Coaching Story | Leaders Align Toward a Future Vision

This week afforded time for an extended discussion with a Chief Information and Innovation Officer, starting with 360 survey results for a key direct report we’re using to set up executive coaching sessions. It’s always fascinating how different groups in a single organization rank organizational priority of six leadership competencies and six leadership characteristics. Recall, leadership competence, or what a leader does involves: Vision and strategy, job competence, industry knowledge, communication skills, leading change, and execution. Leadership characteristics, or who a leader is entails: Leadership image, developing a following, judgement/decision-making, personal ethics, coaching/mentoring, and building teams. Often a technically-oriented manager or subject matter expert will list competencies higher in organizational priority than their bosses, who may be looking for leadership growth by coaching toward leadership characteristics.

We went much further than the 360 review findings. The CIO described a future vision drawing upon multiple, disparate databases and sources of organizational data, which could be combined holistically as a valuable new service offering for numerous stakeholders. Thoughts turned to Jill Dyché’s The New IT, and her description of six organizational IT archetypes:

Tactical, or “Keeping the lights on”

Order Taking, or “Mastering the art of release management”

Aligning, whereby “Business Relationship Liaisons” are co-located with their business constituents.

Data Provisioning when organizations are “Increasingly compelled by the possibility of monetizing their corporate data.”

Brokering, when “Businesses grow to depend on IT for building and maintaining a web of relationships,”

and lastly, IT Everywhere, “Where IT becomes a thin layer of program oversight that monitors progress, reports on delivery, and projects future demand. It might not even be called IT anymore.”

Listening, I wondered which stage the organization was at, while the vision described embodied both aligning and brokering archetypes. It was also evident the CIO wants the entire team aligned with this future vision. It was energizing to hear. Between the 360 results and listening to the CIO’s future vision, the coaching plan gained valuable clarity.

How do you share your vision? What types of assessments and alignment tools do you use? Great leaders align toward a future vision.