Blog: Dancing With the Tsars

Blog: Dancing With the Tsars

Welcome to my blog. And no, this doesn't find me polishing my black leather boots in anticipation of doing some Yank-Aussie hybrid of Cossack dancing. Largely because it's been a decade or more since my knees have cooperated in any kind of deep bending, and I have little doubt that a high kick — or even a mid-kick — would find me immediately in traction.

I've opted to tag my blog with the "Dancing with the Tsars" moniker because if there's one thing I've learned after 10 years in the driver seat of CIO magazine, it's that CIOs (and their otherwise titled brethren) spend heaps of time doing the old two-step with a host of tsars. And who might these tsars be? Well, here's my first brush at a list. (I'm sure more will be added along the way — and I'm open for any suggestions.)

For now let's try these on for size, starting with your business dance card first: the CEO, CFO, COO, the heads of sales, marketing and HR — and let's not forget all those LOB managers. (If you're of the government persuasion, just substitute the equivalent lofty title.) These tsars never ask you to dance, they tell you to dance — and to their tune.

Now let's sashay (note I'm keeping with the dance theme here) over to the left where we pick up the tsars from vendorland. And my oh my, they look so spiffy in their Ermenegildo Zegna suits. They certainly do look keen to dance with you, don't they? Just stay alert when they hold you close and whisper sweet nothings in your ear because both your wallet and chequebook are likely to go missing.

A quick alamand right and who's there ready to take your hand, but a slew of consultants (albeit with slightly sweaty palms itching in anticipation). Take care, though, this group is prone to putting those damp hands where they don't belong.

And look, over there in the corner there's a veritable Conga line of analysts, pundits and industry experts swaying their hips. The problem with these guys is that they always want to lead, but you have no idea where.

Now we're ready to do the Hokey-Pokey with the outsourcing tsars. With apologies to this 50s favourite, I've done a bit of a rewrite of the lyrics for these folk:

We put our right hands in

We take your costs right out

We put our left hands in

And there's no IT department left about . . .

So that's my list of potential CIO dance partners whom I hope to boogie down with over the life of this blog. The stories will be true, but the names will be withheld to protect the innocent and my bank account from the guilty.

It's time that someone starts telling these people: "You are stepping on my toes, squeezing me too tight and worst of all you have no damn sense of rhythm"

Methinks I'm going to have some fun with this.

Linda Kennedy is the founding editor of the award-winning CIO (Australia) magazine. She has never once danced with a tsar, nor does she intend to

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