CIO Power Politics: Master the Art of the Stall

In this episode of CIO Power Politics, Gartner analyst Tina Nunno explains the best way to avoid saying the wrong thing.

Many CIOs have been in a situation in which a colleague has asked a difficult question about a project. The wrong answer might have big consequences, yet the CIO’s instinct is still to answer immediately. What’s the best response if the CEO asks “What’s going on with project XYZ? I’ve heard it’s in trouble?”

While your instinct might be to directly answer the question,  Tina Nunno, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner, advises CIOs to consider mastering the art of the stall.

“Resist the urge to fill the air,” she says. In this episode of CIO Power Politics, Nunno draws on conversations from hundreds of client interactions to provide concrete steps on how to buy yourself time and respond to difficult questions with the best answer.

This article has been updated from the original, published on April 20, 2017, to reflect new events, conditions or research.

Clients can learn more about how to think strategically in the research report A Practical Approach to Strategic Thinking on Risk, Urgency, Innovation and Agility for CIOs by Tina Nunno.

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