A new boss presents CIOs with challenges and opportunities

A new boss presents CIOs with challenges and opportunities

"Your new boss will have more impact than anyone else over whether you succeed or fail," says leadership professor Michael Watkins of the Harvard Business School. With technology so vital to today's organisation, the arrival of a new boss can impact the CIO or CTO significantly. IDG Connect spoke to leading CIOs about their leadership techniques and how these can be helpful when a new boss joins the business and you begin reporting to them.

A recent discussion with CIOs revealed how business technology leaders worry about understanding the motivations of a new boss; that there is a shared alignment; that a new boss realises the value technology offers their sector or organisation and that they are not branded by perceptions of their previous boss. 

These concerns were the same whether the CIOs were reporting to the CEO, CFO or COO. The arrival of a new boss is more often than not a disruption in the smooth running of the organisation, at the very least it's a divergence from business as usual. But as with any disruption to the norm, a new leader can present opportunities and challenges to the head of enterprise technology.

"A new boss is brought in to effect a change in the share price or the status quo," states executive leadership coach Sarah Green. "They will want to bring in people that they have worked successfully with in the past, so it is a period of turmoil."

"Your boss establishes benchmarks for your success, interprets your actions for other key players, and controls resources you need," Professor Watkins says. "Building a productive working relationship with him or her while you establish your mandate and negotiate for resources is a clear early priority," he says of the importance of building the right relationship from the start.

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Mark Chillingworth

Mark Chillingworth is a CIO and CTO journalist, ghost writer, moderator and advisor with over 11 years experience. From 2010 to 2016 he was Editor in Chief of the award-winning CIO UK. In 2011 he created the CIO 100, an annual transformation power list of the UK’s most influential CIOs and launched the UK’s first CIO Podcast in 2016.

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