The early months of a CIO’s tenure are an extremely important time to learn about a company’s culture and critical issues, shape an agenda for change, build relations with peers and senior leaders, and make decisions—on people, funding, and other matters—that will provide a solid foundation for the future.
Ian Buchanan, who has served several financial institutions as CIO or COO, says: "In the first 100 days, you have to make your mark. In that period, you also need to formulate a compelling vision, because if you want to lead, as opposed to executing the visions of others, you do need to come out quickly with a story that everybody can align around.” (For more, see "Hitting the ground running as a new CIO: An interview with Barclaycard’s Ian Buchanan.”)
By working over the years with many senior executives stepping into this role, we’ve learned about elements to cover, priorities to make, and mistakes to avoid. We have attempted to distill the most important topics to address during these critical first months. Of course, the particulars of each situation will have an impact on the priorities of each CIO. But we believe every new CIO will benefit from reviewing these elements and using them as a starting point to shape his or her own course of action.