Iain.Smith

Contributor

Iain Smith is Director of Diaz Research, a research and advisory company focusing on IT people and organization best practices. He has 25 years experience working with blue chip companies on the IT HR issues and solutions .

His clients are mainly $20billion-plus US and European companies, who recognize the specialist knowledge that he brings to the subject of organizing and managing the IT workforce. He is a keen observer of both publicized and underlying trends and this informs his thinking and approach.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Iain Smith and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

Articles by Iain.Smith

Tech Team Talk

In praise of paranoia

Paranoia is not seen as a good thing but it is increasingly necessary in the complex world of IT. As Andy Grove of Intel used to say, only the paranoid survive.
September 28, 2017
Time to fire your frozen middle managers?
Tech Team Talk

Time to fire your frozen middle managers?

Middle managers are often seen as people who are conservative and do not want to change things. In short, they are seen as blockers who prevent CIOs from achieving key objectives. But by thinking more carefully about the middle management role, we can understand how better to engage them and get them to support and even enhance our change programs.
September 5, 2017
Hire thinkers, not groupthinkers
Tech Team Talk

Hire thinkers, not groupthinkers

There is a worrying groupthink – and groupthink is pretty much the same as non-think – in some IT circles today. For example, waterfall, on-premises hardware and ERP tend to be seen as “bad” while agile and AI are “good.” But some in IT think quite superficially about specific technologies: they just go with the flow. CIOs need IT people whose thoughts are less predictable, and more thoughtful, inquisitive and open-minded. So how can they find more such people?
June 29, 2017
Underrated at work? Here’s why
Tech Team Talk

Underrated at work? Here’s why

Crazily, most people think they are above-average performers. This can create difficulties for team managers, but a closer look at research in this area can help us manage through this performance paradox.
February 21, 2017
Fix the IT leadership deficit now
Tech Team Talk

Fix the IT leadership deficit now

Engagement in IT functions tends to be lower than elsewhere, and it is time for CIOs to act. Leadership capability can be developed if employers help managers to understand why their people are not engaged.
January 13, 2017
Calling all coders: is AI coming for your job?
Tech Team Talk

Calling all coders: is AI coming for your job?

Exciting advances in artificial intelligence (AI) don't mean that it's time to quit your professional job — least of all your software development job.
August 16, 2016
Beating the bell curve blues
Tech Team Talk

Beating the bell curve blues

Performance rating and comparisons involve the much-hated "bell curve" distribution, which is imposed on managers and causes endless grumbling. But can we do anything about the bell curve blues?
May 24, 2016
It’s time to talk about IT talent
Tech Team Talk

It’s time to talk about IT talent

Many IT functions are not equipped to meet the higher expectations that cloud offerings have triggered. CIOs must develop a talent strategy and implement a talent roadmap.
April 12, 2016