This is the second installment of a two-part series. Read Part 1 here.
The IT landscape is evolving fast and one of the best strategies for organizations to keep culture on track is to continuously reinforce the IT/business connection by encouraging teams to partner and focus on business goals. In part one of this series, we shared three keys to unlock world-class culture: articulating your message, encouraging participation, and investing in your people.
These focus areas set the stage to build effective teams and provide challenging career opportunities. How can you ensure your culture is working for you and getting the right results?
Emphasize team building. Acquire and grow talent through interdepartmental teams.
- Commit to professional development so you have time to recruit from within and train employees from other areas when an initiative provides opportunity.
- Leverage internships to tap into bright game-changers with new perspectives around usability, innovation for applications and technology – disruption is good!
- Bump up the bonus structure for employees who successfully recruit new talent.
- Capitalize on Agile techniques to broaden job responsibilities. Dev Ops can be an open recruiting and training area for employees who want to broaden their base even if they stay in their existing department.
Support career growth: Retain high-potential talent by providing maximum growth opportunities.
- Ensure that new employees are on-boarded, have clear role definition, are trained and have a mentor. Identify and manage poor fits quickly and fairly.
- Allow rotations into and out of IT to reinforce the value of business experience.
- Give feedback and career coaching regularly to ensure employees are developing, have a plan and know their value.
- Insist on regular training, development and new experiences, and provide the time and space for it. Set up a training sabbatical structure every few years if budget allows.
A world-class culture is one of the most effective recruiting tools you can have because the best ambassadors are your employees. Be sure to reward behavior that aligns with company values and recognize results that support the business strategies and culture. Gartner reports that as digitalization expands beyond IT into more areas of business, demand for people with specialized technology skills will continue to increase. Competing for talent is expected to get more intense. As the battle for talent escalates, companies must focus on culture and opportunities to recruit great candidates and retain top performers.
To assist with your talent quest, be sure to check out Merritt College Cybersecurity Career Day on Nov. 2. The event will offer CISOand Instructor panels, as well as a keynote address from Cisco’s Chief Privacy Officer Michelle Dennedy.
Instructor Panel Announced: Teaching Students Cybersecurity Skills Required for the Future
To ensure an excellent cybersecurity program at your business or organization, you
must have top talent. And with more focus than ever around security in a digital world, an IT talent gap looms on the horizon as industry works to recruit top candidates to fill a fast-growing number of security roles.
On Nov. 2, Merritt College will host its Cybersecurity Career Day in Oakland, Calif. By melding thought leadership panels and candidate networking, this event will help business leaders understand the future cybersecurity landscape and connect to students preparing to enter the workforce. I am particularly excited about the Instructor panel that has just been announced, which will focus on teaching cybersecurity skills for the future.
This instructor-led panel will be crucially important as it will explore the areas of concern that business and organization IT leaders face to staff for cybersecurity in a shrinking pool of talent. And talent is what makes this cybersecurity program special. Learn more about the program.
The Career Day event underscores the important role IT and cybersecurity experts will play in the global economy moving forward with panelists sharing unique insights based on years of real-world experience. While there is no cost to attend, space is limited. If you’d like to reserve a spot, please email your name, company name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Secret to Sustaining an Empowered Culture
At StrataFusion, we like to share what we are seeing and learning at Information Technology and Services organizations that are in sync with the business and delivering great results. One of the best predictors of success is a vibrant culture. In the systems world, we stress the importance of people, process and technology, and there’s a reason why the word “people” comes first. So what can you do to connect with your teams and build a strong culture?
Three Keys to Unlock World Class IT Culture
- Articulate your message. First and foremost, ensure your IT strategy, project portfolio and focus areas are directly and dynamically tied to business imperatives and goals that your team understands.
- Encourage participation. The perspectives people bring to the table are crucial for success, and a feedback loop instills collaboration and enriches contribution. Value diverse knowledge sources by bringing in team members from other business areas to cross-pollinate and innovate.
- Invest in your people. Winning the talent war is a never-ending journey. Organizations must hire and continuously provide training and development opportunities to people who are energetic, tolerate ambiguity and are excited to learn new approaches and skills.
The Power of Culture
Culture plays a bigger role in IT success than many leaders think. It’s an attention-getter that shines through in your best people, as they also recruit the highest potential new employees. Culture must clearly articulate authentic company values, and these enrich your product and services. A strong culture is built on a foundation of trust. This means maintaining an environment that challenges the status quo and offers learning experiences – from success and failures – to clear the way for risk and rewards. It also means enabling teamwork and promoting diversity, because everyone brings a unique skill set and point of view to the table.
How can you strengthen culture? Hire, train and then empower employees to work with accountability. Take an agile approach and provide maximum flexibility to meet business needs. Reward self-management successes and discourage micro-managers. Never neglect communication of good or bad news so people understand the organization’s goals, IT strategy, plan and results. It’s crucial to update progress frequently and get input about how your team can tangibly support it.
Today’s IT teams have innovative ideas to bring to business collaboration, so take advantage of it. When you are truly committed to cultivating a culture of growth, the payoff is huge.
This is the first blog installment in a series on building world-class IT. The next installment will focus on building teams and careers.
New Partners, Diverse Experience
StrataFusion understands the spectrum of needs clients face and is expanding its partnership with experts who are solving today’s business challenges. Earlier this year, StrataFusion welcomed new partner Edward Wustenhoff, whose background brings exceptional expertise in digital transformation, design, management and continuous improvement.
Since joining StrataFusion earlier this year in February, Edward has been helping clients to move their IT infrastructure teams and technology toward the next generation of IT readiness for cloud, containers and distributed micro services.
Edward guides IT organizations to stay aligned with the latest organizational principles, processes and technologies. He brings a strategic mindset of how to transition IT organizations and enable new technologies for business success. Leveraging his deep understanding of all aspects of cloud services, Edward is uniquely qualified to help organizations adapt to the ever-changing landscape of IT technologies and the associated management challenges that come with transformation. With an impressive record of success gained from several decades driving design and adoption of world-class technology infrastructures, global operations management and deep technology provider understanding, Edward adds an exciting dimension of executive-level insight to advise StrataFusion clients.
Before joining StrataFusion, he was responsible for internal IT infrastructure at industry leaders like Netflix and Applied Materials. Serving as a Chief IT Consultant at Sun Microsystems, he developed and published the Operations Management Capability Framework and Model, and the associated assessment service for the Professional Services division. He also was part of the Advanced Internet Practice helping ISPs and ASPs design, deploy and manage large-scale infrastructures.
“The depth of experience that Edward brings to our partnership at StrataFusion adds another dimension of capability to serve our clients,” says Ken Crafford, StrataFusion’s founding partner. “Our clients face many challenges as the business landscape evolves, and our aim is to always have the right expertise to help navigate change and continuously improve.”
Need guidance from a trusted advisor? Learn more about StrataFusion here.