CIOs: Why saying 'no' can be more powerful than you think

The IT industry is rapidly changing — and with it, the role of CIOs, according to The Wall Street Journal.

At Gartner's recent Symposium ITxpo 2016 in Orlando, Fla., the research company's Vice President and Fellow Tina Nunno claimed the power to say "no" is one of the most powerful tools CIOs possess.

Ms. Nunno acknowledged that passing on something can be more difficult than it seems and that's why CIOs need to have an "assertive no" that still relays the idea that "I count, but so do you," said Ms. Nunno.

The way in which a CIO says "no" can vary from situation to situation. When dealing with a lower level employee, CIOs should ensure their denial is directed at the circumstances rather than the individual. Saying "no" to the CEO, on the other hand, can be more challenging. In case their "no" is rejected by a CEO, a CIO should have a backup plan in place and "[k]now when to surrender," Ms. Nunno said.

When saying "no" to many individuals about one idea, CIOs should think about implementing a "collective no." They should also find a way for the other party to consider the master plan rather than focusing on the minute details. "The big picture changes the score of thinking, so they think of the organization and not just themselves," Ms. Nunno said.

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