Thornton May MES fall 2018 keynoteThornton May shares the three As every IT leader must possess to win the future.

Those who worked in IT weren’t always expected to lead. They were expected to manage and manage only. They were required to stay on time, on budget and meet expectations. As long as nobody else noticed them, they were doing their jobs.

That is not the case today.

As technology and business has evolved, the ideal IT organization is supposed to exceed expectations. So, too, are its leaders.

Today’s CIO must have a skillset that will position themselves up for success. One of those skills is leadership.

Every company expects something different from its IT leaders. But, without leadership, these CIOs will not position themselves and their team to lead their organizations into the future.

What’s Needed to Win the Future

During his Midsize Enterprise Summit Fall 2018 keynote presentation, futurist Thornton May outlined three foundational elements of leaders today who are winning the future.

  1. Attitude
  2. Aptitude
  3. Ambience

In May's mind, attitude is one’s mindset and how they think about IT. Aptitude relates to one’s skillset. Ambience is the environment and trends that are taking place.

“To win the future, you’re going to have to have the right mindset, the right skillset and the appropriate appreciation of the trends around you.”

Thornton thinks many executives set themselves up for failure by having a technology-centric view of the future because they can’t think about the future without technology. He also says that others will tell you that the future is unpredictable.

Thornton disagrees with this notion. “Most technology trends are forecastable.”

Thornton says that while the future cannot be predicted with decimal-point precision, leaders should know what’s coming.

“Winning the future requires preparing the enterprise for what comes next.”

Thornton suggests CIOs better prepare themselves for the future by talking with peers in their industry to discuss technology trends.

Senior IT leaders need help to succeed. Their organizations can’t always provide them with the money or resources to get certain things done.

Connecting with peers at events like the Midsize Enterprise Summit will give leaders a better chance of setting up their company for future success.