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Evaluating IT Talent: What It Takes to Deliver a Competitive Advantage

Posted 10-10-2012 Print

Wells Fargo Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Kevin Rhein reveals how the company goes about exploring partnerships and the characteristics of talented team members.

For example, we use a "costing" model that provides clarity around technology and operations costs and unit productivity. Our business partners appreciate these metrics and tell us it helps them make informed decisions on the best technology solutions and enhancements for their business. It also helps build and strengthen our partnerships as we work together on specific tactics that can improve the efficiency of their IT spend.

Successful team members and potential candidates are those who appreciate the value of partnering and work hard at developing and maintaining strong partnerships.

Characteristics of Talented Team Members

In just a brief interaction, I can tell almost instantly when team members are truly engaged and happy with the company. They tend to display these common characteristics:

1.    Leadership. Team members who contribute at a high level understand you don't have to be a manager to be a leader. There are many ways you can show leadership and add value in your organization. One suggestion is getting involved in your community. Don't hesitate to serve on nonprofit boards in the community. There are so many worthy organizations that are hungry for committed people willing to roll up their sleeves and take the time to make a difference.

2.    Appreciation for diversity. Our customer demographics are changing rapidly.  We have an ever increasing diverse customer base. Valuing and appreciating differences is a core tenet of Wells Fargo. I am energized by people who want to experience new things and learn about new cultures. The more you broaden your horizons, the more you understand your customers and how to meet their needs. One example of meeting the needs of our diverse customers is our global remittance service. Well Fargo Express Send allows our customers to easily send money to their friends and family in Mexico, and 14 other countries in Asia, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. Technology makes this value-added service possible, but an appreciation and respect for our diverse customers make it work.

3.    Change Agents. I've been in financial services for more than 34 years and I've never seen as much change as we've witnessed over the last 5 years. From industry consolidation to new regulation, we are all challenged to approach our jobs differently and to quickly understand and embrace the "new normal." Change isn't easy, but it often leads to new opportunities. It's important for team members and candidates to show they are open, adaptable, optimistic, and willing to give change a chance.

4.    Relationship builders. You can have all the technical expertise in the world, but if you are not trustworthy, then your career is likely to stall quickly. Relationships are the foundation for a successful career. To build relationships of trust, you need to possess credibility, reliability and intimacy coupled with a modest dose of self orientation, according to the Trusted Advisor. Many people have credibility and reliability, but fall short in their efforts to build intimacy. In the business environment, intimacy means relating to your team members, customers, partners, and communities on a personal level.  At Wells Fargo, we have team members located across the nation and internationally, so it can be hard to get to know everyone personally. We don't let that be an excuse. I and my managers take advantage of opportunities to connect with people at in-person team gatherings, and we leverage technologies like TelePresence to facilitate more personal interactions.


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