Have you reached a ceiling of complexity in your life as an IT leader?
This complexity may be manifesting professionally and/or personally as well.
Complexity is killing IT leaders in the industry because everyone thinks we are going to solve the issues of complexity with more pace or speed or more efficiency, or more training, or more education.
The IT Leadership Challenge
Let’s unravel this…
How do we keep up with the pace of innovation in such a rapidly changing global economy?
You don’t and you can’t.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them,” – Albert Einstein.
There is a reason that philosophy majors are on the rise and are becoming more and more valued by tech companies. You need to pull yourself out of the problem and see the bigger picture. It puts you into a different mindset.
Discernment is critical. Two articles that you may find interesting related to trends for recent grads:
- That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket
- Why Major in Philosophy? UNC Chapel Hill
These worries are legitimate. You are anxious and so are the CEOs and Boards around you.
We are entering a shift in economic culture that is unparalleled by even industrial revolution standards.
“The average lifespan of an S&P 500 company has fallen from sixty-seven years a century ago to just fifteen years today, and 40 percent of today’s Fortune 500 companies won’t exist a decade from now.” – Salim Ismail, Exponential Organizations
This rapid development is being fuelled by Exponential Technologies.
Artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, crowdfunding, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are only in their infancy, and the way in which they mature could completely redefine everything from medicine to education, government to finance, and even the foundations of our economic system itself.
You, the IT leader, need to determine how they can keep up with the pace of this change in a way that allows your organizations more than just a brief competitive edge.
There is a way that you can tackle IT leadership complexity and this is by understanding the concept of Skill, Will, and Energy System Management.
1. The Difference Between Skill and Will
Until now there have been two significant methods to improve performance; improve your skill and boost your will.
Skill is the inherent ability (learned and inherited) that you bring to your organization. Skill is determined in a large part by access to information, which makes it increasingly less impactful in an economy in which information is democratized and methods and techniques change rapidly. As the Internet expands and another billion people are added to the connected world you are going to have to examine what it means to have ‘skills’ closely. More and more of the world will have the ‘skill’ you are looking for, so what will it mean to be skilled at your job for example?
It is my belief that being the smartest person in the room will not be as important as it was for prior generations.
Will is your intrinsic motivation, grit, resilience, determination, etc.
I think that ‘Will’ continues to be important for companies and individuals to tap into. The ability to hustle and/or have, for the lack of a better word, an immigrant’s mentality to effecting change will continue to keep CEOs and HR professionals busy for the coming years.
2. Enter the Secret Ingredient – Personal Energy and Capacity System Management
There is another factor that hi performance teams and organizations need to consider in order to embrace changes brought about by Exponential Technologies and even better thriving in the midst of change.
There is a third factor or a secret ingredient.
This ingredient is our energy or capacity.
We are learning that in a sea of accelerating changes that there is a diminishing return to being at the effect of the pace of change. You will need to step back and truly take charge of your energy and also your team’s energy. How do you do this?
“We create the highest value not by how many hours we work but by how much energy we are capable of bringing to whatever hours we work.” – Tony Schwartz, President & CEO of The Energy Project
We must commit to recognising and valuing the concept of energy as a precious resource which is necessary and vital to high performance.
So why aren’t organizations quick to jump on the idea of energy management?
The inability of the corporate world to gauge the importance of energy in workplace performance is unsurprising. Most organizations naturally tend towards defending the status quo because they are operating from a paradigm in which they are constantly trying to please shareholders – therefore they all always strapped for time.
The problem is that when your time is perceived as limited, your decisions will be made from a scarcity mindset; innovation will take a back seat to traditional ways of thinking – the path of least resistance –and it will be difficult to introduce novel ideas.
The irony here is that by recognising the importance of energy in your organization, you will perceive time as more abundant, and you will see very marked and very quick improvements in your output.
3. The Ceiling of Complexity
IT Leadership won’t be able to solve these big problems with Skill and Will alone.
Why Start with Energy and Capacity?
For IT Leadership to move to the next level you must recognize that the ceiling of complexity that you are experiencing is also being felt throughout the executive ranks. You are in a unique position to be able to understand that you can effect change at a deep level because you can influence, people, processes, system, etc. that will either make complexity worse or start to unravel and see the truth in the complexity.
I think starting at your human capacity and energy system level is a good place to start because you can achieve amplification of effects by affecting your team around you. This will be a strong leadership statement from you as everyone around you is expecting the old story of processes, procedures, more systems, etc. etc. and instead you have a way of tying it all together.
For more on this topic read and listen to two experts discuss this topic with me:
- Energy Beats Talent with Top IT Leaders: Why?
- Avoid the Dangerous Myth of Multi-Tasking| Learn 13 Ways to Build a Performance Pulse into Your Day
- 5 Leadership Force Multipliers: Emotional Intelligence, Mindfulness, Clarity, Vision, & Health
To learn more about me and the tools that my company can bring to you to reduce the complexity of your IT Security Environment see this link to CIO Scoreboard