Home > Business Technology, Strategy > Will you transform the culture?

Will you transform the culture?

Many IT departments are still reeling from the “slam it in and fix it on the fly” approach that was required by the rush to automate all core business processes (late 1990s & early 2000s). A reactive, crisis-driven and internally focused ‘systems management’ culture evolved as a result, such culture becomes barrier for IT to reach higher level maturity.

From “Heroic effort” to “Collaboration Effect”: IT department-wide culture is maintained by a ‘Heroic effort’ reward system, a value system that is proving to be nearly intractable. Along with the Hero mentality, expertise silo evolved a non-collaborative, finger-pointing culture that renders truly effective SLAs impossible to measure & enforce. A fundamental change in the heroic effort rewards culture is required to put an end to the reactive, crisis-driven and technology systems focused role for the IT department, and shift to business-driven, collaborative IT mentality because the business requirements for technology management have changed. The rapid push for offering ‘cloud-based’ services and the need to retool IT to centrally manage these, is certainly a perfect opportunity to rethink the role of IT and make a cogent case for a service-level driven rewards and recognition culture

The transformation journey must start with the CIO. However, very few CIOs are willing to step away from the existing IT management paradigm and hero-based rewards culture to adopt a new role as a culture change transformation sponsor. This has not been a required leadership skill-set for the CIO role to date. It is a dramatic change in skills, priorities and rewards tactics. Can veteran CIOs who came up the ranks accept this need for a dramatic change in IT culture? Will they have the required skill set to sponsor such a change? Do they have the charisma to achieve buy-in from the current IT staff. Or will it take a crisis? CIOs must drive the elimination of the heroic effort reward culture. This is the principal challenge for current “up through the ranks” CIOs. Recognizing the need for this fundamental change has not been easy for most veteran CIOs.

Be Change Agent to retool Organizational Culture: Culture is perhaps the most invisible, but powerful fabric surrounding organization, the toxic culture like water, which can sink the enterprise ship, IT is also at unique position to well align people, process and the latest technology to empower talent, enforce communication, enhance governance, and enable cross-functional collaboration, to retool organizational culture for achieving high business performance potential.

 

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