Leadership Edge

Had some great discussions yesterday with people, but one stood out from the morning.  In talking with a client and discussing the different views and ideas around innovation and the role of IT in the modern organization, he started talking about "Leadership Edge".  This was just one of many things that we talked about, but it really gets you past just thinking about all the great books out there on leadership.  I have some great ones.  But a couple and not all of the points he summarized were (and I paraphrase here):

  • Passion – we discussed that inbourn interest in what we are doing and the results, change or process we are a part of that brings excitement and energy.  We talked about his CIO who also holds some amazing passion as well as the people in our meeting today.  It’s incredible what this can do.
  • Responsiveness – here we talk about organizational change that challenges IT’s old tell me what you want and I will tell you how long and bug it is.  Tell is the operative word and that is not what we want as a relationship.  We talked about how IT folks should spend a 1-2 days a month with there main sponsor/user to understand what they do and see.  Not to say that we will ever know there business, but to allow us to better understand and then bring new ideas to help them leverage their investment and do new things.
  • Listening – listen to the customer and not tell them what to do.  Work more co-operatively.  I would even add, work to understand what they really want so that you can clarify, simplify, and focus.  This also is from Rapid Results on focusing on the business value.
  • Letting People Choose – this one was really interesting.  Let the people you work with choose the projects they want to work on, regardless of their silo within the organization.  This is both scary and difficult as you need to move to an Enterprise model for IT as well as having truth, transparency and new evaluation criteria on how to involve people.  We ultimately started talking about SWAT teams and Google, but there is something here, just not sure what it is yet.  Need to noodle.

These were just some thoughts from the meeting and very interesting as it plays to the role we play along with IT in helping the business change.  As another good reference, take a look at Maple Leaf Foods Leadership Edge.

What do you think?

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