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CIOs Must Face the Talent Challenge

The more CIOs I talk to, the more apparent it becomes that the talent wars have hit a whole new level of sophistication. Here are some intriguing approaches and questions to consider, gathered from my most recent CIO conversations:

Establish rotational assignments between IT and business units: How many of you are currently doing this? If you want your team to have a deep understanding of your business, it's essential to develop deep departmental expertise. Moving your high-performers from group to group can greatly change the organizational mind-set.

Emphasize change leadership over change management: It's vital for the IT organization to lead during the process of change and transformation. How can IT be the enabler in moving the company from fear of change to embracing it?

Become a talent exporter instead of a talent importer: You'll know the IT organization is developing and growing its talent when members of your team are tapped to lead new business initiatives. What are you doing today to make your group the model business unit for the company?

Pay real attention to succession planning: As Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Great by Choice, puts it, "We cannot predict the future. But we can create it." How much thought are you giving to the success of your successor? Are you making the time to build a managerial legacy?

Manage remote teams more effectively: As our work becomes more virtual and mobile, the skill sets needed to manage these teams become far more critical. What are you doing differently to communicate, multitask, collaborate and execute in ways that take advantage of the virtual work environment?

Understand the impact of cultural differences: The more global your workforce, the more pressing the need to have team members in place who can excel in a culturally diverse business climate. As the core provider of collaboration and communication tools, IT can serve as the global proof-of-concept of how a well-integrated company functions.

I suspect many of these practices are already in use at your organizations, but I'd love to hear from you about what's missing from my list. What are some of your best practices for attracting and growing your top talent?

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Read more about staff management in CIO's Staff management Drilldown.

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