The idea of a Chief Change Management Officer has recently caught my interest. Stephen Orbans piece in Medium is spot on and I’ve included an extract below
“I’d argue that today’s IT executive needs to play the role of the Chief Change Management Officer (CCMO™). Technology can no longer be viewed as something that simply supports the business. Today’s IT executive is optimally positioned to understand this and subsequently drive the changes required to keep up with an increasingly competitive and increasingly technical landscape. Across all industries, this CCMO will need to lead change throughout the rest of the executive team and their staff, and decisively manage execution.
Here are three responsibilities that I believe are critical to the success of the CCMO:
Merging business and technology. Cloud adoption offers more than a technology shift. It also offers a new way to do business. This is something that everyone at the executive level should care about. It’s the IT executive’s job to consider the executive team and how each respective function is impacted or could be impacted by the Journey. There are both clearly positive outcomes (financial, agility, global reach, etc.) and some challenges (hiring, training, fear of the unfamiliar). In order to position a changing IT environment in a way that will help each executive meet his or her goals, you first need to be empathetic to those goals and challenges, then show how goals will become easier and challenges less daunting on the Journey.
Providing clarity of purpose. Just as it’s important to tie technology to business results together for your executive stakeholders, tying your team’s roles back to the business benefit will help them understand how they fit in — especially when it involves changes to their roles. Early in my executive career, I was somewhat naive in thinking that just because I issued a department-wide directive everyone’s actions would follow. It wasn’t until I identified the things that were really important and communicated them over and over and over again that they started to stick. If anything, the cloud creates a lot of new opportunity for your staff, and as long as they’re willing to learn, there’s a number of new ways they’ll be able to contribute to the business.
Breaking (Making) new rules. Most traditional IT operating models won’t allow you to take full advantage of what the cloud has to offer. In a world where competitors like Uber, AirBnB, DropBox, and many others can come out of nowhere with not only novel technologies but also fast-moving operations, you’re going to want to consider new rules that allow your organization to keep up. This, even more than the other two, is something that has to come from the top IT executive. Unchecked rule-breaking at every level of the organization is probably something worth avoiding.