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How To Talk Like a CIO 161

Posted by samzenpus
from the leveraging-your-aggressive-mediocrity dept.
itwbennett writes "Today's CIOs speak business-buzzwords as a second language. And there's a good reason for that. There is a trend among CIOs to distance themselves from being regarded as technologists and to put themselves forward as business strategists. It boils down to one simple rule: Just as you should never be the first to mention compensation in the interview process, you should never be the first to break out the tech jargon in a business setting."
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How To Talk Like a CIO

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  • Re:Easy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:23PM (#43747163) Homepage Journal

    Believe it or not, that's the opposite of what the summary says.

    No it's not. The summary (and the article, which is essentially the same fluff as the summary repeated several times--I RTFA'd so you don't have to) says to avoid technical jargon, which has actual meaning and is therefore terrifying to people who want to be executives. The bullshit list is business jargon, which is inherently meaningless and is therefore very useful to C*Os and those who like to imagine themselves in such positions.

  • by Tridus (79566) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:44PM (#43747303) Homepage

    That about covers it. We get this nonsense in the government too. Senior management does their "lean six sigma strategic planning" for the year, and comes up with a giant poster on the wall of the department priority plan.

    It's got lots of lovely sounding buzzphrases and fuzzy things, but absolutely nothing that anybody who does any of the real work can actually do. So it's totally useless. Business goes on as usual, and we kind of nod politely when they're in the room and wait for them to leave so we can get back to work.

    If you want to get by as a "leader" these days, the goal seems to be to offer no actual leadership, no firm plans, and no position on anything.

  • Re:Naturally (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:46PM (#43747311)

    the people with the power do absolutely none of the work

    Fixed that for you.

    But on a more serious note, I work above a warehouse for an import company. The owner is a multi-millionaire Chinese ex-pat. It's pretty damn sobering to see him weeding, sweeping and driving a forklift when he has time. He doesn't have to, and he's not doing it to motivate his staff. For him, it's just the right thing to do.

    Restepca

  • Re:Easy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:56PM (#43747379) Homepage Journal

    If you didn't get that from TFA, you may have read it, but you certainly didn't understand it.

    I'll just re-quote from the article the passage I quoted in a previous post:

    The senior VP had serious technical chops, but he wasn't about to demonstrate them in front of his peers. He feared, justifiably, that if he did so he'd get classified as a techie and taken out of consideration as a possible future CEO.

    Understanding this is pretty easy; if you choose not to do so, that's your business, so to speak.

  • Re:Easy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pkbarbiedoll (851110) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @09:41PM (#43747673)

    What I gathered from this article is that it is desireable in a coporate setting to be extroverted. Extroverts are rewarded, introverts are pocket-protector wearing peons.

    No wonder everyone hates management.

  • by Kreigaffe (765218) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @09:44PM (#43747681)

    Exactly how it is at every company everywhere.

    Sometimes I cringe at all the waste. Not the time, because the people who develop that shit, their time is worthless to begin with -- the actual physical waste, all the shit they produce to make themselves feel good but is only ever sneered at by employees that actually do work for their paycheck.

    Constant improvement is secret code for constantly creating more complicated procedures under the guise of 'streamlining' a procedure.

  • by jbeaupre (752124) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @10:20PM (#43747887)

    We build stuff and it better damn well work. So....

    Our CEO is a physicist. All of the people in upper management have degrees in science or engineering, including sales and marketing. Yeah, you have to use business jargon, but if you don't talk tech, you don't get to participate at a strategic level. The less you know, the lower in the pecking order you are around here.

  • Let me be the first to say, "Bullshit". I'm not in that interview chair because I enjoy the process. I'm not planning on working there because that's how I want to spend 9+ solid hours of my day ( although I do enjoy my work ). I'm there to earn a check.

    Likewise, they aren't interviewing me because I'm an insightful and witty bastard ( although I am ). Neither are they going to hire me because looking at my pretty face is the highlight of their day. They want production out of me.

    Now, that won't be the first thing out of my mouth, but I certainly will not hobble myself in an interview by letting them dictate what we talk about, when. Once I feel satisfied that I can do the work they want, and further, I think they feel satisfied I can do the work they want me to do, compensation becomes the next point of topic. If they don't bring it up, I will.

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