“If you progress on one career path, you can become blinkered,” he says. “Diversity in life experiences makes the difference.”
Jones keeps in touch with his former police colleagues and is aware of other officers who moved to IT, but as far as he knows he is the only one who moved to the rank of CIO.
If you progress on one career path, you can become blinkered
There are two skills CIOs need to acquire, he says: Financial management, and program management certification.
“When I came through the ranks, you didn’t need that [program management certification], you just needed to have practical experience. Now companies look for certification to get past first base,” he says.
Jones recommends upskilling through executive courses, webcasts, reading articles and attending industry and vendor briefings. “You have to stay current,” he says. “There is still a learning component not only from a technology point of view but also from a people component.”
Jones says he and his team are working on 60 projects concurrently, with 30 more “in the pipeline”.
“As I finish more, the list will never go down.”
Having a good relationship with the business and key stakeholders is important in this type of environment, “so they buy into your prioritisation of those projects and align them where the company is going and wants to do”.
“The important thing in a management position is you have got to make a decision based on information you have at hand,” he says. “If you sit on things and wait for complete facts every time, you can slow the organisation down.”
Related: High-definition leadership
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