Storytelling Is a CIO Virtue


Storytelling Is a CIO VirtueOne of the many mentors I had along the way shared that on any staff work or consulting project, it was important to “answer first.” The rationale for the recommendation could come later, the details which would demonstrate the thought process would be important, but framing the answer quickly to get the conversation going in the right direction was a key consideration.

This has been part of how we’ve looked to deliver insights and perspective from Aite-Novarica Group’s Insurance Practice as well, given the close working relationship we have with our CIO, CTO, and CISO clients along with their teams.

Of course, some of this same wisdom can apply in our personal lives too. Recently, my daughter, a senior financial analyst at a medical device manufacturer, expressed frustration that her 7-year-old son, who had been asked to try out for a traveling soccer team, proceeded to blow the opportunity. Rather than focusing on the tryout, he played with the flowers in the field and demonstrated no interest in the event.

My question? Did he even know what he was trying out for? Did he know what the prize was at the end? Dead silence. Happily, for Father’s Day, tickets magically appeared for our grandson and son-in-law to attend a professional soccer game in Boston. The result? Now that he’s seen the end state, he suddenly has the motivation to achieve it. A picture is worth considerably more than a thousand words.

This logic applies to insurance carrier transformation and modernization efforts too. If business partners can’t see the end state with clarity to understand why the journey is worth taking, why get excited at all? In fact, this can be the root cause of some resistance to change. It turns out that CIOs and their teams need to be communication experts, too, if they want to be the kind of change agents who can help move their organizations forward.

Starting with the end in mind is an idea that never gets old. Good thing, too, given how fast the future is coming at us! To further discuss how to best communicate the value of transformation effort, please reach out to me at [email protected].