As a CIO, do you have an open door policy? Would you go visit your staff in their spaces? - Pulse Q&A

As a CIO, do you have an open door policy? Would you go visit your staff in their spaces?

@ Number of answers: 0

Forrest Richardson, CIO

, answered on 2019-05-02T19:49:21.323Z, 20 days ago

Absolutely....my door is rarely closed and I’m quite often out talking to my team members.

upvotes: 2

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Douglas Ljung, Director of Information Security

, answered on 2019-05-02T22:41:31.867Z, 20 days ago

Not a CIO but I recently stayed a a Holiday Inn....I found it so liberating years ago when I accepted "Open Doors" and asked employees to ask me any question at any time and get an honest answer, even if its not exactly what they would want to hear. Transparency builds trust, which builds loyalty/retention and fosters collaboration. Most CTOs and CIOs, and VP's I work with nowadays sit amongst everybody else in the open office format. At first, it can be odd having a big shot sitting in the raised desk next to you. Since in the end everyone is on the same team it has great value to also work in the same space.

upvotes: 2

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Lee Vorthman, Director of Information Security

, answered on 2019-05-04T03:39:32.046Z, 19 days ago

All execs should have an open door policy, be visible and keep a pulse of the troops. So yes.

upvotes: 2

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Derek Chen, CISO

, answered on 2019-05-06T03:56:36.436Z, 17 days ago

I would have both. Open door and regular visit.

upvotes: 1

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Ali Katkhada, CIO

, answered on 2019-05-08T02:47:43.121Z, 15 days ago

I believe It’s shouldn’t be just a policy it needs to be a culture a daily practice a full family atmosphere and comfortable environment in which nobody fear from making mistakes or being judged. You need to be approachable and have team spirit in the DNA of your team. And then doesn’t matter if you’re leading virtual team scattered all over the globe or small one in same office.

upvotes: 2

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Christopher Thomas, Executive Director of IT/CIO/CISO

, answered on 2019-05-13T13:12:09.35Z, 9 days ago

Absolutely, my door is always open and I tend to stop by each of my team members areas throughout the week to see how they are doing?  Always be approachable as a leader for anyone who needs or wants to chat. 

upvotes: 1

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Enrico Tizzano, CTO

, answered on 2019-05-13T13:13:52.96Z, 9 days ago

I agree with Ali, an open door policy should tie in with an open, honest, and collaborative culture within your department.  Since becoming a CTO, I've always turned down the offer of an office and insisted on sitting with my team.  Conversely, I've seen other leaders who don't feel comfortable with it, particularly if their open plan office doesn't have private areas to take/make calls. If you did choose to have an office though, I would say you should spend at the very least an hour a day walking around your teams and talking to them.

upvotes: 1

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Juan Carlos Martinez Soto, CIO, Mexico

, answered on 2019-05-13T13:15:21.605Z, 9 days ago

Of course, this shouldn't be a question anymore. With companies moving to a open space offices and with decisions made in seconds, How you think being behind doors will help you interact and work at the pace it is requested?   Your team and people from your company, including all other areas should see you 100% available. IT is the center of the organization, I hope you understand this last concept to facilitate why you should be interacting with all the people most of your time

upvotes: 1

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Greg Wittenbrook, VP of IT

, answered on 2019-05-13T14:04:08.891Z, 9 days ago

Management by walking around is still considered a best practices even though it is one of the oldest ones.   But do it consistently and light.  Don't want to create a small tsunami everytime you leave the office with everyone terrified that you might stop by.   I do it daily even when very busy.  Besides, an open door policy only attracts a small percentage of many teams and the ones that come in the door aren't always the most beneficial conversations.

upvotes: 1

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Yorick Phoenix, CTO

, answered on 2019-05-13T15:06:57.829Z, 9 days ago

There are people that don’t? Often it is intimidating for people to come to you so go to them. Often I’ve had “Ask me Anything” sessions jointly with the CEO where any staff member can ask whatever they want and get an honest answer everyone can hear. Doing this is how you stop all the bad rumors from starting. Communication has always been key for me to getting stuff done and staff who are committed to getting it done with you.

upvotes: 1

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Mike D. Kail, CTO

, answered on 2019-05-13T15:26:11.402Z, 9 days ago

I've typically tried to avoid having a formal office completely and either hang out in a large conference room or other open spaces such as the coffee area. That is the best way to learn from observation and approachability.

upvotes: 1

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Rafael Pimentel Pinto, CIO

, answered on 2019-05-13T15:40:56.212Z, 9 days ago

I keep my door opened all the time, and I try to balance going to where my staff and calling them to my office. I prefer that than using the phone or Messenger when we are in the same floor of the building.

upvotes: 1

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Clay Gravil, Director Of Information Technology - Network and Information Security

, answered on 2019-05-13T15:44:15.274Z, 9 days ago

An open door is absolutely needed and necessary. You should also let folks know they are welcome to schedule time as needed. Ultimately I have standing 1:1's and skip levels with my team and it works out well providing a culture of accessibility, trust, and transparency. 

upvotes: 1

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Niv Dolgin, Director of IT

, answered on 2019-05-13T15:52:46.437Z, 9 days ago

Me personally, my door is open, try to be hyper responsive and always available on IM/Video (we're in mutliple geo's), give my personal cell to my staff to call or text me 24.7, and love walk the trenches and talking with my people. I also unapologetically opening the proverbial doors of other senior leaders & execs for others; we're all just people, its long overdue to just to treat eachother that way. 

upvotes: 0

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Gregory J. Turner, CIO & SVP Services

, answered on 2019-05-13T16:07:28.285Z, 9 days ago

Absolutely.  I am always available.  If not physically, then virtually for my team.  In addition, I love working directly with team members, shoulder-to-shoulder to solve our clients problems.  Client service is our #1 priority, therefore, I am passionately focused on working directly with my team wherever, whenever to make our clients happy.

upvotes: 1

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Kamal Sharma, CIO

, answered on 2019-05-13T17:50:03.816Z, 9 days ago

Absolutely yes, more than a policy it is my natural way of working which helps me to have easy, direct and transparent communication with people i work with. 

upvotes: 1

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Bradley Coward, CIO

, answered on 2019-05-13T20:19:29.63Z, 9 days ago

Absolutely it is part and parcel of our corporate policy and authenticity plus trust are two of our corporate values. As the group CIO my office set-up is open plan and it goes a long way to encouraging consistent and honest dialogue. Participation and teamwork are also an absolute and the office vibe is fantastic. 

upvotes: 0

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Jeff Roberts, CIO

, answered on 2019-05-13T21:30:50.435Z, 9 days ago

I believe an open door policy is a key to getting real insights on what is happening at every level of the organization.  Two cautions though: a)  It’s crucial to ensure people trust that you’ll keep confidences, so there’s an art to “making something better” without dropping the source’s name or even revealing that you’ve heard something on a topic.  If people worry you’ll run to their boss and pass on their complaint they’ll never give you the straight scoop.  b) it’s equally important that your direct reports know you won’t knee-jerk when you get feedback, but will take the time to triangulate and validate the facts before jumping in on something....   if you can strike this balance, an open door culture can be an absolute key to ensuring things are what you think they are...

upvotes: 0

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Pat Reynolds, CIO/CTO

, answered on 2019-05-13T21:42:18.997Z, 9 days ago

I believe having an open door policy is a great idea. I have always had that policy and it gets people to stop in to talk. In addition, I love to walk around to see my people to talk to them about a variety of topics. You might be surprised and the things that will come up and what you will learn. 

upvotes: 0

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Jim Chapdelaine, CIO

, answered on 2019-05-13T21:57:54.666Z, 9 days ago

Yes, I have an open door policy and have for decades.  It is the only way to lead.  Yes, I go visit staff in their office space.  If I want great two-way communication across my organization, this is a must, as well. 

upvotes: 0

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Bob Sacca, Director - Information Technology and Data Logistics

, answered on 2019-05-13T22:29:53.906Z, 9 days ago

Having an open door reflects the level of value you have for your colleagues and reports. I personally believe that my own success in an organization is directly related to my ability to choose smart people and then follow-up with respecting their contributions. To get the most value, I also encourage them to feel comfortable and respected.  I’ve reported to a number of people who confuse leadership with command. Always be available to give back your time and attention to those whose effort allows you to succeed.

upvotes: 0

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Tom Murphy, CIO

, answered on 2019-05-13T22:52:52.737Z, 9 days ago

I have a specific, articulated "open door" policy and I encourage all staff to stick their heads in when they have a question, suggestion, or complaint.  The "open door" is also a metaphor for the kind of open, honest and candid culture that I encourage.  What's On Your Mind meetings with a handful of staff does the same thing, creating an hour of anything goes conversation and questions about what is on staff's minds.  Finally I do "walkabouts" - my team is in multiple buildings - so I can get to know staff in their environment and be available.  

upvotes: 0

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Giles W. Crouch, Principal | CMTO, Ekspansiv

, answered on 2019-05-14T00:03:42.927Z, 9 days ago

In past iterations, I've set up a workspace in the general area of various teams and spent time working there and being open to conversations. It's been an invaluable experience.

upvotes: 0

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Sean Elwick, Director - Group IT (Global CIO)

, answered on 2019-05-14T01:18:32.536Z, 9 days ago

More than open door, open plan.  Meetings can always be conducted in quiet rooms but being connected to staff allows you sense the energy of your team but also engenders conversations with the business.  The last thing you want to be is closed or have barriers to access.

upvotes: 0

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Yousuf Khan, CIO

, answered on 2019-05-14T04:21:24.724Z, 9 days ago

Open door, open plan and always open to ideas, feedback and anything we can do to be better 

upvotes: 1

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Woody Kafou, MBA, PMP, CTO, UNI3T

, answered on 2019-05-14T12:48:29.053Z, 9 days ago

The answer to both questions is, YES! I love to be part of the day to day atmosphere, and see how I can help and empower my team members. when I want to quite time to focus or take private work calls; I use one of the office meeting rooms. Open door policy or management by walking around is not engagment/morale mitigation tool. They are a reflection of a certain open and agile mindset, so make sure you use them consistently and for everyday conversation. You can use this policy for almost everything except for having a hidden agenda or for asking one of your team members to carry out a specific task...use it to have genuine desire to be an integral part to serve your team and to have a real feel of how business is going.  everyone once in a while I'd ask one of my team members to join me for lunch and to take a walk together and discuss things they deem important. I hope this helps :) 

upvotes: 0

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Joydeep Tiwary, Manager of IT

, answered on 2019-05-14T16:26:51.725Z, 8 days ago

Well in Decathlon we dont get a cabin. We work sitting next to our teams and they are more than welcome to discuss/debate any topic(work/sport) related at any point of time ;) Get rid of the cabin and the door! works much better. 

upvotes: 0

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Swaminathan Narayanan, VP of IT

, answered on 2019-05-15T10:14:47.658Z, 8 days ago

Yes.  Certainly I keep an open door policy.  We have to as IT is a service department.  Open door policy also creates a good relationship with all the team members

upvotes: 0

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Saleem Hussaini, Head of Patient Services IT

, answered on 2019-05-17T20:59:30.698Z, 5 days ago

Yes to both. In fact, I block some time on my calendar to walk by the team and learn how things are progressing or not. Sometimes I do my walk by and that is exactly what it is "a walk by" - since everyone is in a meeting:)

upvotes: 0

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Franz Allan See, CTO

, answered on 2019-05-18T07:39:33.23Z, 5 days ago

Yes. And like others, I dont even have a room. I had my own office room before but I didnt feel as productive. I want to be in the trenches so that I am aware of things as they happen. So I usually just sit beside my team.  Most of the time, I dont need to be involved. But I can inject myself or they can pull me in if need be. There are times though wherein I would lock myself inside my office but that's usually when there are a lot of conference calls that needs to be done. 

upvotes: 0

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Charles Neely Harper, CIO / CTO

, answered on 2019-05-19T13:48:19.455Z, 3 days ago

I love all these replies, of course when you ask the CIO if they conduct business open and transparent they all say yes, the reality the CIO is part of the "C suite" and is automatically isolated, so its not about the office and meetings but more about the way of working together.  Why do you think the "Undercover Boss" series was launched, its about whats really going on with the teams you are part of, shoulder to shoulder, and dont forget that your suppliers/vendors have as big of role in this along with the employees.  The CIO has the responsibility to understand the business, at the plant or factory floor level, at the software engineer level, at the compute level, the supplier level, and bring things together, just try a digital transformation project and you will see all the forces at play that you completely overlooked because of the "C Suite" lens.  You really need a good metric to measure this, how many sites have you visited, do you really listen, and can people really express their perspective?

upvotes: 0

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Karen Dubin, Global Technology and Operations Unit - Security Specialist IV

, answered on 2019-05-22T22:22:04.931Z, 2 hours ago

Routinely went to visit staff in their spaces. 

upvotes: 0

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Scott Young, CEO / President

, answered on 2019-05-22T22:23:25.203Z, 2 hours ago

Yes, absolutely I  had an open door policy and yes I often visited my staff in their workspace.  My approach is simple, once you accept a leadership position you are there to serve your team, your company, and the operation.  I loved to have staff and others walk through my door sit down and have a good discussion about the business, the area of concern, the process, the technology or the issue.   They knew they could talk to me without fear of retribution or risk. They knew we were a team and acted accordingly.  I have since moved on and now consult with companies to help them build high-performance teams.  It is one of the most satisfying rewards in my career to see people grow, achieve more than they thought possible and contribute.

upvotes: 0

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Neil Cattermull, CEO

, answered on 2019-05-22T22:25:25.929Z, 2 hours ago

Yes on both accounts! I always have an open door policy as well as visiting staff at their desks. One of the biggest traits of a good leader is to be humble.

upvotes: 0

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Randee Jennings, CIO

, answered on 2019-05-22T22:26:57.685Z, 2 hours ago

Absolutely, I have an open door policy. I think accessibility is an essential element to building trust, leveraging knowledge, and otherwise elevating team performance. That said, you don’t on the other hand want people regularly going around their work group leadership just to get time with the CIO.  That can cause resentment and suspicion, and foment a lack of trust that works against exactly the environment you are trying to build. The open door policy presupposes an underlying structure with regular and adequate communications flows and processes to address and resolve issues, float ideas, and otherwise share knowledge between and among work groups and intermediate supervisory and managerial letters.  MBO’s, regular performance reviews, and team building sessions are some critical elements that should be built into the formal communications plan that underlies and supports any departmental org structure. Assuming that is in place and working well, an open door policy to the CIO can serve as a cherry on top to life in the IT department.  If you implement an open door policy and you are finding the line outside your office is long, however, you may want to inspect those underlying support systems for sufficiency.  Something may be broken.

upvotes: 0

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Ben Speer, IT Director

, answered on 2019-05-22T22:54:39.62Z, 2 hours ago

Yes, our entire company has an open door policy, and I visit my staff in their spaces every day.

upvotes: 0

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Linda Brady, IT Executive

, answered on 2019-05-22T23:00:57.898Z, 2 hours ago

Yes I always had an open door policy. I also hosted brown bag lunch forums to answer any question in a group setting. Once a week I would walk through and talk to staff and contractors as well. 

upvotes: 0

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Rajeev Jaswal, CEO & Founder

, answered on 2019-05-22T23:03:12.258Z, 2 hours ago

An open door is an important element of my leadership style and company culture. It signifies that I am always there to help and assist in any way possible. Open door signifies that as a leader you are part of the team and not above anyone else. I have embraced this policy throughout my leadership journey and has been very rewarding. You will be surprised by the engagement it drives, people voluntarily bring ideas, solutions or problems to you. I am also a proponent of being present on the floor, engaging with the employees, getting to know all of them personally and what they are working on and being present. It drives true engagement and empathy.

upvotes: 0

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As a CIO, do you have an open door policy? Would you go visit your staff in their spaces? - Pulse Q&A

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