John Halamka is CIO of the CareGroup Healthcare System, a practicing emergency room physician, and proprietor of the Geekdoctor blog; the dude knows his stuff. I therefore read The 10 secrets of bad CIOs, his ComputerWorld opinion piece, with real interest.
Here are John's ten secrets of bad CIOs:
- Start each meeting with a chip on your shoulder. If a CIO presupposes that every request will be unreasonable and every interaction unpleasant, then every meeting will be unproductive.
- Set priorities yourself. Good intentions won't prevent mismatches between customer expectations and IT resource allocation.
- Protect your staff at the expense of the organization. I work hard to prevent my lean and mean staff from becoming bony and angry. But I can't just say no to customers, so I work with them to balance resources, scope and timing.
- Put yourself first. Being a CIO is a lifestyle, not a job.
- Indulge in tantrums. Walking into the CEO's office and saying that you will quit unless your budget is increased does not win the war.
- Hide your mistakes. Transparency may be challenging in the short term, but it always improves the situation in the long term.
- Burn bridges. It's a small world, and it's best to be cordial and professional in every encounter.
- Don't give your stakeholders a voice. A CIO can earn a lot of respect just by listening.
- Cling to obsolete technologies. The CIO should never be the roadblock to adopting new technologies and ideas.
- Think inside the box. Although exploring new ideas will not always result in a breakthrough, it's the only way to innovate.
The list is non-technical -- it's all about human relations, management, and communication. That's the most important lesson of all.
Yo' John, I live in Brookline, about 10 minutes from your office. Let's get together - I want to hear more.