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How Can CIOs Drive Positive Culture Changes?  


( 8, 2020)--As accepted leaders in technology, IT professionals have the best chance to model the preferred behaviors. Creating a stirring narrative also helps employees visualize the impetus for culture change and get on board faster.  


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Digital technologies have changed the way that we work and live. Organizations are rushing to stay on top of the latest innovations as well as changing customer expectations. Corporate culture must also evolve. In the past, many companies maintained cultures that emphasized stability, predictability, and consistency, but that doesn't reflect the reality of businesses that face disruption from more nimble competitors. Therefore, CIOs must stay on top of new technologies in order to respond to the changing marketplace and exceed customer demands.

Business IT services business owner Gary Harlam from Technology Advisory Group shares three ways CIOs can expedite culture change in their organizations.

  1. How Can CIOs Reinforce the Desired Culture?

CIOs can invest in technologies that reinforce culture changes. Culture heavily influences the outcome of transformation initiatives when it comes to enterprise technology decisions. The more nimble your organization is, the more open your teams will be to try new things. This can shortcut adaption to change, which leads to market, profitability and productivity improvements.

Culture certainly affects the success of technology adoption, but technology can influence corporate culture too. For instance, collaboration tools are commonplace in small and large organizations.

With cloud-based file-sharing capability, it’s easier than ever to achieve transparency. This gets information out to employees so they can make data-driven decisions.

  1. How Can You Incubate New Culture in IT?

Effective CIOs know that IT is a great testing ground for corporate culture changes. IT professionals live by the motto “test and learn.” Working in IT involves continuous on-the-job training to evaluate the potential of new technologies and apply them to solve real business problems. This adaptability leaves technology teams open to explore culture initiatives.

One financial service CIO put this to the test in his organization, which faced growing pressure from cloud-first start-ups encroaching on the industry. As digitally-native consumers grew, leaders realized they needed to update their operating model to grow their customer base. New technology and flexible products were needed to meet changing expectations.

According to CIO magazine, a cross-functional team aligned to customer outcomes rolled out a new decision-making process that pushed decision-making authority down to the employees completing the work whenever possible. IT support teams were the first to use an enterprise collaboration platform that let everyone share ideas, best practices, and data.

  1. How Can You Muster Top-Level Support for Culture Changes?

For many companies, digital initiatives top their enterprise strategy priorities. Therefore, CIOs have access to their counterparts on the executive team, and they have a hand in strategic decision-making. Additionally, the CIO can use their access to the technology to help drive transformations to corporate culture. This is the cross-functional collaboration needed to create lasting organizational change.

C-level support is essential to the adoption of culture change across the enterprise. However, a top-down approach won’t lead to the genuine interest needed to maintain the culture changes. CIOs should reach out to cross-functional stakeholders to encourage change at a basic level that can influence day-to-day operations.

For executives trying to build grass-roots momentum, the IT team is the right place to begin. As accepted leaders in technology, IT service professionals have the best chance to model the preferred behaviors. Creating a stirring narrative also helps employees visualize the impetus for culture change and get on board faster.