Tech Leaders: Best Practices for Aligning w/ Business Units


Tech leaders that want to advance their careers are realizing the importance of partnering with business units. Business leadership is clearly communicating that they want tech leaders to work more effectively with business units.

Below are best practices tech leaders can use to build these critical relationships.

  1. Work as a team to develop goals for your business unit customers. As an example, knowing what business units need when they begin thinking about it allows time to plan for their needs.
  2. Nothing is more powerful than really knowing your customer – how they think, how they feel, how they make decisions, how they communicate, etc… This can be achieved by spending time and asking good questions.
  3. Stories are a great way to communicate. People love stories and relate to them. Think of stories from you experience that communicate the point you want to make.
  4. Have an objective when you meet with a business unit. Think about the questions you want to ask ahead of time. Always be diplomatic in communication and consider sending your goal and questions ahead of the meeting.
  5. Actively listen to what they say. Strive to talk less and listen more.
  6. Remember, they probably don’t see the world, think, or solve problems the way you do.
  7. Ask follow-up questions to clarify.
  8. Tell them what you understood them to say to ensure communication was effective. This is really important when communicating people that think differently than you, which is usually the case if you are technical and they are from a business unit. Follow up with a brief email restating the request (if there was a work request).
  9. Have business conversations – not technical conversations. There is NEVER a need to speak at a more technical level than business unit leaders can understand.

Always remember, asking the right question at the right time is extremely powerful. Further, you won’t do these things perfectly. The important part is that you try.

Pete Hendrix is CEO of Integritec, a Telecom technology broker and thought leader on achieving competitive advantage through technology which comes from effective collaboration and communication between IT leadership, the C-Suite and other business unit leaders. He can be reached at

IT Leadership Development: How to say “No” (Part 3)

Pete Hendrix No(Part 3)

Many IT leaders don’t include feelings of others when thinking, making decisions and communicating with others.  This isn’t bad or negative, it has led us to much of the great technology we have.

This three part paper provides awareness, tools and suggestions to manage this trait in dealing with others, which will boost careers via better relationships with business units and subordinates.

The Art of Saying No Part #3

Moving Forward With Solutions In The Changing Role of the CIO

Modern businessCIO’s often struggle with the changing role that is becoming more and more about business leadership. This is not new information, much is written about problems with IT.  Too often though, all fingers point at IT leadership.  I believe this is not all together accurate and the solution requires effort from business unit leaders and executive management as well as IT leadership. This article moves from problem to solution and is one of the best I have seen.

Why chief information officers can

struggle in a leadership role

How Prepared is Your Organization During A Winter Storm?

SSPX0144In light of the winter storm warnings and the weather that up north has been getting this winter, I wanted to see about how organizations can prepare not only their business but also their employees for winter storms. Is it not our employees that make the heartbeat of our business run? I came across this very interesting find from FEMA. It is the call for organizations to take leadership in the preparation of the communities they serve with the help of their employees to ensure the safety of their employees, that business continues on and that the community around them is prepared.  When disasters strike it becomes a community issue. The America’s Prepareathon is a smart plan to go with to help those we employ and those our businesses serve. Check out the plan below to see if your organization will participate.

Extraordinary Bosses

Man controlling assembly process at factoryThe culture of the workplace starts at the top. Extraordinary bosses make a huge difference in the culture of the workplace. By following these 10 simple things that an extraordinary boss does you can change the culture of the workplace, engage employees and create a better team effort amongst your employees. Click the link below to read the article I have found very informative.

10 Things Extraordinary Bosses Give Employees
Good bosses care about getting important things done. Exceptional bosses care about their people.

 By Jeff Haden Contributing Editor, Inc.