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How to Move into the COO, VP of Shared Service, R&D or Digital Transformation Roles

In my last post, I shared Eric Dirst’s four general strategies for positioning yourself for a senior business role.  Eric is President of Online Services at DeVry Education Group, and he presented his talk called “How IT Leaders Can Move into Business Leadership Roles” to our group.  

After giving us his general strategies, he ended the talk with specific steps you can take to position yourself for roles such as COO or VP of Shared Services, R&D or Digital Transformation,

While I don’t have the space to give you every tip in this post, here are six tips Eric shared for these roles:

COO or VP of Shared Services

Get Yourself on Multi-Department/Divisional Projects

And not just in an IT role!  While he was a CIO, Eric got himself on an operational excellence project and got full exposure with the Chief Accounting Executive at the time.

Understand How Your Apps Improve the Business Metrics.

The business doesn’t see the “plumbing” of IT. But they do see the apps and how they drive the business.  Make sure your apps are helping the business metrics and talk to your network of peers about that.

Help the Heads of Departments YOU want to run.

Go help the head of the department you are interested in.  Why?  Business people always move around.  Faster than IT.  The fact that you helped that business partner will put you in a position to have that opportunity in the future.

R&D & Digital Transformation

Fund Dedicated R&D Tech Teams

Cut some of your budget and fund your own R&D group today!  Learn how to do pilots and fail fast.  If you are already running a smaller R&D shop, you’ll be in a position to run a larger R&D shop in the future.

Know what your competitors are doing

Most IT executives are not aware of their competition.  Reverse this!  Make sure you look at the competition and become aware of what they are doing.

Pitch Your ideas!

Get used to pitching your ideas and making these projects happen.

Conclusion:  Thanks to Eric for sharing the strategies to help position yourself for a business leadership role!

Be sure to watch Eric’s full presentation and get all of his advice here. Watch the whole presentation here.

Updated: March 21, 2017 — 6:03 pm

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