Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: CIOs as “Chief Inquisitiveness Officer” Aug. 2020

 The digital CIOs have to wear different colors of hats and master multiple leadership personas and management roles effortlessly. 

This book “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices” is the extensive brainstorming and logical content expansion of my book “CIO Master: Unleash the Digital Potential of IT,” to reimagine and reinvent CIO leadership via practicing multitudes of digital influence. The important thing is that CIOs as the top leadership role must have a strong mindset, a unique personality, and a clear idea of what needs to be done, yet creative enough to not hold the company back from growth. 

Regardless of which personality they have, digital CIOs need to be both transformational and situational, innovative and tactical, business savvy and technology insightful, communication-effective, and operation-efficient. 

   CIOs as “Chief Inquisitivess Officer” 


CIO as Chief Inquisitive Officer: A Set of Inquiries to Reinvent IT as a Trustful Business Partner Information Technology is the backbone of running a modern business. IT contribution to business value does not come from the technology itself, but from the change that IT both shapes and enables. To run a high performance IT organization, CIOs and top business leaders should ponder: What's the business perception of their IT organization? Is IT a competitive necessity or the differentiated advantage of the business? IT leaders will be welcomed to the executive table if executives hear the language they understand - the language which is the most beneficial to the company's future. Here is a set of CIO’s inquiries to help them clear the vision, make an objective assessment of current IT management maturity, and reinvent IT as a trustful business partner.

Can You Manage the “Shade of Gray” to Drive Progressive Change? In today’s “VUCA” –“Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous” business environment, the rate of change has accelerated, indicating that business leaders must learn how to break through the industrial constraints and limitations, gain the great awareness of business ecosystem intricacies and systemic value of organizational processes and capacities, etc. The level of business resilience and maturity depends on how they can manage the "gray area" effectively and strike the right balance of business transaction and transformation.

Does Your IT Organization Lack of “Strategic Bone” There is no doubt IT plays a critical role in both improving bottom line business efficiency and top-line revenue growth. However, there is no "one size fitting all" magic formula on how to run the IT organization as a strategic partner and a revenue generator. Different IT organizations and enterprise as a whole are at a different stage of business maturity. The role of CIO is the mirror of the business reputation as an innovator or a plumber; a strategist or an operator; a change agent or a controller, etc. Lack of “strategic bone” is perhaps one of the root causes of diminishing IT influence and keeping IT irrelevant in the long run.

How to Keep IT “Fresh” and Get Digital Ready The majority of IT organizations are perceived as monolithic, isolated, and stereotypical support centers with heavyweight hardware boxes, focus on “keeping the business lights on.” IT running in an industrial model as a business controller or a restraint no longer fits in the dynamic business circumstances or volatile digital new normal. Digital transformation represents a break from the past, with a high level of impact and complexity. To build an IT reputation as a business partner, IT leaders should ask themselves how to keep IT “Fresh,” and get digital ready.

CIOs’s Big “HOW” Inquiries to Run Innovative IT With the exponential growth of information and disruptive nature of technology, IT can no longer just “keep the lights on,” IT becomes the business in the business to do more with innovation and lead changes proactively in many forward-thinking organizations. IT leaders need to think strategically and creatively about alternative business solutions and ask themselves tough questions. Here are CIOs’ five “HOW”s to run innovative IT.

Modern organizations have their own sophistication with silo functions, the sea of information, and the pool of talent. The CIO is an inherently cross-functional role, to bridge the business and IT; the data and insight, the business’s today, and tomorrow. The digital CIOs have to wear different personas and master multiple leadership and management roles effortlessly. They need to lead at the strategic level for conducting a complex digital orchestra; they should be handy managers to plumbing information and keep it flow smoothly; they also have to be like diligent gardeners, to build a unique IT landscape via tuning technology, removing waste, nurturing culture, and empowering people.


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