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Improving Your Value Equation

April 26, 2009
by Tim Tolan
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Here's a short list of ideas that can help you achieve greater success and increase your value equation in the industry

As CIO, you can't be all things to all people. Where is your sweet spot? What is it that you're (really) good at that will add the most value to your organization in these challenging economic times? Stay committed to the things that matter so you can have the greatest impact on the organization. Spend time on that project until it is completed. Avoid the temptation of jumping into multiple projects at the expense of the one or two things that can really make a difference.

When the CEO calls on you to complete a project, jump in with both feet. Do more than he/she asks and always deliver in advance of the deadline. Make sure the CEO knows that he/she can always count on you to deliver. This will go a long way in defining your value to your CEO and the organization.

Set goals for yourself and your department. Then stretch goals to exceed expectations. Research shows people who set goals accomplish more, feel better, appreciate the work they do and are more likely to earn higher incomes. Written goals are best. Putting them on paper is a great way to ingrain your goals into your emotional and physical efforts. Have your managers write down their goals too. Move the needle every day - the time to take action is now.

Set goals, but act as if today is the most important day, and you will be on your way to becoming the very best at what you do. Strive for personal best and try to be in the top 10 percent of all CIOs in the country. Seek out speaking opportunities and get published. Write a blog. Become vocal and find a way to showcase your expertise.

Develop positive routines, such as contacting your internal customers regularly. How do they view the service levels from IT? Have you asked them lately? Find ways to make sure IT is viewed positively throughout the enterprise. Develop best practices in every way possible to ensure that every service/technology delivered by IT is the very best you have to offer. Send informal surveys to see how others in the organization view IT. Take the results and meet with your team to discuss areas of improvement. They will rise to the occasion. I recommend Survey Monkey as a survey tool to measure your quality of service - it will amaze you how much you can improve with a little information.

These are stressful times. Blow off some steam by exercising three to four times a week. You will feel better, and exercising helps keep your energy level high. It can help you perform at the highest levels you're capable of, both in business and in personal development. Humans were built to run, walk and jump. Find ways to increase exercise and overall fitness levels and set aside four to six hours each week.

Finally, think about those who have been instrumental in helping you grow and prosper. Reach out to them today and thank them. I'm sure that others have made small sacrifices along the way for you and gave you a break when you needed one. We can't succeed alone. Acknowledge the people around you and build stronger relationships. They will remember your call. Trust me.

Healthcare Informatics 2009 May;26(5):54