Sue Schade, former CIO at University Hospitals has shared her experience of the handover of her position to a new director with key insights into the rare chance to observe another C-Suite member in action.
“…we all network regularly at CHIME and other conferences. We learn from each other on topical webinars. And we pick each other’s brains ….about something that is new for us and our organisation,” she says in a blog.
But Schade says the opportunity to watch someone working on a daily basis as they deal with the executive team and colleagues is a very valuable learning experience. She comments on all of the tasks and decision a CIO must address each day such as setting expectations, conveying tough messages, making commitments or answering questions they don’t have enough information for yet.
“I’ve been fortunate to watch our new CIO, Joy Grosser, at University Hospitals, at work. I’ve stepped back since she became CIO and serve as an advisor to her during the transition,” she says.
Schade goes on to talk about the typical issues that a leader has to face when heading the transition from one chief to another. In her particular case, she cites production and vendor challenges, the preparation of the 2017 budget and plans for new hospital integration.
“These are big initiatives to walk into, to learn quickly what you need to know, and to lead with authority and confidence,” she says. “But that’s what leaders do. They listen and learn. They share their values and vision. They don’t pretend to know or have all the answers. They rely on their team to keep them informed and to solve problems. And at the end of the day they own it.”
A transition to a new leader is not without self-reflection. Schade writes about how easy it is to compare oneself to another during such a process. Guilt for not taking an initiative far enough is one of the main issues that surfaced for her during the handover procedure. “They are not productive. Instead, I’ve focused on what Joy needs to know from me and how I can best support her,” says Schade. “I’m confident that University Hospitals will be well served by Joy as their new CIO for the long term.”
Image Credit: Kays Harbor Technologies