An IT department's credibility is based on perception rather than performance, and is influenced more by its relationship with management and political adeptness than its ability to deliver a tangible service.
IT professionals often construe political behaviour as being manipulative and unscrupulous, and either avoid it or confront it.
The consequences are serious, and can mean IT has little influence on business decisions; is often unrepresented at board level; is held in low regard; and has little credibility.
So, what new skills do you need to develop?
If you are an IT manager, it is probable that you are a highly intelligent person with significant cognitive (left brain) capabilities. To significantly increase your chance of success you must develop your emotional (right brain) capabilities. You must:
This may sound tough, but the rewards are significant.
Dr Robina Chatham is a lecturer at the Cranfield School of Management
This was first published in March 2000