CEO as a Change Leader
a proven fact that Companies which succeed today are companies that
have the agility to change.
are two simple questions: First, what is the greatest driver of change
today? No prizes for guessing, it is Information Technology.
what is the biggest hindrance to change? No prizes for guessing again -
it's people, more significantly, people's attitude.
a no-brainer therefore to conclude that agility depends on people and
their attitude to change. CEOs, therefore, need to make special efforts
to change people's attitude towards IT and IT-Driven Change if they want
to create a successful agile organization.
So far your emphasis on training has been very lop-sided - while you
know the need for honing the technical skills of the IT people, have
you ever thought of building your own skills to handle IT driven change
and its impact on people? Have you ever thought that your leadership
team (which is the other strong partner in the IT game) too needs
to enhance its skills to be able to imbibe and handle the change
brought about by IT?
Resistance to Change
While IT drives the change, people naturally and strongly resist
change. Change is unsettling. The problem is compounded by peoples's
fear of technology. Most managers are not comfortable with IT. "I just
don't understand this technology" is a very common phrase heard in
If people's fear of IT and their attitude towards IT is the deterrent
for agility and change, there is every reason to focus on efforts to
overcome this fear of IT, reduce the stress of people by comforting
them and addressing the attitude issue.
The CEO is most suited to drive change in an organization and create an
agile organization. Driving any change needs authority, and a CEO
is the person who wields that authority on each and every
person in the organization. Paradoxically, IT department, who are the
drivers of change, have no authority over any of those who have to
imbibe the change if IT has to be successful.
In such a situation, the IT department looks upon the CEOs to assist in
bringing about a change and wielding the authority which can make their
lives simpler. But the CEOs have been avoiding it and at best
delegating IT to more junior officers because of lack of comfort
feeling with IT.
The CEO has a role cut out in this path towards driving change and
agility. But the CEOs have been avoiding it because of want of the
right skills, and to some extent their own fear of technology. There is
good news. There is no need to know technology to be a good CEO. But at
the same time there are some other very simple skills to learn, which
unfortunately are not taught in any schools nor are being talked about
in any forums (see seminar).
Update (July 2014)
I have now given a name to this special essential CEO skill of managing
IT-Driven Change. I call it Behavioral ITTM skill.
Here's good news for all CEOs and top managers! You don't
need to learn IT, which is generally dreaded. You only need to learn
Behavioral IT, which is fairly simple. You can google on Behavioral IT to
know more - or click here.
The Best and Worst CEO for Computerization
Change Today is Mainly IT-Driven
Need for IT Awareness amongst CEOs and Senior Professionals
Managers Don't Need to Know IT, They Need to Know Behavioral IT
Steering a Failed ERP Implementation Back on Track
All Articles by Prem Kamble
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