Applying Global Strategy to Local Environments

CIOs must manage regional differences to create enterprise benefits

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3. Urgency is the enemy of intention. You need to focus on the long term, but you cannot let the fires burn.

For Jody Davids, CIO and SVP of Global Business Services at Best Buy, one key to global leadership is a highly strategic governance structure. “When it comes to governance, we get really good at prioritizing requests and deciding who pays for what, but we need to bring it up a layer,” she says. They are looking at everything, including what percentage of their investment will be allocated to mature businesses versus growth areas and what criteria would make them feel comfortable with deviating from their technology standards.

“These are sticky questions that are tough to answer, but they will help guide the volumes of tactical questions to come.”

The challenge to most global leaders is that these big strategic questions take time, but “the business doesn’t have the appetite to wait,” says Davids. So work both layers simultaneously. “The trick is to build out the strategic layer as you work on the tactical. Use those tactical decisions as test cases to further define your more strategic rules of engagement.”

Martha Heller is president of Heller Search Associates, an IT executive search firm, and a co-founder of the CIO Executive Council. She can be reached at martha@hellersearch.com.

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This story, "Applying Global Strategy to Local Environments" was originally published by CIO Executive Council.

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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