Gartner Research

Decisive Leadership: Making and Surviving Difficult CIO Decisions

Published: 01 September 2009

ID: G00171480

Analyst(s): Tina Nunno , Dave Aron


Successful CIOs master difficult decisions by applying frameworks that improve the quality, speed and process of decision making. They also weigh mostly "soft" variables that can be expressed in a CIO decision formula applicable to any difficult situation.

Table Of Contents
  • Overview
  • There is a predictable set of CIO decision challenges
  • A decision formula can help ensure decision success
  • CIOs can apply the decision formula to their most difficult decisions
  • The most difficult decisions involve personal and enterprise risk
  • Leading CIOs create decision frameworks for themselves and the enterprise
  • Use decision delegation frameworks
  • Frameworks improve enterprise decision making
  • Successful CIOs break difficult decisions into manageable components
  • Start with the business and CIO contexts
  • Trust trumps credibility every time
  • Timing means knowing when to say, “It is time”
  • It is perilous to ignore politics
  • Leverage both luck and proof
  • No decision is exactly like the one before
  • Cooperative decisions are the most complex
  • People decisions are the most stressful
  • Unpopular decisions are the most risky
  • CIOs can survive and optimize decision mistakes
  • Use the decision formula to plan scenarios
  • Activision Blizzard—Gaining management’s trust after a merger
  • City of Tampa—Empowering others to become decision makers
  • Fairfax Media—Timing for optimum decision making
  • Gartner Executive Programs reports
  • Core research
  • Book

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