"Leaders are people who do the right things. Managers are people who do things right."
I wish I could claim credit for saying it, but I didn't. Warren Bennis, a business professor and the founding chairman of The Leadership Institute at the University of California, did. He maintains that there is a profound difference between the two:"When you think about doing the right things, your mind immediately goes toward thinking about the future, thinking about dreams, missions, visions, strategic intent, purpose. But when you think about doing things right, you think about control mechanisms. You think about how-to. Leaders ask the what and why question, not the how question. Leaders think about empowerment, not control," he says.
"Leadership skills involve enlisting employee support for a vision, inspiring trust and hope in the work force, encouraging candour from employees and regarding mistakes as learning tools, not punishable offences. That attitude is not part of most executives skill set," says Bennis.
We look at a lot of change in this month's CIO. Australia Post has gone through extensive rejigging, with IT a crucial part of its strategy. IDC's "Forecast for Management" survey is testimony to the shifting sands of technology and business issues. In his column, A.T. Kearney's Stuart Black suggests that "IT has to clean up its own act before requesting that management and users change".
Finally, our cover story is about seemingly big changes at AMP. Its "engine of transformation" is AMPlus, a "unique" partnership with Andersen Consulting.
Strategic IT solutions that drive the business are at the core of the AMPlus model. What should be of utmost interest to CIOs is that this "vision" comes from the executive suite.
Because organisations are unique, each must deal with change differently.
Unfortunately, there are many companies unable to react quickly to change.
Maybe what's confusing here is that organisations usually talk about managing change when they should be thinking about leading change.
Doing IT Correctly
In line with the theme of doing it right, we have to correct a wrong. In the April issue of CIO, the photos of Vicki Kelly of Bendigo Bank and Michelle Tredenick of Suncorp Metway QIDC Group were incorrectly identified on pages 32 and 33. Yes, the pictures were inadvertently swapped. Our apologies.
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