An inspirational IT director can make all the difference when it comes to having an IT department that is a best place to work, says John Leighfield, president of professional association the Institute for the Management of Information Systems and a judge of the Best Places to Work in IT 2006 awards.
"A best place to work will have a leader who is inspiring, who gives a clear sense of direction, possesses the ability to communicate it, and shows all members of staff how they can contribute to achieving the department's objectives, as well as motivate them to do so," says Leighfield.
"Such a leader will also ensure that IT staff get to work on projects that are really interesting but that are also perceived by management to be of real value to the enterprise. This creates an environment in which staff are clearly valued, and know that they are."
Similarly, an inspirational leader will ensure that every member of staff has a good future, as well as an excellent present.
"They will ensure that all staff have personal development plans that are constructed to help them reach their maximum potential, promote an environment in which communications are transparent and effective, and working patterns are sensible."
By paying attention to these factors, an inspirational leader will increase productivity in all its forms and reduce staff attrition.
This was first published in October 2005