Most chief executive officers (CEOs) think the concept of having a personal executive coach and mentor is crazy and unnecessary, until they have one. Then they realize what that coach brings to the table is priceless and most times makes them a much more effective and successful leader. The same can hold true for your IT leadership, whether they are a seasoned chief information officer (CIO) or a newly promoted IT director.
An IT coach / mentor / advisor can provide a wealth of benefits to a company’s IT leadership. They can help a seasoned leader stay up to speed with the non-stop and ever-growing world of technology and automation opportunities. And they help the newer and more junior IT leader understand how to manage their company’s often complex technology in a more efficient way.
IT coaches, mentors and advisors provide a wealth of benefits to IT leadership regardless of the size of the company they work with. Meeting with an IT leadership mentor even one day per month can pay many benefits for the company and IT leadership. The mentor becomes an extension of the IT leader often challenging and teaching them to be focused on the “right” things. They can help with IT organizational structure, project reviews, thought leadership, executive communication plus so many other areas.
Consider the following list of areas where an IT mentor could provide support and guidance for your IT leader:
- Creation of an IT strategic plan
- Overall IT leadership development
- Contract negotiation
- Project reviews
- Executive team communication
- IT governance (creating an IT steering committee, policies, procedures)
- Creation of technology action plans
- Being someone who the IT leader can call at any time as a sounding board
- Vendor management
- Project specific help
- Creating key business relationships
- Hiring and managing IT staff
- Right sizing the IT staff
- Help in the “selling” of key projects to executive management
- Best practices
Providing an IT mentor / coach / advisor to your IT leadership effectively brings the experience of a seasoned CIO to all sizes of companies without having to hire one. It should help the CEO sleep better knowing that his IT area is in good and experienced hands.