INSTANT MBA: Give All Departments Their Due Influence

Tina Nunno

Photo: Gartner

Today’s advice comes from coverage of Gartner Inc. CIO Tina Nunno’s presentation at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo:”What’s the No.1 rule? The customer is always right, so when you call end users or your internal stakeholders your customers, you are giving them the right to tell you what to do.”

To retain a sense of agency, Nunno says, use words like “partners,” “colleagues,” or “associates” to maintain a balance of power and sense of cooperation (rather than superiority/subordinance) between departments in the same office, even when one department’s tasks hinge on another’s needs.

Nunno specialises in helping executives work together, with boards, and to devise effective strategies. To successfully maintain a balance of power in the office, she says, all branches of leadership must be comfortable wielding influence in the workplace.

For example, tech leaders, who often find themselves on the “outskirts” of the office, have to be comfortable and confident enough to assert their own strategies to become “influencers” on an equal level to their more traditional managerial counterparts.

And managers who are used to running the show must be receptive to offshoot departments becoming more involved and engaged with the intra-office strategy development process. That’s the key way to keep internal dynamics balanced and fair — which also means keeping employees happy, she says.

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