The New CIO is a weekly article about the challenges facing today’s CIO as well as what can be done to prepare for future challenges.
We’ve all heard the ‘get the right people on the bus‘ analogy from Jim Collin’s, but have you ever stopped to think about whether the bus is heading in the right direction or even if its the right bus?
Which comes first – Right People or Right Destination?
I’ve always been a ‘people first’ kind of guy, but there are times that you’ve got to consider your goals before you hire the ‘right’ people. Where you want to go might just make a difference on what people you let on the bus.
For example, If you want to be a flexible, agile organization – you need to hire flexible and agile folks. If the organization’s goal is to use the cloud for 100% of enterprise applications, you probably need to hire some folks that can play in that space. Your developers who’ve not kept up with the times and are content to keep developing in COBOL probably won’t be the right fit for the new organization.
So…the basic question still lingers:
Do you find the right people and hire them…then figure out where you are going? Or do you figure out where you are going and then hire the right people to get you there?
Perhaps the answer is “Hire the right people” IF the “right” people are flexible, technical, open to constant change, constantly learning, have tons of business savvy, etc. Find people like this, hire them (get them on the bus) and they might able to adapt and hold on while the bus changes direction in the future.
Those types of folks are hard to find though. It might be much easier if you constantly reassess your organizational strategy and compare your organizational capabilities (as I mentioned last week) then get the right people on the right bus driving toward your goal in the fast lane.
So…right people or right destination?
Perhaps the real question should be “how do you define right?“. That’s the challenge for The New CIO.
How do you define “right”? Who’s the “right” person? What’s the “right” direction? Only you can answer that…and your answer will be different than mine.
The “right” person for your organization, your strategy and your IT team will differ from other’s. The “right” people and direction will be wholly dependent on the oganizational goals and strategy.
The New CIO will have to continuously redefine “Right”. The Right strategy. Right people. Right structure. Right technology. These definitions will change constantly and The New CIO will need to be able to adapt and change to meet the challenges created by the fluctuation in the meaning of “Right”.
Do you have IT Right?
If you could start over and build your team from the ground up, would you build it differently? Would you have the same people? Does your current team fit with the future goals & strategy of the organization?
If you’d rebuild your IT group differently, why haven’t you? What’s stopping you? Making the necessary changes will be tough. It might mean people lose their jobs or are reassigned to other positions…but can you really wait any longer? You’re being asked to do more with less…can you do that with the wrong people? Can you do it with the right people?
The New CIO has to be able to define what ‘right’ is; then take quick action to change the organization to meet the new definition(s). It won’t be easy…but it’s necessary.
Join me next week for another article in The New CIO series.