A One-Time-Only Opportunity: Q&A with Peter High | Straight Talk

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After three months in a new position, any problem that you have not identified becomes your problem.

“For years, the CIO was the C-level executive with the shortest or near shortest average tenure,” writes Peter High in the introduction to “The CIO’s First 100 Days,” a collection of articles he has written for Forbes. “It was easy to choose the CIO as a scapegoat,” continues High, “if things were amiss within the company generally or within IT more specifically. Given the fact that so much that is managed by the IT leader can be esoteric in the minds of other business executives within the company, it is essential to push hard in one’s first 100 days to build relationships, to communicate a plan, and to track progress against that plan.”

High is the president of Metis Strategy, a CIO advisory firm that he founded in 2001. In addition to his regular column at Forbes.com, he is the author of two books, World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2009) and Implementing World Class IT Strategy: How IT Can Drive Organizational Innovation (Jossey-Bass, September 2014). He also has written for the Wall Street Journal, CIO magazine, CIO Insight, Information Week, and other publications. Since 2008, he has moderated a podcast entitled “The Forum on World Class IT” (www.forumonworldclassit.com), which features a wide array of IT practitioners and thought leaders.

Of the nearly 200 in-depth interviews with IT leaders High has conducted in the past several years, some 20 have focused on CIOs’ approaches in their first three months on the job. “We have one chance to make a first impression,” writes High. He recently spoke with CIO Straight Talk Editor-in-Chief Paul Hemp and Managing Editor Ritesh Garg about how to make the most of those first impressions.

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