The CIO Show: Is your team 'culture' letting you down?

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Culture is a word that was barely if ever bandied about amongst tech leaders and their teams in Australia even five or so years ago, despite its addition to the broader corporate and human resources playbook some time before then.

Now, and especially after the experiences of last year, culture is a serious concern for CIOs looking to build the right teams capable of working together to best solve the biggest challenges facing their organisations, and averting project failures.

But how do they actually achieve this? What things needs to be considered in creating small or entire teams, from screening to hiring, mentoring and even firing?

Johnny Serrano, chief information officer with global mining software and digital solutions company, Ground Probe, explains how making culture a key pillar of his innovation framework is encouraging greater inclusivity, engagement and ultimately real results in the form of faster and smarter problem solving.

In many ways it was his way of tapping into the diverse voices and perspectives within Ground Probe’s global tech team, and capitalising on the closer working relationship that had to develop in response to COVID-19.

Nicole Gorton, APAC director for recruitment consultant, Robert Half, cites recent and compelling findings that more culturally-balanced teams in terms of diversity and inclusion report significantly higher levels of engagement, retention and actual innovation.

Among the key red flags she sees is a still pervasive tendency of CIOs – in fact many managers – to hire people that look and walk like them, while often getting too preoccupied with technical capabilities at the risk of discounting important ‘soft skills.’

And Rowan Dollar, recently named head of innovation with the Public Sector Network, shares his perspectives on how culture can make or break teams, and how it’s typically the main contributor to catastrophic project failures.

On this, he notes customers and vendors should take steps towards ensuring their respective cultures and people are aligned at the startling line, lest the first time their CEOs meet is in court.

However, the fundamental driver for improving organisational culture, Dollar says, should always be ensuring everyone is able to properly execute the job of creating better customer experiences.

It’s hard enough for organisations that have great culture, let alone those that aren’t even thinking about theirs.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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