The hidden benefits of adding a CTO to your board

The pandemic forced companies around the world to adjust to a “new normal,” which caused many leaders to pivot their business strategies and adopt new technologies to continue operations. In a time of chaos and change, there is no senior leader that can navigate this sort of change better than a CTO.

Not only do CTOs understand the ever-changing tech landscape, they also provide invaluable insights to help organizations go beyond traditional IT conversations and leverage technology to successfully scale businesses.

Boards are facing pressure to be strategic and thoughtful on how to evolve in the rapidly iterating world of technology, and a CTO is uniquely positioned to address specific challenges.

There are now more reasons than ever to consider adding a CTO to your board. As a CTO myself, I know how important and impactful it can be to have technical-minded leaders on a company’s board of directors. At a time when companies are accelerating their digital transformation, it’s critical to have diverse technical perspectives and people from varying backgrounds, as transformations are a mix of people, process and technology.

Drawing on my experience on Lightbend’s board of directors, here are five hidden benefits of making space at the table for a CTO.

A unique mind (and skill) set

Inviting different perspectives forces companies out of the groupthink mentality and find new, creative solutions to their problems. Diverse perspectives aren’t just about the title — racial ethnicity and gender diversity are clearly a play here as well.

Deep understanding of tech

A great example of this is the skyrocketing need for better cybersecurity and compliance within companies of all sizes. Boards can better understand the need for security and compliance standards if they have someone in the room who can plainly articulate to them the technical tools and processes needed to guarantee the business’ security. This benefits everyone, from the board, CEO, the CSO and CCO to customers and other stakeholders.

Pragmatic empathy

Agility, agility, agility

Investing in your network

When you invite a CTO to your board, everyone benefits: Your company gains technical advantage and the CTO gets a deeper, inside look at the business. You never know — that CTO may be running a company as CEO one day soon.

This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, but my hope is that it spurs founders to seek out CTOs for their company’s board. Whether you’re a first-time founder or leading a late-stage company, CTOs provide invaluable insights that are necessary for success in this rapidly transforming landscape.

This article was originally published on TechCrunch.

CTO @ Puppet. Passionate about good food and all things tech. Always learning.