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Do Executive Changes Signal a Change in the Economic Winds?

As the economy starts to improve, the movement of executives from one organization to another starts. This movement is not relegated to the upper ranks either. The lieutenants of a CIO and their rank-and-file are just as, if not more, prone to movement. Over the past few years, the volume of movement has waned…for good reason. Folks were happy to have a job and did not want to risk moving to a new role. In addition, the number of openings shrunk in relation to the economy.

IT Executive Movement

Now that the economy is improving, IT executives are willing to take risks and make changes. In the past few days alone, two articles from the St. Louis Business Journal and CIO Magazine touched on this issue (links below).

This is good news for a couple of reasons. First, it signals a change in economic conditions. Organizations and individuals are feeling more secure in taking risks. Second, it provides an opportunity for change for the new company, old company and individual. With the change in technology and business direction, changes in IT leadership are a welcome sight. With some regularity and planning, it is a good thing to mix up the gene pool.

However, as an IT executive, moving to a new company is risky. How do you know it is a good move? There are a number of factors that the individual and executive recruiter can assist with in this process. Several executive recruiters I know have very good processes to ensuring a good fit. The process goes way beyond responsibilities, objectives and corporate culture. Just like a company looking to acquire another company, the IT executive must do their own research on the role, the company, the leadership team and their staff. Even so, there is only so much due diligence you can do.

All that being said, change is a good thing and something that should be embraced. The IT function is evolving and the IT leadership needs to evolve to lead that effort.

IT Rank and File Movement

Change is not restricted to only IT executives. Probably more so than IT executives, the rank and file individual contributors have been a restless bunch. We can expect to see more movement within the individual contributors in the coming year. This is a good thing and will cross-pollinate methodologies and technologies. With newer methodologies like cloud computing and big data, this becomes increasing imperative.

It is equally important that individuals keep up with the trends. In the coming years, the rate of change will only increase. Falling behind can have serious negative repercussions to a career.

Compensation and Engagement

It is important to compensate employees fairly. If you take the approach of compensating employees poorly because of the economy, you can expect increased movement. I have often said that under-compensating an employee encourages them to stay long enough to find a different job where they are fairly compensated.

However, compensation is not everything. Sure, money is a strong factor for many people. But the nature of the work is just as important. It is important to ensure that employees are challenged and growing. Otherwise, it may cause further movement within the organization. Working with older technologies and systems is less interesting than the new and upcoming methodologies. That needs to be factored in when making strategic IT decisions.

Recent Articles:

CEO Turnover Is Good News For Economy

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/blog/2012/01/ceo-turnover-is-good-news-for-economy.html

Fortune 500 CIO Activity

http://blogs.cio.com/careers/16733/fortune-500-cio-activity

Bottom Line: Expect for more movement of employees as economic conditions improve. There is a direct relationship between the two.

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