I’ve just completed my assignment as CIO/Head Engineering of Uganda’s #1 Bank
5 key learnings from this and other ExCO roles I’ve done over the years, especially for those that aspire to hold similar positions.
The threats that financial institutions face are complex and fast evolving. Your balance between risk and innovation will be tested.
Whatever you do, don’t spread yourself thin. Find the one thing that if you get right will make room for the rest. The one thing that if you don’t get right, nothing else you get right matters. That’s the assignment.
Large matrix organizations have many voices. Your ability to shield your team and block the noise before it gets to them will allow the team much needed room to stick with the plan and cause meaningful impact in the area of focus.
Identify, build, position, empower, and reward your talent. You’ll need them for there’s much ground to cover. At a point my team headcount was ~300, with diverse disciplines. Alone you’ll be blinded on many fronts. Work through your talent.
As techies we invest a lot in technical depth. The best it will get you is the respect of your team. That’s important, but you need far beyond that to stand and weather storms that surely come.
In my case it’s the peace and boldness that comes from knowing that I have Heaven’s backing. That peace makes you different out there.