The worlds of information technology and business management might spring from different interests and needs, but both are integral in today’s business environment. Leaders of technology and management need to work towards understanding the other side of the coin. CTOs and CIOs can gain insights and new strategies through reading educational books on business and researching effective techniques that build a bridge between technology and business.

Building Business Relationships

Even in our current environment in which computers dominate our daily practices, many people hold onto the stereotype of the CTO who only knows about computers. While this image is, for the most part, grossly inaccurate, CTOs and CIOs should strive to combine their expertise with the language, perspectives, and goals of a more “business-oriented” community. A well-rounded professional has working knowledge of various business practices in order to lead and direct IT activities in a direction that correlates with a company’s mission and sustainable growth. Techniques for developing young leaders, encouraging others, and providing meaningful goals are essential to any leader.

An effective leader should also be aware of marketing practices, including pricing and product placement, to strategically develop software and hardware. Business goals directly influence how technology is utilized, just as technology directly drives the capabilities of business and commerce. It is crucial that professionals understand dominant business theories, jargon, and history. As the lexicon of technology has exploded within the last quarter of a century, so has the lexicon of business. Notable leaders and thinkers such as Jack Welch, Peter Drucker, and Jack Trout are regularly cited in the community. Knowledge of these game-changers is critical for integrity and recognition.

Influential Reads

A multitude of books can expand a CTO or CIO’s horizons on aspects of business. The most influential reads usually help professionals examine and change their paradigms of thought, so they can become more effective and successful in their careers and life pursuits. Here are a few suggestions:

“The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. A moving last lecture from Pausch stresses that physical gains pale in comparison to interpersonal relationships. His insights and reflection on his own life while facing cancer are an inspiration and a reminder that a fulfilling life is not based solely on professional accomplishments.

“Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore. Nearly 20 years old, this volume focuses on how to move your business forward to grow in new dimensions. Many strategies and ideas central to successful high-tech entrepreneurship can be traced back to this book.

“The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. The goal of eliminating dead-end habits from daily life can be daunting. This book provides steps that guide its readers to change their thinking patterns, neural connections, and lives.

Taking the time and making the effort to gain new information and understand different systems of communication and thought are essential in a constantly evolving work environment. A book or a book summary is often the spark that stokes the creative fire.

Implementing Information

Finding new resources can change perspectives, but gleaning information from a book is different than executing the new ideas. In addition to the traditional written texts, input from colleagues, mentors, and web sources propel ideas into action. Examining the great strides in technology, it becomes apparent that far-fetched ideas created 50 years ago became the inspirations and goals of a whole industry. Now those seemingly impossible ideas are our reality.

Developing strategies and steps to conquer a goal requires teamwork and the input of experts in a variety of fields. If that team can focus on a central idea through a monthly book discussion or collective setting, then innovative ideas and practices can be introduced and implemented more efficiently. A shared vision powered by enthusiasm and clarity can open up communication between the technology and business sectors and lead to potentially revolutionary innovations.

While a person’s interests and talents might lead them down a more technology-driven career path, essential skills and knowledge are still necessary for today’s professional. By bridging any perceived gaps between the high-tech and business spheres through shared strategies, language, and implementation, each world strengthens the other exponentially. Book discussions, independent research, and personal drive can help mold the mutual goals that shape tomorrow.