developer Shortage
Deploy flexible strategies and a human-centric design
Today’s CIOs need to view strategy in a broader context than simply how IT supports the overall business strategy. They should rethink it in terms of workforce strategies for including key elements such as diversity, equality, and inclusion as well as forming new partnerships.
CIOs should prioritize taking a human-centric approach over the traditional office-centric approach. They should develop strategies across these domains while continuously adapting and confronting uncertainty instead of avoiding it.
Only caring about the hybrid work environment, and failing to evolve the work model, is detrimental for organizations. Hence, it is essential that they reinvent work around a human-centric design for a hybrid environment that ensures performance, innovation as well as equity.