Newedge CIO Steve Davy improved his time management skills, thereby increasing his own productivity and the IT team’s level of strategic thinking.
Davy uses every meeting as a coaching session to help his IT team think more strategically. “To change the team’s behavior took six to 12 months, and it needs to be deliberate in order for it to be absorbed,” he says. “The change is subtle at first, but when you are participating in a discussion about leveraging our new technology ‘backbone’ to deliver new product capability, you know that we have arrived at a very different place than before.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the psychology professor, pioneered the concept of flow. He discussed how when we choose a goal and invest ourselves in it to the limits of our concentration, then whatever we do will be enjoyable. Davy is currently working with his IT team to create Newedge Knowledge Sessions where IT personnel present animated flows of the architecture and "a day in the life of a product" to the business users. The goal is to demystify the systems and flows for the business users. The side benefit has been to allow the IT team to brainstorm and reflect on the existing architecture and systems, to see new opportunities for efficiencies and enhancements, and to experience the sense of flow. “My context was how you develop your organizational talent and this is one tool to aid in the talent assessment. In the beginning we had a good hero culture. That may bring you a bench of high performers, but not necessarily the right mix of high potential.”
As we can see from Davy’s experiences, the demands on your time can be managed with clear prioritization, delegation, coaching and creating opportunities for flow, and that over time IT can have a positive impact on the overall culture of an organization.
About the Author
Pat O'Connell is the founder and president of The Conall Group, a consulting and research firm, and an adjunct professor at Columbia University in its Executive Masters of Science In Technology Management Program. Prior to starting The Conall Group, he worked for several years at three of the major global financial services companies, attaining the role of regional CIO of the equity division in one of the firms.