Why CIOs must think of themselves as products—and hostage negotiators

Prior
to
joining
research
firm
Gartner
in
2008,
Irving
Tyler
was
a
CIO
at
IMS
Health,
and
VP
and
CIO
at
Quaker
Chemical
Corporation.

[…]

Why CIOs must think of themselves as products—and hostage negotiators

Prior
to
joining
research
firm
Gartner
in
2008,
Irving
Tyler
was
a
CIO
at
IMS
Health,
and
VP
and
CIO
at
Quaker
Chemical
Corporation.

In
the
late
1990s,
he
was
challenged
to
address
the
‘year
2000’
problem,
or
Y2K
scare,
as
computer
systems
were
readied
for
the
new
millennium,
and
he
saw
his
skillsets
develop
in
the
areas
of
data
centre
management
and
ERP
implementation.

That
role,
he
says,
is
now
long
gone.

“The
role
of
the
CIO
has
expanded
to
be
a
business
leader,
visionary
and
architect,
someone
who
can
work
with
other
executives
effectively,
not
as
a
supplier
and
vendor
but
as
a
leader,”
said
Tyler,
leader
of
Gartner’s
CIO
research
team,
at
the
company’s
recent
Symposium
in
Barcelona.

CIO
‘plus’
roles
to
lead
business
transformation
initiatives

A
Gartner
study
of
technology
leaders
at
Global
Fortune
500
companies
found
that
approximately
26%
still
had
fundamental
‘run
the
business’
IT
roles
overseeing
applications
and
infrastructure,
while
30%
had
‘plussed’
their
role
into
business
responsibilities,
from
back-office
functions
to
front-facing
engineering,
product
management
and
research
development.

Approximately
44%
of
the
surveyed
CIOs
and
CTOs
were
now
leading
business
transformation
initiatives.

“These
were
initiatives
to
change
the
very
core
of
their
enterprises:
how
they
go
to
market,
how
they
develop
goods
and
services,
and
how
they
optimise
their
supply
chain,”
said
Tyler.
“So
the
role
is
expanding;
the
value
proposition
is
changing.”

When
asked
what
kind
of
work
CIOs
and
CTOs
had
done
beyond
atypical
technology
responsibilities,
Gartner’s
research
found
80%
of
global
Fortune
500
technology
leaders
were
leading
business
initiatives,
with
39%
accountable
to
land
the
change
in
areas
such
as
monetizing
data
to
create
new
revenue,
supply
chain
optimization,
talent
strategies
and
creating
new
digital
products.

“These
are
new
value
propositions,”
said
Tyler.
“I
never
would’ve
imagined
when
I
became
a
CIO
that
someday
I’d
be
expected
to
lead
these
kinds
of
efforts.”

How
CIOs
find
their
value
proposition

Despite
the
growing
breadth
of
the
CIO’s
role,
Tyler
believes
that
technology
executives
can
go
further
still,
extending
their
value
and
influence
within
the
organization
by
thinking
of
themselves
less
of
a
service
provider
and
more
of
a
‘powerful,
valuable
product’,
which
senior
executives,
partners
and
peers
need
to
do
their
jobs
effectively.

“Product
value
proposition
in
business
terms
is
something
we
develop
when
we’re
trying
to
create
the
next
generation
of
goods
and
services
for
our
customers
or
citizens—any
stakeholder
we’re
working
with,”
he
said,
giving
the
example
that
streamlining
money
could
be
the
value
proposition
for
a
start-up
financial
services
firm.

“Your
leadership
is
a
product
that
all
of
your
executive
team,
partners,
peers,
and
all
of
the
people
in
your
organization
needs,”
he
said.

Tyler
also
suggested
that
CIOs
must
build
their
own
product
value
proposition
to
deliver
the
maximum
value
to
the
business,
and
make
a
promise
to
stakeholders
of
how
technology
will
help
them
achieve
their
desired
outcomes,
adding
that
technology
leaders
can
take
simple
steps
to
start
by
understanding
who
consumes
IT
(most
notably
the
executive
board,
functional
leaders
and
technologists
in
and
out
of
the
technology
team),
and
by
deeply
understanding
their
jobs,
and
how
IT
can
remove
pains
and
create
gains.

“This
is
what
we
call
value-fit,”
he
said.

By
speaking
with
these
individuals,
asking
them
questions
and
building
a
profile
of
where
they
are
and
where
they
want
to
get
to,
CIOs
can
move
beyond
simply
solving
their
role
to
expand
their
capabilities
beyond
what
they
imagined
was
possible.

Tyler
gave
the
example
of
working
with
the
CMO,
who
may
be
focused
on
providing
better
customer
experiences
through
ecommerce,
data
platforms,
content
management
and
utilising
AI
to
personalise
and
optimise
customer
journeys.
Further
inquisition,
however,
found
that
the
ability
do
so
was
constrained
by
a
lack
of
market
standards
on
customer
data
platforms,
a
lack
of
technical
know-how,
and
an
uncertainty
of
how
to
assess
technology
suppliers—all
of
which
the
CIO
could
help
with.

Tyler
suggested
three
steps
for
CIOs
to
build
their
own
product
value
proposition.


Step
1
:
Recognize
and
define
each
segment
(editor’s
note:
marketers
would
refer
to
this
exercise
as
developing
personas)


Step
2
:
Survey
each
of
these
individuals,
asking
tough
questions
to
understand
their
jobs,
pains
and
gains


Step
3
:
Map
your
offerings
to
match,
exploring
differing
levels
of
value
(from
the
here
and
now,
to
where
they
want
to
go)

Why
CIOs
should
act
as
hostage
negotiators

Tyler
also
advocated
for
a
radically
different
approach
to
winning
hearts
and
minds
from
the
boardroom
down.

He
said
IT
leaders
need
to
look
at
building
relationships
similar
to
hostage
negotiators
by
understanding
whom
they
work
with,
building
trust
and
credibility,
assessing
the
level
of
risk
to
drive
business
value,
and
working
together
to
come
to
a
shared
understanding.

This
is
particularly
key,
he
says,
for
a
CIO
who
only
has
accountability
for
IT,
and
thus
needs
to
partner
internally
to
drive
change.

“You
have
to
learn
to
negotiate
your
role
to
deliver
these
incredible
transformational
things
that
your
leaders
are
trying
to
do,”
said
Tyler,
adding
that
key
business
projects
in
finance,
HR
and
supply
chain
are
not
under
the
ownership
of
the
CIO.

Citing

Lewicki
and
Hiam’s
negotiation
matrix
,
Tyler
said
there
are
five
strategies
to
collaborate
along
the
‘importance
of
relationship’
and
‘importance
of
outcome’
twin
axes.
Four
are
suboptimal
with
most
offering
no
value
or
resulting
in
the
individual
accommodating
another
for
the
sake
of
maintaining
the
relationship.
Compromise
doesn’t
work
either,
he
says,
because
neither
party
gets
what
they’re
looking
for.

“The
only
real
strategy
is
collaboration,”
he
says.
“Build
something
more
powerful,
more
valuable
so
together,
you
both
win.
But
you
need
techniques.
Hostage
negotiators
have
this
brilliant
set
of
tactics.
They
talk
about
building
bridges,
bringing
two
parties
together,
connecting
them
to
accomplish
something
that
is
best
for
both
parties.”

Tyler
believes
this
starts
with
building
empathy,
trust
and
changing
minds
to
new
ways
of
thinking.

“[Hostage
negotiator]
Chris
Voss
says
that
negotiation
is
not
an
act
of
battle,”
says
Tyler.
“You
have
to
look
at
it
as
a
process
of
discovery,
to
spend
the
majority
of
your
negotiation
time
learning,
exploring,
finding
out
what’s
going
on.
The
information
you
get
gives
you
power.”

To
do
this,
according
to
Tyler,
CIOs
must
understand
the
value
system
of
the
individual
or
team
they’re
working

­
with
to
identify
their
jobs,
challenges
and
opportunities,
as
well
as
where
the
shared
value
between
them
lies.
Listening
is
essential,
too,
but
just
as
critical
is
being
respectful
(which
is
not
the
same
as
agreeing),
likeable
and
credible—being
true
to
your
word
can
make
or
break
the
relationship.

Reciprocity
can
also
build
bridges,
with
Tyler
revealing
not
only
that
criminals
are
more
likely
to
share
information
if
they’ve
been
treated
well,
but

research
shows

the
most
successful
hostage
negotiations
have
been
those
where
the
negotiator
has
built
an
emotional
connection
with
the
hostage
taker.

This
is
called
empathy
mapping,
another
tactic
used
in
product
development,
and
Tyler
said
it
can
ultimately
result
in
the
two
parties
coming
together
on
a
shared
vision,
objective,
and
set
of
commitments,
as
well
as
shared
risk
for
both
parties.

But
it’s
not
as
straightforward
as
it
sounds,
as
Tyler
gave
a
personal
example
of
when
he
got
it
wrong
earlier
in
his
career.
Asked
by
a
marketing
director
to
roll-out
a
global
CRM
system
in
90
days
across
1,700
associates
and
150
countries,
he
flatly
refused
and
called
his
colleague
crazy.
“He
didn’t
appreciate
my
position
because
he
was
in
a
quarter
and
had
to
get
this
done,”
Tyler
said.
“What
I
should
have
done
is
think
empathy,
start
to
learn,
explore
and
understand
his
feelings
and
his
vision.

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