There's no escaping the fact that one of your most important jobs as a CIO or senior IT leader is communication.
Whether it's to kick off a major project, discuss strategy, brief consultants, review projects, or join a new initiative, you're always out there being called upon to present at one meeting or another.
From what I've observed, many of you spend a large percentage of your "free time" (my estimates are about 35%) preparing presentations. And it's my opinion that as important as these presentations are, you're burning way too much time and effort getting them ready. What's more, you're causing untold damage to your personal credibility and to the credibility of your department.
Here's the typical scenario: You're the CIO and you have to get a presentation done. What do you do? You turn to one of your lieutenant's and you say, "I need a presentation for our upcoming IT leadership meeting (or whatever the topic may be)." Then you ask him to put together some slides for you so you have something to say at the meeting.
When this happens, it causes multiple layers of damage. First of all, it drags your key managers away from their jobs and turns them into PowerPoint jockeys. Instead of managing their projects and people, they are sitting with you trying to quickly figure out what to say.
But it gets much worse because, let's face it, the likelihood that they will take the time and effort to really figure out what message you should be delivering and then putting it together for you is pretty minimal. Remember, these are busy people with lots on their plates already.
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