Nick Coussoule, CIO of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has hired business people for IT positions before and recently returned to that well to find a vice president of business engineering and continuous improvement.
Give equal opportunity to all constituents. Coussoule's new VP had been running the company's Medicare business, and "he needed to demonstrate that he understood and would fairly represent the entire company's interests," says Coussoule. "Right away, he set up specific times to sit down with each business and talk through goals and expectations. That went a long way toward showing everyone that he was wearing a new hat." He also set up regular meetings with leaders in the IT organization, with a similarly positive result. "You can't be viewed as 'only IT' by the business or as 'only business' by IT," says Coussoule. "That's critical to success in these hybrid roles."