Informational and Interpersonal Communication

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Informational and Interpersonal Communication

Informational and Interpersonal Communication

7Skills Needed to Participate Effectively in Information Technology Decisions

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These skills may not look much different from those required of any successful manager, which is the main point of this book: General managers can be successful participants in IS decisions without an extensive technical background. General managers who understand a basic set of IS concepts and who have outstanding managerial skills, such as those listed in Figure I-2, are ready for the digital economy.

How to Participate in Information Systems Decisions Technical wizardry isn’t required to become a knowledgeable participant in the IS decisions of a business. Man- agers need curiosity, creativity, and the confidence to ask questions in order to learn and understand. A solid frame- work that identifies key management issues and relates them to aspects of IS provides the background needed to participate in business IS decisions.

The goal of this book is to provide that framework. The way in which managers use and manage information is directly linked to business goals and the business strategy driving both organizational and IS decisions. Aligning business and IS decisions is critical. Business, organizational, and information strategies are fundamentally linked in what is called the Information Systems Strategy Triangle, discussed in the next chapter. Failing to understand this relationship is detrimental to a business. Failing to plan for the consequences in all three areas can cost a manager his or her job. This book provides a foundation for understanding business issues related to IS from a managerial perspective.

Organization of the Book To be knowledgeable participants, managers must know about both using and managing information. The first five chapters offer basic frameworks to make this understanding easier. Chapter 1 uses the Information Systems Strategy Triangle framework to discuss alignment of IS and the business. This chapter also provides a brief over- view of relevant frameworks for business strategy and organizational strategy. It is provided as background for those who have not formally studied organization theory or business strategy. For those who have studied these areas, this chapter is a brief refresher of major concepts used throughout the remaining chapters of the book.

FIGURE I-2 Skills for successful IT use by managerial role.

Managerial Role Skills

Visionary Creativity



Focus on business solutions


Informational and Interpersonal Communication


Information gathering

Interpersonal skills

Structural Project management






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