Information Technology swells and recedes as a separate business entity with changing corporate structures. A number of Fortune 500 companies are eliminating their overarching CIO positions and moving IT to the Business Unit level. In some cases, an “IT Leadership Group” is ordained to create standards, allocate resources, etc. The fear when doing this is that Business Unit level IT silos will be controlled by people who lack overall corporate perspective and have limited accountability.
Sounds like a corporate communications opportunity for folks like me who have been involved in IT process change. I was recently part of the opposite situation: the large corporation I was working with had centralized IT after years of Business Unit IT autonomy. The upside was that IT was being treated as a strategic bottom-line-enhancer. The new penalty, however, was that the Business Units felt that they weren’t being listened to – that IT crammed canned solutions down their throat without regard to their individual B.U. needs and requirements.
And so it goes. Clarifying IT missions and getting employees on board to make it all work is a fascinating endeavor, and I’ve had the pleasure of working on this equation both internally and externally.
It’s true during process change (effecting staff) as well as organizational change that impacts management: it can be difficult for IT managers to fully embrace the communication part of the equation. As Management Leadership guru Jim Clemmer puts it: “A direct and positive correlation exists between the results obtained and the amount of time spent upfront helping everyone understand the need for the change and training to help them deal with the changes.”
Terse content (i.e. messaging), convincing and to the point, is a key element.