5 IT leadership resolutions for 2020

5 IT leadership resolutions for 2020

Are you making the most out of 2020? It’s not too late to set new goals to help yourself and your IT organization grow

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Now that we’re a few weeks into the new year, we’re approaching a critical moment: It’s time to double down on our 2020 goals or risk losing the momentum provided by the flip of a new calendar.

We asked CIOs to share resolutions to help motivate and inspire CIOs this year. It’s not too late to adopt their suggestions to ensure you’re making the most out of this new year. 

Here are five commitments you can make in 2020 to position yourself and your IT organization for success. 

1. Take time to reflect 

"Starting a new year is very refreshing and motivational. In addition to serving as an opportunity to reflect on the impact made in the previous year and to thank the IT organization for their many contributions, it allows us to assess where our focus needs to be over the next planning cycle. Did we make the progress expected of us; what loose ends remain as carry-over priorities; are there initiatives we need to stop, slow down, or accelerate; and most importantly how can IT deliver even greater business value in the upcoming year? Leaders should take the time to also walk through this reflection framework with their staff and then cascade a message across the organization. It can be very motivational to acknowledge the successes of the previous year and inspire teams for continued engagement in the year ahead." – Ken LeBlanc, Partner, CIO Sensei


[ Need more ideas on improvements you can make in 2020? Read 6 gifts of self-improvement to help you succeed. ]

2. Commit to modern ways of working 

"My 2020 wish for all organizations is that we all commit to the leadership, organizational change, and technology that is needed to create new ways of working within our companies. We know that outcome-oriented, cross-functional, and empowered teams deliver incredible business value. In 2020, we all need to commit to modern ways of running organizations and developing products. It starts at the top with the senior team committing the resources and support to enable the change. It continues with the organization’s leadership committing to lead in more empowering ways. And ends with true agile/lean teams focused on client feedback and quickly iterating through continuous delivery. That’s my wish for all of us." – John Marcante, CIO, Vanguard 

3. Make diversity a pillar of your AI/ML efforts 

"Seek out artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) partnerships from organizations that maintain a commitment to diversity in their development teams, and actively seek diverse sources of data to fuel your own ML/AI algorithms. According to Kate Crawford of the AI Now Research Institute: 'Artificial intelligence will reflect the values of its creators. So inclusivity in AI matters – from who designs it to who sits on the company boards and which ethical perspectives are included. Otherwise, we risk constructing machine intelligence that mirrors a narrow and privileged vision of society, with its old, familiar biases and stereotypes.'" – Wendy Pfieffer, CIO, Nutanix

4. Actively cultivate curiosity 

"Organizations must innovate at the speed of business or be left behind. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to arm employees with the right tools, training and encourage them to think of solutions in an innovative way – whether it be the finance department building a bot to eliminate friction in the invoicing process or the HR team uncovering and eliminating redundancy so they can focus on the human aspect of their jobs. Innovative curiosity can cure most problems and IT leaders must weave this mindset into their organization’s culture." – Yousuf Khan, CIO, Automation Anywhere

5. Use your time wisely 

"Make this the year you get serious about prioritizing, decluttering, and simplifying, both in your personal and professional lives. You can do anything you want in life, but you can't do everything. How are you choosing to spend your time? As individuals, we can work on developing ourselves as a leader, as a father or a mother, as a son or a daughter, as a grandparent, etc. We all have the same 24 hours. How are you choosing to spend it?" 

"In 2020, be more deliberate and mindful about the choices you make. This applies to IT organizations too. Your IT organization can't do everything. There's always going to be more demand than supply. You're always going to be asked to do more, do it faster, and use new technologies. You must be able to make very specific, deliberate, and strategic choices. So for me, my number one resolution is to prioritize, declutter, and simplify." – Jay Ferro, CIO, Quikrete

[ Strengthen your IT talent strategy in 2020. Read IT Talent, 5 key practices for the decade ahead. ]

As community manager for The Enterprisers Project, Ginny Hamilton helps build the site's community of CIOs, IT leaders, and readers. She is responsible for helping tell the stories of leading IT executives – showcasing the projects, experiences, and challenges they're facing in their roles as IT leaders.

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