CIO Competencies & Use In Real Life

Back in 2005, Gartner proposed 25 Competencies for Information professionals, that I rediscovered through this HBS article and have restated here:

Technical (T) Business (B) Behavioral (H)
T1 Understanding existing systems and technology
T2 Designing and developing applications
T3 Applying procedures, tools, and methods
T4 Integrating systems
T5 Designing technical architecture
T6 Understanding emerging technologies
B1 Understanding business practices and approaches
B2 Understanding business organization, politics, and culture
B3 Behaving commercially
B4 Understanding and analyzing the cornpetitive situation
B5 Managing projects
B6 Managing change In the business from IT applications
B7 Planning, prioritizing, and administering work
B8 Communicating listening and gathering information
B9 Focusing on customers
H1 Leading, inspiring, and building trust
H2 Thinking creatively and innovating
H3 Focusing on results
H4 Thinking strategically
H5 Coaching, delegating and developing
H6 Building relationships and teamwork
H7 Influencing and persuading
H8 Principled negotiating
H9 Resolving conflicts and problems
H10 Being adaptable

These are copyright 2005 Gartner (sorry Gartner, Google doesn’t love you enough for me to find them on your website to link to).

While they might not be “new”, they do provide an interesting take on the multi-faceted character needed to thrive and lead in an Information World.  I like to use things like this as a measure of how I’m doing, keeps me on top of what I should be doing, and also reminds me what I shouldn’t be doing ;-).

Something that does strike me as odd is that some of them could be seen to be slightly incompatible with each other – for example all the latest thinking and writing is focussed on providing a business lead, Information shapes the future of the business, and we need to understand our business and those factors that affect it, in order to derive the best Information needs.

To this extent, for an information professional, one would expect the Technical (T) factors, particularly the middle three (T2, T3, T4) to be delegated away, such that the focus can be on:

  •  T1 to understand where the business is at now (using B1 & B2), and
  • T6 to identify what can help business move forward (using B4, B6, (B5), B8 & B9).

Only then can T5 become an option, which is where the Behavioural factors can step in.  To that extent, rather than being a list, perhaps these could be restated as a dependancy network.  Perhaps I’ll try at some point.

What I find cute, is that I’m often using a lot of these competencies in real life outside the work environment.  How often are we in a situation, in the heat of the moment, when a cause to remember some of these enables us to find a new tack and resolve stuff. 

I’m naturally strong at H6, building relationships & teamwork, which puts me at odds with a lot of my “isolationist” mates – in essence, we all want to belong to something, even if that something is to be seen as isolationist.  This is where I find considering the influence, persuasion and inspirational aspects important.

Its even better when others do this for you – I was recently selected for a panel, where the key characteristic offered about me when I asked “why was I recommended?” was my integrity and fairness.  Job done (at least in that ambassadors eyes!)


About Tim Heywood

Brief Bio: work: Information Systems governance, electronic security, best business use of computer apps. See my about page. non-work: sailor, scuba diver, Bournemouth live music junkie. See
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