As technology and software, in particular, become central to the future of all businesses, CEOs should be asking whether their team is ready. Since IT leaders have a big role to play in helping to define and realize the business future, I asked the #CIOChat for their thinking on this topic. These IT leaders shared many ideas that should be useful to all leaders experiencing business change.\nJay Ferro, global chief information and technology officer for Examworks, said this effort \u201cmust include ensuring you, as the CIO, have the right skills for the future too.\u201d This is an important thought because as the information age continues to move into full swing, the speed for personal skill obsolescence only increases as was divined in Alvin Toffler\u2019s \u201cFuture Shock\u201d and \u201c3rd Wave.\u201d An interesting response to this challenge has been for businesses to hire younger CIOs. For this reason, the average age of a CIO has dropped according to Ernst and Young to 43. One CIO that occasions the #CIOChat has even taken on the Twitter Moniker of "Kid CIO." \u00a0\nWith this said, #CIOChat members do have 14 ideas that you can put into practice to have your team ready for the future. Without further ado, let\u2019s explore each one.\n\nBe the leader that creates success by building loyalty and preparing your staff for what's coming next.\nShare the vision, encourage openness and collaboration, and break up your existing knowledge silos.\nHire right, fire fast, coach and mentor your team, build a sharing culture, and lead. And while doing these, help build your people up and give them opportunities to stand out.\nInstead of looking for rock stars, ninjas, and gurus, look for high "EQ," a desire to continually evolve, and intrinsic motivation.\nIn addition to building the team and the individual, it is also critical to get rid of the people that do not a fit. Dead weight can damage the productivity and morale for your entire dept.\nPut investment and attention into soft skills, communications, and the ability to learn and adapt quickly.\nUse reverse mentoring. Select mentoring relationships that serve as a forum for learning both for the mentor and the mentee.\nContract for immediate skills shortfalls (but build in a skills transfer to the program). Train for medium-term needs, but also organize for long-term needs.\n\u201cAs a techie, upgrade yourself continually. It is mandatory in today\u2019s environment.\u201d\nInvest in staff and develop a program to help everyone, including yourself, grow and stay relevant to your enterprise\u2019s future.\nHire people who want to learn and be part of something bigger. And give them chances to excel.\nRemember your best people are often the ones that you take a chance on.\nLeaders need to have education and training as a budgeted priority, not "among first to be cut" in a budget change.\n\u201cOutsource 1-foot-wide, 5-miles-deep skills.\u201d Maintain in-house "everyday" skills and administrative support.\n\nParting remarks\nThere are a lot of great ideas here from #CIOChat members. Two ideas that I especially like is reverse mentoring and taking a chance on people. As someone who often looks for examples in a great movie, \u201cThe Intern\u201d is an example of both the mentor and mentored growing from the process. And since football season is upon us, I like to think of the impact of taking a chance on someone as being the true life story of \u201cInvincible.\u201d It tells the story of Vince Papale of the Philadelphia Eagles. Dick Vermeil, the Eagles coach, took a chance on him and changed his team's position. Hopefully all of these ideas will impact you and help you prepare your team for the future. And thank you to the CIOs and IT leaders of the #CIOChat who share amazing ideas every week for IT leaders and business managers alike.