Sep 20, 2021 | Updated: 07:19 PM EDT

7 Ways IT Leaders Can Respond To Changes Post COVID-19

May 28, 2021 12:36 PM EDT

In the last year and early this year, we've been in a radically uncertain and turbulent world. This has caused CIOs to wonder how to enable their teams to respond proactively, stay focused and perform at a high level while managing uncertainty.

Here's a look at 7 ways IT leaders can respond to our new normal.

1. Data

If there's one thing that IT leaders agree on, it's the love of data. We live in a world of business data analysis, information technology aggregates, data visualization, IT finance management and algorithm guided decisions.

This is in itself a lifesaver. As the landscape of our world and business environment has continued to shift, we still have our constant. Our true love. Our data.

Whether you are new to IT or have been in the field for some time, you know the value of tracking process, tracking engagement, and tracking results.

2. Measurement

Naturally, with data comes measurement. Even while the world is upside down and we're looking at new performance indicators-we can measure what's going on.

While we're measuring, it also helps to approach this with scientific precision. It's possible that like an experimental scientist, we need to question our own bias and perceptions.

Are we measuring the right things?

Are we being influenced by our hypothesis?

Are we gathering measurements in real-time?

Are we getting accurate measurements from all our sources?

By examining our means of measuring essential operations, practices, and values, we can refine our process with ultimate precision.

3. Testing

Data. Measurement. Testing. It's a logical progression.

In many organizations, due to changes in workflow, we're seeing an uptick in self-testing. This is being used to monitor a wide variety of business operations.

We're testing our internal processes by examining distribution chains. We're testing for individual health, such HbA1c to determine levels of blood sugar to diagnose and monitor diabetes. We're gaining an understanding of consumer preferences with live-response testing.

We're using our skills to develop new tests to determine changes resulting from the pandemic. This affects everything from security, to employee health, to consumer behavior.

With the mindset of testing, we can use data, measurement, and evaluation to make smart decisions about how to move forward.

4. Iteration

In a fixed system, many traditional leaders advocated the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality and functionality. However, in a fluid system, such as the sudden arrival of COVID-19, experimental approaches are required.

The top priority is a commitment to experimentation and iteration.

For many IT professionals, this is a comfortable home-zone. Using a scientific approach of iterative experiments is familiar to experts in engineering and technology.

This commitment to iteration is why the levelheaded approach of CIOs is so valuable to the entire organization.

5. Agility

As many CIOs are finding, agility is a vital necessity.

Agility is considered a top priority for long-established organizations. In the search for innovative solutions, companies are embracing an agile mindset, agile teams, and agile workflow.

One of the hallmarks of personal agility comes to light as leaders grapple with how to entrust their teams to make creative decisions. Without onsite meetings, in-person collaborations, and impromptu input, leaders are relying on their teams to be fully functional.

6. Balance

Amongst leaders, IT is the voice of balance and resilience. The values of balance, calm, and maintaining an optimistic outlook are key for teams who are working remotely.

Optimism has been a challenging topic for many leaders, as new changes emerged often overnight. By keeping an eye on the future, CIOs are helping their teams stay calm, focused, and upbeat.

7. Empathy

Many leaders find that empathy enables them to communicate more effectively with their teams. When working with remote teams, conveying empathy holds even a higher priority.

Stanford psychologist, Jamil Zaki studies empathy and has written a book on it, entitled The War for Kindness. His research highlights the critical importance of empathy training. His research confirms that empathy is a skill that is learnable, and trainable.

Sum Up

The challenges of COVID-19 continue to unfold and CIOs lead the way forward with expertise in data, measurement, and testing. With the values of iteration, agility, balance, and empathy, CIOs are working with teams to create the future-together.

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