Have you discovered your personal brand?

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Have you discovered your personal brand?

A ‘personal brand’ is the collection of values, experiences and associations that people attach to you. In short, it’s what peers and associates think about you when they hear your name mentioned. Everyone has a personal brand, but now more than ever business leaders and CIOs are investing time and effort in shaping what that brand actually is, and raising its awareness amongst target audiences such as senior management, industry peers and potential employers.  Much like a marketing department does with a product.

In theory, good personal branding can help improve your ability to deliver within your current role, and make the transition to your next role easier. The purpose of this survey, jointly conducted by Harvey Nash and CIO UK, was to find out whether that theory works in practice for the CIO / IT executive community.

For IT to be strategic, the CIO needs a strong personal brand

More than two-thirds of IT executives believe that having a strong personal brand is very important to the IT department in achieving its broad objectives.  This was especially important around business-facing/strategic objectives such as influencing business strategy and promoting business alignment.

So to influence at board level, to act as a bridge between business and IT strategy and to demonstrate and underpin the value IT provides the business, it is important that the business has an IT figurehead for people to identify and connect with.

In short, CIO personal branding is as important a part of IT strategy as, say, project delivery or operational effectiveness.

…and many CIOs are successfully brand building

IT in general, and CIOs in particular, have traditionally had a poor reputation and therefore a low brand value, especially when compared to their – perhaps more glamorous – counterparts in marketing or sales.

So it is heartening to see just how many feel they are making a reasonable job of brand building.  Over 90% regularly carry out brand-building activities.  Many have gone one step further and formally investigated how other people view them and identified areas of strengths / weaknesses to identify a brand building strategy.  The most ‘brand aware’ amongst them dedicate communications resources with the explicit aim of raising their personal profile.

In the digital age most CIOs believe that their personal brand is of equal or greater standing to peers such as Marketing Directors or CFOs as one of their organisation’s leaders and innovators.

The importance of promoting a personal brand over and above the job title is especially important for IT executives. Despite the huge steps forward IT has taken as a business enabler, the job titles of CIO, CTO and IT Director still tend to languish towards the bottom of the party invite lists; and the need to promote personal values to add colour and real meaning to these job titles remains important.

Written by Bruce Mair, Head of Digital and Technology, Impact Executives.

About Impact Executives Ltd Impact Executives is a leading interim management provider to organisations of every size in the UK and globally. Originally formed as a specialist practice within PA Consulting Group, over the past 25 years Impact Executives has helped over 2000 companies, including more than two-thirds of the FTSE 250 – find the very best executive interim management talent.

Clients choose to work in partnership with Impact Executives because of our proven ability to offer client’s immediate solutions to improve their organisation’s performance through identifying skills-gaps, business process reengineering (BPR), turnaround, restructure and growth.

With offices covering the UK, the Nordics, Europe, Asia Pacific and North America, Impact Executives is part of the global recruitment specialist Harvey Nash Group plc. Over the past 20 years we have given clients and interim managers the confidence that we have the resources, expertise and focus to deliver results – fast.