Culture is very important in any firm. A good CIO is one that understands, respects and does not fight it. I have tried to be a student of understanding culture. After all, I was head of IT for an America subsidiary with a foreign parent. Let us just say there were times when there was a culture clash. Culture became an important factor in my job and understanding it allowed me to excel at what I did.
Every company, department, organization, and profession has its own set of norms, values, beliefs, and accepted ways. These elements come together to form the culture of the organization. To really understand culture, a CIO must understand that culture is ever changing and not static.
An effective IT leader recognizes the importance of culture and seeks to leverage it. A CIO that fails to perceive the significance of culture often misses opportunities to improve IT and its overall effectiveness and how it is perceived by the business.
What specifically should a CIO do to influence culture? First, they must assess and analyze a company’s existing culture. Second, they must reinforce elements of that culture. Then CIOs can use this knowledge of culture to maximize and improve IT performance.