Would you accept a role at an organization if you knew that the org structure, culture, etc. would put you at a disadvantage?

I've been tapped on for a few CIO roles recently, and my first question is “what's my reporting line?” Because I've had situations where the reporting line is into a CTO who's under a CFO, who's reporting to the CEO. If that's the case, then structurally it's going to be just another battle that you have to deal with. I think more and more CIOs are very cautious about getting into companies which have a pre-existing structure in place that puts them at a disadvantage. I would say technology leaders, not just CIOs, but even CTOs and CPOs, are demanding from the get-go that they have that seat at the table if the companies are eager to pursue the digital transformation journey. And I think that's actually the right thing to do because in this day and age, I think every company just has to be incredibly digital and incredibly enabled from a technology point of view. It can't have these strategic conversations three or four years down the road. So I actually see there's a bit of a pivot where technology leaders are from the get-go demanding a certain setup, because even if you get that setup, there's a lot of challenges to deal with.  I've spoken to some recruiters on this, and what I found is that even recruiters recognize this. There's a lot of pre-filtering going on, on both ends, to understand the leveling of the setup. People have these conversations during interviews even before engaging in the company. All of us who've been at somewhat senior roles for a while, we know how difficult it is to change that setup. If it's not already addressed upfront, building up the network and creating these relationships is a lot harder to do, especially if you are coming in at a somewhat junior role and level compared to the rest of the business leaders. So recruiting firms are now starting to advise companies to make these structural changes before opening up the job if they want to get the top talent in tech. I think in some cases, the companies have even updated the requirements to make that position change.  Of course there are legacy companies with a different setup that don't have any intent to change. But then you know that you're going into a role that’s not looking for that. You're going into a role that’s just looking for an operations lead. There are some tech leaders who are happy to do an operations role and who don't want to maybe take that much responsibility in terms of business growth, but then there are others who are ambitious and they want to do that. Those are the ones who do look at these parameters in terms of what are the opportunities getting into the company to deliver on a growth path as well.

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I've been tapped on for a few CIO roles recently, and my first question is “what's my reporting line?” Because I've had situations where the reporting line is into a CTO who's under a CFO, who's reporting to the CEO. If that's the case, then structurally it's going to be just another battle that you have to deal with. I think more and more CIOs are very cautious about getting into companies which have a pre-existing structure in place that puts them at a disadvantage. I would say technology leaders, not just CIOs, but even CTOs and CPOs, are demanding from the get-go that they have that seat at the table if the companies are eager to pursue the digital transformation journey. And I think that's actually the right thing to do because in this day and age, I think every company just has to be incredibly digital and incredibly enabled from a technology point of view. It can't have these strategic conversations three or four years down the road. So I actually see there's a bit of a pivot where technology leaders are from the get-go demanding a certain setup, because even if you get that setup, there's a lot of challenges to deal with.  I've spoken to some recruiters on this, and what I found is that even recruiters recognize this. There's a lot of pre-filtering going on, on both ends, to understand the leveling of the setup. People have these conversations during interviews even before engaging in the company. All of us who've been at somewhat senior roles for a while, we know how difficult it is to change that setup. If it's not already addressed upfront, building up the network and creating these relationships is a lot harder to do, especially if you are coming in at a somewhat junior role and level compared to the rest of the business leaders. So recruiting firms are now starting to advise companies to make these structural changes before opening up the job if they want to get the top talent in tech. I think in some cases, the companies have even updated the requirements to make that position change.  Of course there are legacy companies with a different setup that don't have any intent to change. But then you know that you're going into a role that’s not looking for that. You're going into a role that’s just looking for an operations lead. There are some tech leaders who are happy to do an operations role and who don't want to maybe take that much responsibility in terms of business growth, but then there are others who are ambitious and they want to do that. Those are the ones who do look at these parameters in terms of what are the opportunities getting into the company to deliver on a growth path as well.
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