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How to Break into the Boardroom... With a Smile
By Louis Martinez, CIO, OmniSYS
I am hard pressed to think of an industry or business that is not dependent to some degree on some form of IT. New businesses seem to be more aware about the need for a good foundational plan, which is now inclusive of IT, and how it can be leveraged to maximize its outcomes. I’ve never worked for one of those types of organizations. Actually, I have had the blessings of working with well-established and long running businesses, and am proud of the battle scars and earned grey hair that I wear as badges of honor, not for me, but for the business as we transform from “this is how it has always been done” to “this is how we can be better, and moreover, here is the data to prove it”.
What you are fighting for while having the key business leaders in the room is credibility as a caretaker of the business through IT
Now, if the discussion does meet your expected outcomes, then breath, prepare again using feedback from your previous attempt, and do it again. You’re now pushing harder on the door and hopefully what you learned from the last discussion helps you make your points clearer. What you are fighting for while having the key business leaders in the room is credibility as a caretaker of the business through IT. The business comes first. Expect to compromise, but don’t give up on what you must have to be successful as a business.
So how are we rewarded with a seat at the decision table? As the CIO, I am responsible for protecting and growing the business via IT, thus making us extremely valuable to our customers and partners. I work with my team to build for the vision of the business, and that vision has my fingerprints on it. I present our progress weekly, which continues to build credibility for our team.
The door to the decision table is heavy. I didn’t force it open. I didn’t break it down. I knocked and smiled. I brought value with me, and each time the door opened just a little bit more. Now, the seat I occupy at the table is the voice for how we will become even more relevant. I hope you find your seat and never take it for granted. Good luck!