Saturday, March 10, 2012

CIO’s D&B (Depth & Breadth) of Influence Matrix

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.    -Ken Blanchard 

Modern CIOs face many dilemmas: being sustainable or disrupt, keep status quo or innovative? Act as a business executive or an IT manager., etc, command-control leading style is no longer effective to make business transformation at today’s 3D (physical, virtual, mental) working environment, and conventional IQ & EQ may also not be sufficient enough to deliver high impact leadership influence.

1. Three Depths of Influences: 

1) Strategy Influence via SI (Strategy Intelligence )
 Being a first-class business leader or a second class executive might be decided by the CIO’s SI: your strategy intelligence.

The strategy is a set of choices, to leverage cohesive business capabilities, and follow a series of actions for the organization to compete for the future. CIOs need to become business strategists to perceive the potential opportunities and the “art of possible” for business via the lens of modern technology, CIOs also need to help business to build up coherent business capabilities enabled by information technology; Co-developing strategy by both business and IT can help reduce any “surprising disruption” when taking actions and avoid blind spot or pitfalls when executing it.

The CIO’s SI will help organization balance “keep the light on” and long-term growth, to well blend philosophical elements of strategy: “Time, Location, People” with business components of strategy: “People, Process, Technology” seamlessly, to drive business into Blue Ocean or grow Long Tail effortlessly, also unite and achieve business’s three purposes: economic value, social value, and people value.

2)      Innovation Influence via "II" (Innovation Intelligence)

Besides Chief Influence Officer, Chief Innovation Officer could be the most pertinent persona of contemporary CIOs, innovation is about managing creative ideas to achieve its business value. Though facing many innovation dilemmas, modern CIOs with a new style of “IQ” –Innovation Intelligence can play an exemplary role to cultivate a culture of innovation.

CIOs with new "II" will transform IT into high-level maturity; help to pull talent, resources together to manage three types of innovation more effectively & efficiently:

  • Growth Innovation:  CIOs with both high SQ & IQ can envision the blue ocean like- future trends via advanced analytics or Big Data.
  • Sustainable Innovation: From continuous communication with customers & partners via a social platform, CIOs & IT will help perceive the next generation of products or services via an open loop feedback link.
  • Efficiency Innovation: CIOs with high IQ can also think differently, to challenge the old way to do the things, always dispassionately examine the alternative, to help optimize cost structure, reduce process redundancy, and decrease environmental waste., etc. 
3) Process Influence via PQ (Process Intelligence) 
CIOs with PI (Process Intelligence) will always be a holistic thinker, see business as a whole more effective than the sum of parts; also tuning the business process to be lean to adapt to the changes, with resilience to re-draw, or re-wire with each other.

CIOs with PI will take advantage of modern technology tools such as social/mobile/cloud/analytics to embed innovation into business processes, experiment and orchestrate the future of business: social enterprise, to amplify collective human capability.

The depth of CIOs' influences should penetrate into business strategy, innovation management, process optimization, technology impact and even more, please read more at Seven Points of CIO’s Influences. CIOs with SI, II, and PI will help their businesses gain competitive advantages.

2. Three Breadth of Influence (3 EIs)

Modern CIOs’ influences may also like a running river,  permeable across their own business,  then flow into the sea, the sea is about the industry, the ecosystem, the economy, and our human society.,  The breadth of influences may include:

1)Economy Influence (Economy Intelligence)

The Great Recession impact majority of Americans lives, according to the US Department of Labor Statistics, debt to GDP ratio going from 62% 3 years ago, to over 100% today, the current attack on corporate earnings, the high unemployment rate), etc. Businesses don't fail or succeed entirely on their own. Their fate is tied to the environment in which they operate. Well, IT looks like a mini version of economy,: complex but crucial, IT is heart & brain of business, and economy is the backbone of our society,  they both have been through the “dark age” of the last decade: IT has reputation as cost center, economy is fragile & turbulent, business leaders like CIOs, as strategy practitioners, help to brainstorm the economy’s long-term strategy,  the innovative solutions for current or potential problems:

  • Long Term Economy Strategy: for many businesses today, strategy and corporate planning is now a 60-90 day horizon, and tactical delivery is more relevant to staying alive than creating any cohesive corporate plan.. The culture of short-term thinking hurt economy as a whole, we may start pondering:
*What is really the root cause of “the financial crisis 2008”? *
           *What is the future of market economies?
           *What are the set of choices need be made for the long term to improve the economy's
           *What is the series of actions need be taken to not only improve but also revitalize the economy?
  • Infrastructure Modernization: Many businesses today are facing the challenges to modernizing their legacy IT systems, that’s why many organizations, big or small, to step in the Cloud, intend to make IT delivery better, cheaper, and faster. Can the economy also find its silver lining as the cloud? The logic keeps simple: we need to focus on infrastructure. Every infrastructure issue — broken bridges, congested highways and ports, overcrowded airports and outdated air traffic control systems, weaknesses in the electric grid, and inadequate broadband spectrum — costs us significantly and make damage for the long term. Rebuilding and modernizing isn't a luxury; it's a necessity. It would not only help the economy broadly but would help to spur the innovation of more high-performance businesses and communities.
  •  “Invisible Hand of Economy”: In economics, invisible hand or the invisible hand of the market is the term economists use to describe the self-regulating nature of the marketplace. In business, Information System may also like an invisible hand to pull all the resources & data together, and push the business game forward.
Can we also decipher complex economic phenomenon via the lens of  IT & Enterprise Architecture?  The system components, the economic processes, the fundamental problems, the strategic planning,  the resource allocations, the law of demand-supply-price,  the future state, the change management,  the transformation scenario. etc. Business or economics as a whole is about searching for a better life and delighting customers since it increases an individual’s chance of survival. Economics is also about the evolution of products and businesses because they can better adapt to the increasingly challenging market environment. And essential to marketing economy is about making a bigger “economic pie,” the pursuit of happiness for its customers –the fellow citizens: 99% + 1%. 
2) Energy Influence (Energy Intelligence)

 Energy is absolutely the lifeblood of any economy, however, the continuously increased demand for natural resources, particularly fossil fuel, has raised widespread concern that these resources will be ultimately depleted, not to mention the environmental issue or climate changes. Consequently, this created conflict between finite resources and infinite needs. This is the fundamental problem for all species, including human beings.

Inside the business, the pervasive use of technology also accelerate the depletion of earth resource and increase the carbon footprint. Therefore, CIOs need to expand influence on energy and sustainability:  

  • Long-Term Energy Strategy: Self-reliance and energy independence is a long term strategy. Brave leadership, with a confident vision ( strategic energy plan),  the long-term policy effectiveness, both public & private sector need work head to head to pull all resources together and execute energy strategy consistently. Energy is one of the promising sectors to fight back recession and strengthen the economy. Energy stability and cost-effectiveness will also boost any energy-dependent industries such as transportation, which hurt most by flying fuel, and experience the  “Lost Decade.”
  • Energy Innovation:  We need to develop a full set of the alternative portfolio such as bio-fuel, solar, wind., etc, and stick to it with a long-term investment perspective. We need to integrate, orchestrate resources, people, innovation and technology to rejuvenate the energy sector, and the economy as a whole.
Energy transformation is a long time journey, need vision, and persistence, but it's the strategic imperative worthy of the effort. Invest in our future, provide energy security for future generation and build solid energy infrastructure.

3) Education Influence (Talent Intelligence)

The poor quality of K-12 education is one of America's greatest competitive weaknesses. Statistically, each year, approximately 1.3 million students fail to graduate from high school;  American Children are falling further and further behind their international peers in almost every area of STEM education, what is the root cause? one of thought-provoking statistics is: A student has 70% chance of being taught English by a teacher with an English background, but has only a 40% chance of being taught chemistry by a teacher with a chemistry background.

CIOs as information technology leaders could be at the unique position to make an influence on education, especially STEM:

  • Education Strategy: Research shows that a lack of student engagement is predictive of dropping out even after controlling for academic achievement and student background. Both academic and social engagement are integral components of successfully navigating the education pipeline. The strategic choices for education are still:  talent (well-educated teachers), process (how to innovate the learning & teaching process), and technology.
  • Education Innovation: The education process needs to be optimized via an innovative mindset, learning from others (cross-sector learning, learning overseas., etc), and taking advantage of modern technology tools. Technological advances are making new forms of personalized education possible that could lead to big leaps in learning. the future of learning experience demands a deep appreciation of the profundity of what the Internet offers humanity as a model of a learning institution.
The right role models need be set to inspire kids to learn, the right technology need be adopted to enable children to learn, and the right culture need be cultivated to encourage students to pursue STEM-related major and career path.

Modern Society need make progress, CIOs play significant roles to lead changes via the breadth and depth of influence we discuss here, it takes TRIP (TRIP is an acronym for how Trust enables Risk which propels Innovation and, ultimately, leads to Progress) to make a difference.


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