April Issue

How CIOs can engage the board of directors

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Are directors' eyes glazing over? Use mind maps, analogies and the rule of three to make your presentations come alive.

Mohamoud Jibrell took over as CIO at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in 2010 with a clear mandate: Gain control of IT spending, improve IT service quality, and ensure that HHMI gets value from its IT investments. A seasoned CIO, Jibrell took the necessary steps to execute on that mandate. When it was time for him to report to the board of directors in 2011, he used a large deck of detailed slides to explain the initial problems and the positive effects of his fixes. But Jibrell left the meeting with a sense that he had missed an opportunity to engage the board in a high-level conversation.

At a meeting of the Society for Information Management's Advanced Practices Council (APC), Jibrell asked his peers for suggestions on how to avoid a repeat performance. He got several good ideas.

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