Friday, March 1, 2013

CIO as Chief Inspiration Officer: Ten “I”s Elevator Pitches

By permeating multiple "I" in leadership, CIO should stand for Chief Inspirational Officer.

 Too often the perception is that the CIO is a glorified geek. The reality is that the CIO is one of the most important executive roles in the organization, the person in that role must be business savvy and not only understand the vision of the company but also be able to help formulate it. Here are ten highlights on the “I” in CIO’s title:

  1. CIO –Chief 'INFORMATION/ INTELLIGENCE' Officer: An effective CIO solves (and to the degree possible anticipates) business issues and needs. They are responsible for the preservation of knowledge, communication of best practices, data integrity, and information security, capture intelligence from information. In a nutshell, the CIO is the ultimate enabler for the lifeblood of business -information and all the tactical & strategic elements of an organization. 
  1. CIO –Chief ' INSIGHT' Officer: An effective CIO has a unique cross-organizational perspective. They can bring true business value by providing cross-organization insights as well as integrating technologies, people and business process across lines of business (LOB). Strategic integration also creates an opportunity to enhance the bottom line. A CIO is a business leader who understands the "WHY" of using technology to enhance business and can communicate with those who know "how" to implement it. 
  1. CIO –Chief 'INTRAPRENEUR' Officer: An effective CIO: 
    • Running IT as Business
    • Communicates, Sells, and Educates. 
    • Translates business to tech, and back again. 
    • Does more than enable, they enhance business. 
    • Is an evolutionary change agent.  
  1. CIO-Chief 'INNOVATION' Officer: A CIO works closely with business and industry partners establishing the strategic technology direction of the company. They lead the planning, development, and execution of strategies and solutions in supporting the organization. They ensure that the production systems continue to meet established performance standards. They establish, promote, and reinforce a proactive, action-oriented customer-driven philosophy for the IT team. They identify creative, technology-based opportunities to improve service, reduce costs, and increase revenues with the team. 
  1. CIO –Chief 'INTERPRETATION' Officer: A good CIO communicates with the business in business terms and not always in technical jargon. He/She should bring change and inspiration and excitement to resolve problems or better said, grab opportunities. CIOs must demonstrate the ability to distill technical issues/investments into the clear, simple business language to help the organization make the correct choices. The 80 / 20 rules is a must in. Take risks to achieve something believed in. Understand people and communicate a lot, and don’t forget the humor, but true humor served in a good manner and likable fashion. 
  1. CIO-Chief 'INFLUENCE' Officer: The role of the CIO is to push the focus away from politics and back towards performance. Retool business culture via optimizing processes with the latest technology tools, as too much time is spent on "internal politics" that have little relevance for customers and investors. Nothing garners influence like delivering the goods time after time. Negative politics rarely adds shareholder value - performance does. So the role is to deliver business growth through technology, innovation and cost efficiency. 
  1. CIO –Chief 'IMPROVEMENT Officer: Only a CIO knows how to identify the normal because they are the only person other than the CEO that sees every part of the business, identify what should be automated vs. what can be automated in improving overall company performance in both the short-term and long-term. A CIO is a top executive in the organization responsible for optimizing organizational effectiveness and efficiency. 
  1. CIO –Chief 'INTEGRATION' Officer: Isn’t a CIO super-systems integrators of silicon-based systems (tech) and carbon-based systems (people) and the very different cultures that dominate each realm, so good relevant stuff flows freely throughout the entire system? Drive the IT Services development and support to add value to the business directly or indirectly. CIO also optimizes the IT cost for OpEx and CapEx with keeping the required QoS required by the Business.
  1. CIO –Chief 'INCLUSIVENESS' Officer: A CIO needs to develop cultures in an organization, a culture of always learning and improving and a culture of inclusiveness, collaboration, and continuous change. Once this has been established, the company associates will drive innovation, change, and ongoing growth through process improvements and new product development. 
  1. CIO –Chief 'IMAGINATION' OfficerCIO is a paradoxical role to play balancing act........or a series of contradictions depending on your viewpoint. 
    • A visionary but a pragmatist 
    • An investor for the future but at the same time a cost cutter for today 
    • A technology visionary but more importantly a business visionary
By permeating ten "I's in leadership,  CIO should stand for Chief Inspirational Officer. Inspiration to others can be your biggest benefit to the business. 


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