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Leadership Development for CIOs

by Jackson B

A business’s success often depends on the collaboration of its management team. A single manager or director usually doesn’t have the combination of interpersonal skills that an entire management team may possess. Each member of a management team is free to focus on his/her area of specialty. This allows each team member to contribute ideas that will aid in identifying problems and working toward solutions. Furthermore, the business also benefits from being viewed from various perspectives because each member of the management team has a different view of where the company should ultimately head towards.

The creation of successful management teams requires a process of carefully screening potential members. Each new member of these teams must undergo a rigorous selection process. There are several methods by which to screen employees that will be accepted into small business ownership groups such as business groups, small business owners clubs, or informal leadership development programs.

One method of screening is the use of the job interview. Often, business leaders and managers do not know the first person who should come into contact with prospective new employees, especially Ceos. An executive search and/or a CEO search often involve interviewing potential Ceos. This method typically takes weeks before the final interview. The chief operating officer and other principals should be kept well informed of all interviews. They should be made aware of what questions will be asked and why these questions are being asked.

Another method of screening is the creation of an “external management resources” document. This type of document typically consists of biographical sketches of key personnel in the business. It also outlines strategic goals for the business, identifies current and future challenges, and identifies external threats. Similar to the “internal management team” document, external management resources document should be reviewed periodically by senior managers.

Another method of selecting an effective leader requires a detailed description of the business. The “business plan” is a written outline of the company’s operations. The purpose of this section is to provide enough information to others involved in the hiring process, such as potential management team members, investors, and peers. The size of this section is dependent upon the size and scope of the business. Generally, it is recommended that businesses divide their business plan into two parts. Part one describes the nature and focus of the business, including the products or services it offers to customers, marketing strategy, financial projections, and management team.

Part two of a business plan often describes the overall objectives of the business. It may describe expansion goals, methods of marketing and selling products or services, expansion or succession planning, and strategic direction. In addition to describing general objectives, a management team section may also describe specific goals related to company growth or sales growth. It may list specific roles and responsibilities for management team members and key personnel, as well as providing guidance on how management team members are supposed to carry out their duties and responsibilities.

A management team section can be used to share information about important milestones and success factors related to the business. These goals and achievements should be shared with peers and other people who may have an interest in the small business’s growth and future. However, some companies place great importance on accomplishments during the planning stages of their businesses. A management team section may be required to address issues that management does not always consider, such as new or unusual goals and responsibilities for management team members, employee benefits, and succession planning.

The small business operations support functions that are most crucial to the success of a company’s operations include the daily operations management team, the CIO, and CIOs, along with other management team members. It is vital that these leaders understand the main work responsibilities of each individual in the small business. It is also essential that these leaders provide insight into the daily operations, including special projects that are outside of the typical CIO’s area of responsibility. By learning about the daily operations, leadership development for CIOs will enhance the day-to-day management team’s knowledge and skills and improve the business’s overall performance.

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