Blog: So Many IT Job Changes, So Much Whining

Blog: So Many IT Job Changes, So Much Whining

Whew. Lots of CIO job changes. At the same time, I read and hear a fair amount of whining in and around IT. These could be related.

From my reading: An IT middle manager whines: "Why do you have to change jobs to be promoted and get a raise?" And its corollary: "Why can't we find more qualified people?" And: "We don't have the right skills in our staff so we have to augment with a large pool of contractors." And "Why does the new CIO comes from the business and not from within IT? or its reverse: "It's surprising: the new CIO came from within IT and not the business!"

I do see a connection between CIOs changing jobs (and getting more pay and advancement) and the whining in and around IT. People are what make IT organizations produce, deliver, and operate technology. Maybe CIOs aren't hired and given a charter and explicitly measured to do the obvious with their people. And maybe those that hire CIOs are similarly not measured on the obvious, like:

Diagnose Gaps and Train

Leaders, CIOs included, must demonstrate that you have trained an agreed-upon percentage of your staff, including and especially your managers, on core skills they need to succeed, grow, and develop their people.

Promote and Pay Accordingly

The hide-behind pure bunk excuse of 'we can't afford to give you a raise that matches the pay level of new hires' just makes managers look cowardly. Think about the ramp-up time to learn your business. If you can't put it into a raise, put it in a results-oriented bonus or comp time.

Develop and cross-train

Measure your people on specific development/movement of staff - I recently spoke with an IT exec who chartered direct reports to hire and/or place at least one person every year into or out of another business unit in the same firm.

Fire people who are unwilling to learn and grow

Quantify learning a new skill and a new business area every year. Put it in your own objectives and those of your staff and if not met, obtain support from your peers, document and ask laggards to leave.

Maybe the reason the new CIO comes from the business and not IT is that the last CIO was too enamored with technology to remember the people basics? Or didn't spend the time necessary to really understand the business IT was chartered to support?

And maybe frustrated CIOs observe that the going has gotten tough, and so they get going.

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