IG Exec Has Learned From Failures, Says IG Success Requires C-Suite Presence
Aaron Bryant, chief IG officer at the Washington State Department of Health, recently provided CIODive.com with an account of the lessons he’s learned in his 14 years as a leader of IG programs and the keys to finding IG success.
Bryant, also a faculty member of the Compliance, Governance, and Oversight Council (CGOC), concedes that most information pros know by now that IG success relies on close coordination among stakeholders, but he warns that “operationalizing this can be challenging.”
Too often, he notes, the C-suite sets up an obstacle to success by naming an executive program “sponsor” who leaves the program implementation to a middle manager. This lack of a C-level presence always results in siloed programs, ad hoc processes, compliance issues, data theft, and other information-related failures and risks, he states.
Having been such a mid-level manager – and now carrying the title of an executive – Bryant brings a valuable perspective to the matter as he delivers recommendations for successfully operating an IG program. By and large, his advice comes back to the need for true executive sponsorship and enforcement of the program.
“A C-level executive, not a manager, must run the IG steering committee,” he asserts. “A records manager, even an IG program development expert, is typically excluded from leadership meetings about the technologies, policies, personnel or budgets directly impacting the IG program.”
Today, for instance, his executive title gives him the power to “impose IG best practices on people, processes and technology across the agency.”
Bryant candorously admits that this title makes all the difference:
“The only real difference between the two situations was my title. And while having the right title doesn’t guarantee success, it removes the single biggest hurdle to maturing an IG program.”
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