CIOs: 3 best practices for communicating with your board

CIOs: 3 best practices for communicating with your board

up
250 readers like this

on

May 19, 2016
Evaluating open source

My primary interface with my board of directors is through the audit committee. Working together, we focus on security, risk management, and the future of IT.

These conversations do not (and certainly should not) resemble the ones you have with your direct staff, or even with the immediate person that you report to. If your audience is not dealing with the real day in and day out, they will appreciate it if you put yourself in their position. I always like to start our board presentation preparation by saying “If I knew nothing about this topic, would I understand what this presentation is trying to say?”

A few things you should always do when communicating with your board:

  1. Be very upfront and honest. That’s the way to gain the board’s confidence.
  2. Show that you’re conscious of and in tune with industry trends.
  3. Demonstrate that you’re part of a network and can share different experiences.

Having real, practical experiences that you can draw on always increases your credibility. For example, it’s great to be able to say, "I’ve talked to six other CIOs, and they have the same challenges, and they’re dealing with it in this way.” If you go in as a lone person, without any industry knowledge, it’s difficult to convey a story or seem credible.

How do you build such a benchmark of experience? One way is to join (or form) a group of your peers. I belong to a few different CIO groups, which allows me to get ten or 12 great opinions on a topic every month. Boards always appreciate it when you can bring them that kind of insight.

As senior vice president and chief information officer of Adobe, Cynthia Stoddard oversees Adobe’s global Information Technology team. In her leadership role, Cynthia spearheads a global strategy for delivering services that form the mission-critical backbone for the company. This includes providing always-on systems and enterprise applications that enable us to run Adobe’s business; delivering productivity to employees everywhere; and providing the information and data services for real-time decision making and personalized customer experiences.

7 New CIO Rules of Road

Harvard Business Review: IT Talent Crisis: Proven Advice from CIOs and HR Leaders

CIOs: We welcome you to join the conversation

Related Topics

Submitted By Jeremiah Cruit
March 22, 2019

As automation touches more of your organization, security will be far from automatic. Bots’ privileges need close scrutiny, for example.

Submitted By Enterprisers Project
March 22, 2019

Is that IT manager salary competitive? Let’s explore data points on salaries - and options that may help you earn more.

Submitted By Carla Rudder
March 21, 2019

If you are job hunting, you’ll hear this advice over and over: “Tap your network!”

x

Email Capture

Keep up with the latest thoughts, strategies, and insights from CIOs & IT leaders.