We all instinctively know that CIOs who collaborate well with their fellow C-Suite executives tend to be more successful, have longer tenures and enjoy a higher level of respect for both themselves and their organization. A just released study
from consulting firm PwC shows that, in companies where the CIO is a ”strong collaborator” with C-Suite peers, these companies are four times more likely to be a top performer than those in which the CIO does not enjoy such a relationship. Collaboration at the executive level equals executive effectiveness and an effective CIO equals better organizational performance. While we all believe that, this study provides some good data to back it up.
In my coaching work, improving executive relationships is the number one thing I am asked to work with CIOs and future CIOs on (followed by improving strategic thinking). This is also a perennial subject for the mentor groups I run for the CIO Executive Council
. It is in fact such a popular topic that last year I developed an extended presentation and slide deck on the subject and wrote about it here in a post titled Five ways to improve your executive relationships.
Here, quoting directly from the study report, are the three key areas where collaboration pays off.
• Within Strong Collaborator companies, IT and business leaders are more likely
to share the same understanding of the corporate strategy and the costs needed to implement the strategic roadmap. They more often view their CEO as a champion of IT, and understand IT risks that may impact the business.
• Strong Collaborators more often have explicit processes in place to link the IT roadmap to the corporate strategy. These companies often invest more aggressively in technologies such as social, mobile, cloud and analytics, and map IT to strategic initiatives like new product and service development, M&A and market share growth.
• Strong Collaborators often report higher performance versus their peers and tend to be more confident than other respondents in their revenue growth, profitability and market share. IT initiatives are more likely to be on time, on budget, and within project scope.
This study should be on every CIO's reading list. The message is clear. The CIO role remains a critical one but CIOs can only be effective when they function effectively as an engaged member of the senior leadership team.