Being a turnaround CIO has its good and bad points. First there is the excitement of trying to fix things and implement process and procedures that are currently not in place. You come into a company with a fresh set of eyes and the eagerness to get things done and functioning. All eyes are on you to show change. You are a shiny new penny.
The bad points. You do not know how bad the situation is until you get in and rollup your sleeves. Issues seem to be superficial until you begin to peel back the layers and discover the core is rotted and you cannot fix one issue until you fix the multitude of issues around it. Your 30 day plan morphes into a one year plan with all the tasks becoming critical for success.
You have to turn around an underperforming department and make it a high performing value driven group.The pressure is on you to show immediate value and change. You have to answer the question, “Was hiring a CIO the right decision?” Or the more pressing question, “Was he/she the right person for the job?”
You have to sell yourself and your ideas. Remember in a turnaround situation, the previous IT managment was not getting the job done. That is why they hired you. However, there are still people loyal to the previous regime and that is yet another hurdle for you to overcome.
Being a Turnaround CIO is not for the weak of heart. There will be plenty of long nights, debates, hand holding and disappointments along the way. Take it one day at a time, one issue at a time….Take a deep breath and remember they hired you to make change.