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Posted by Mr. Nathan Slovin on Feb 9th, 2016 2:38pm

Nathan Slovin, Director of Client Excellence Programs at Advanced Solutions International (ASI) & the iMIS Business Excellence Forum (iBEF) - nslovin@advsol.com

At ASI we sell an Engagement Management System called iMIS and to engage our clients beyond the IT department we host 20 Executive-Level Conferences worldwide where we invite CEOs and others to participate in a one-day event that helps lead clients to strategies and tactics that can help increase engagement and create efficiencies.

To start iBEF Conferences in 2015 we told the parable about a mature fish who, on passing two energetic young fish frolicking in the ocean, asks them, “How is the water?”

After the old fish passes one of the younger fish turns to the other and says, “What’s water?”

He’s saying how’s the water and they’re saying what’s water.

The immediate point of the fish story is that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about.  Sometimes it’s not easy to get past the obvious.  There are times however, when what is obvious, almost unworthy of comment, is what needs to draw our attention.

With this story in mind it was quite interesting to me that today after inviting (by telephone) the executive director at one of our client organizations (client since 1996) to one of our iBEF Conferences he said to me, “What’s iMIS?”

My first instinct was, “Really?!”

And then I returned to the fish story and thought while what is obvious to us all (this executive director included) is that things have changed, what is not obvious is “whether the kind of leadership required to move our organizations forward has also changed?”

So please consider and comment on the following:

  1. As a leader what can you afford not to know?  I think we would all agree that “Delegation is good, maybe even critical, but abdication, not okay.”
  2. Embrace the idea of “you” as the leader for technology investments and technology direction, Using best practices to lead your technology team, Examine your existing tools to enable continuous performance improvement
  3. This conversation needs to include your input. Your department managers need your leadership to make tough decisions so that you can successfully navigate your organization into the future. 
  4. You can still delegate, but you need to retain some critical involvement.  We are not suggesting that you do data entry, create a web page, but we are suggesting that you need to be part of the conversation, set direction, inject business strategy into your technology decisions.



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