Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Monthly Spotlight on Digital CIOs: The Mindset, Skillset, and Toolset of Digital CIOs Feb. 2017

Modern CIOs have many personas and face great challenges.

Modern CIOs have many personas and face great challenges. It is not sufficient to only keep the light on. Regardless of which industry or the nature of organization you are in, being a digital leader will need to master the art of creating unique, differentiating value from piles of commoditized technologies, but more specifically, what are the digital-savvy CIOs doing to run IT as a growth engine and innovation Hub? Here is the monthly spotlight of the CIO.       

      The Mindset, Skillset, and Toolset of Digital CIOs

  • Refresh CIO Leadership to Accelerate Digital Transformation  The CIO role is considerably a newer top executive role compared to other business executive positions. At the static industrial age, IT was perceived as a cost center, and CIOs were labeled as the technical geek and tactical manager, and the majority of IT organizations get stuck in the lower level of maturity.  However, due to the exponential growth of information and increasing speed of changes, technologies are often the disruptive force behind digital technologies. IT plays a more significant role in leading businesses forward at the front. So, how to refresh CIO leadership to accelerate digital transformation?
  • Digital CIO’s Mindset, Skillset, and Toolset? The CIO role is perhaps one of the most sophisticated executive positions in modern businesses because they have to wear multiple personas and adapt to changes all the time, due to the exponential growth of information and change nature of technologies. They need to be both business strategists and hands-on managers; advocate innovation and set policies; drive changes and manage risks, etc. Overall speaking, CIOs are the leadership role, not only do they need qualities and skills to transform their IT organization, more importantly, they should have altitude, aptitude, and attitude to be the influencers, change agents, and  talent masters in the enterprise and its expanding business ecosystem; and they should get mindset, skillset and toolset ready for driving changes and leading digital transformation effortlessly..
  • Which qualities, technical as well as leadership skills, are true differentiators to become a unique CIO IT plays a more critical role in driving changes and leading digital transformation, thus, the bar of CIO leadership is also raised higher for adapting to the faster pace of changes and continuous digital disruptions. It is not sufficient to be just a tactical manager to keep the lights on. In fact, today’s IT leaders should have the multi-faceted personas, multilayered professional capabilities, and the multitude of leadership qualities and skill set in order to lead seamlessly. But more specifically, which qualities, technical as well as leadership skills, are true differentiators to become a unique CIO.

  • CIOs as Chief Intrapreneur Officer: How to Encourage Creativity and Manage Innovation: It's common that many IT companies tend to focus more on their core competencies with age and often forget about the value of innovation. Without encouraging creativity, organizations would be upstaged by the ones that are creative because disruptive innovation will happen no matter how well you prepare. Digital IT needs to be run as a business, and digital CIOs should be the “Chief Intrapreneur Officer,” with “whole brain” thinking: Being logic in your mind based on your years of engineering training and experiences and be creative in your heart, dream big and think big. Because the CIO’s vision will directly impact their organization’s strategic perspective for the long term. So, how to encourage creativity and manage innovation effectively?

  • CIOs as “Chief Idea & Innovation Officer”: Five Principles for Idea Evaluation and Management Innovation is the only way businesses can build differentiated advantages in face of fierce competitions in the digital era. From the business perspective, innovation is the mechanism through which you grow and evolve something to something great - higher value-add or ever breakthrough, or something new or better based on a combination or modification of previous attributes/approaches. Innovations can range from small to game changers. Also, it is important to note that within the organizations, innovation is rarely an individual action; rather it is a team effort, often across multiple organizational silos. More often than not, IT is the disruptive force of digital innovation, CIOs as “Chief Idea & Innovation Officer” - How should you set principles for evaluating and managing ideas effectively?

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