Communications and collaboration are two skills that are absolutely essential to success and leadership.

The fifth CIO Summit takes place this September and the annual event for business technology leaders showcases the communications skills of CIOs. The event is also hive for collaboration with the networking breaks close to deafening as CIOs share ideas and catch up on each other’s projects, challenges and opportunities. Over the five CIO Summits and close to seven years I have been editing CIO UK at one level or another every lazy stereotype of the CIO has been challenged by my and this title’s direct contact with the CIO community.

CIOs, as technologists, are branded as being the opposite of my statement on communication and collaboration. Those with little or no experience of CIOs claim our community suffers from communications skills and refuses to work in alignment with others. I find this level of superfluous thinking sloppy and lazy. My recent experience of an Agile development day also demonstrated that at all levels technologists are passionate and communicative people that flourish in team environments.

In my own leadership role I draw from what CIOs tell me and no doubt fall very short, but I continue to learn and try. Being creative with ideas and bold with driving those ideas, but also with a constant focus on communicating those ideas has all been learnt from the CIO readership. CIOs have also taught me to be transparent and share ideas and responsibilities with my team and not to build an ivory tower. On the CIO desk there is regular open conversation, debate and disagreement and it is something I am very proud of and hopefully makes the team feel empowered to do the best for the readership.

Teams that are restricted by a process or leadership style of excessive authority fail to communicate amongst themselves, with their peers and ultimately their customers, which in turn leads to failure.

With events in the Middle East and Ukraine and the slowing of the German and French economies and those beyond the EU show that the challenges for CIOs and organisations remain difficult. Therefore leadership will remain one of the greatest challenges, but the communications and collaboration skills will enable our community to thrive no matter what head winds we face.