CEO Leadership

How CEOs Will Leverage Technology In 2024 And Gain The Competitive Edge

When peak performers compete, it's not the skill in question but the equipment at play.

Scott Smeester

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December 28, 2023

I started playing raquetball in college. A friend and I took it up together. We were both athletic, competitive and poor. We made the best with what we had, simple, entry-level equipment.

We were evenly matched, each of us enjoying our share of wins. Until one day, he received a new racquet as a gift. Suddenly, I couldn't beat him. Sadly, I couldn't afford to match his quality.

Good equipment won't cover poor skill; but poor equipment will limit your skill.

Seth Godin writes, "It's almost impossible to remove a screw with your bare hands, but easy with a screwdriver. The handle might only add a little torque, but it's more than enough. If someone is succeeding at something you find difficult, it might be because they realized they needed a screwdriver." (Or a better racquet).

Leaders look for leverage.

You don't need much to gain the competitive edge. You will fall behind without it.

As a CEO, you know that technology is an essential tool. What you don't know is whether you are playing with the right equipment.

Obviously, you can have the best technology available, and if your people lack skill, the technology loses its leverage.

More often, you have the people you need, but the technology available is limiting them.

How do you know if this is true for you?

Follow up question: How can you trust what your CIO is telling you?

The answers are found in the most significant step you can take in 2024 to gain the leverage you need: be inquisitive.

It's a great word, lost in contemporary language, burdened with the negative connotations of being annoying.

Originally, to be inquisitive was to take an interest, to dig in and inquire and ask questions. Inquisition (feel the negative connotation) is to get at the heart of something. And that's positive.

In 2024, CEOs who find leverage in technology will do so because they will ask the right questions with their CIO in order to understand how technology will give the business a competitive edge.

In turn, you will better equip your CIO with the insights they need to more effectively implement the technology you grant them.

You and the CIO will become stronger partners because you will both be equipped to rise above the competition you face.

But even in this, you need the right tool. And that is 2024 for me - to help CEOs work better with their technology leaders by being rightly inquisitive.

Stick with me this year, and you will know how to ask the right questions, frame the right cases, and level up the technology you need for the skills that your team has.

And that's a pretty good racquet to have.

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