Tech Leadership In So Many Words … #13 Change

Andrew Weaver
August 4, 2023

If there’s one constant in our lives, it’s change.

That much is stating the obvious.

So let’s move on and take a helicopter view of three key areas of change you will have to negotiate in your journey as a technology leader

Personal

There is no c-suite career path that requires a sharper handbrake turn of skills than that of the CTO.

Whereas the CEO, CMO, CFO will be on a compounding skills trajectory throughout their career to the top, the CTO must make the fundamental transition from a technical background into the more hybrid, business-fluent skill set needed in modern organizations.

It’s why those who achieve this transition are in such high demand.

But it involves some fundamental and often challenging changes in mindset as you switch your focus away from the technical and across to the people.

People

So here’s a dichotomy…

The world of technology tends to attract people comfortable with innovation. But we remain creatures of habit who like our comfort zones and are not always prepared to follow significant change in other areas, particularly if the benefits are not clear to us.

As a technology leader you’ll be making decisions and changes that directly affect the people around you.

So you need to be the owner and agent of that change, capable of bringing people with you and inspiring them to move outside their own comfort zones, whether related to working procedures, roles or targets.

But resistance to change is a common response so you need to build an understanding of how to encourage team buy-in;

1. Communicate clearly about the changes being made and why they’re needed 

2. Establish a clear timeline for how change is going to be implemented

3. Put training and support in place for the employees affected

4. Continue the support, and seek feedback to keep everyone on board once change has been made

Technology

The most obvious element of change affecting us all is the ever-increasing pace of technological advance … anyone heard about this game-changer they call ChatGPT?

To keep on top of this dynamic world, you must create a breathing space by stepping back from the day-to-day tasks.

You need to learn to delegate.
You have to learn to trust.

If not, you won’t have time to understand how the changes taking place might affect your organization, nor will you gain the insight and knowledge to judge what is hype vs likely reality.

And it’s this “value add” your organization is relying on you to provide.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” — Winston Churchill

Want to find out more about CTO Academy and our Technology Leadership Courses, including lectures and discussions that look at the role of Change in your Professional Growth?

Visit the CTO Academy Website and in particular our accredited executive leadership course, The Digital MBA for Technology Leaders that is winning rave reviews from technology leaders around the world.

Download Our Free eBook!

90 Things You Need To Know To Become an Effective CTO

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