Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Monthly “12 CIO Personas” Book Turning: CIOs as “Chief Innovation Officer” Sep. 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 Innovation Officer”


CIO as Chief Innovation Officer Nowadays information is the lifeblood, and the emergent technology is more often the business disruptor. And due to the changing nature of information & technology, IT is always in the changing environment creating unexpected situations and requiring quick and appropriate responses based on the conditions. As businesses embark on the “digital era” of computing (Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, Social), how will IT have to change? What is the nature of the new IT leadership and what is the primary role of the CIO in harnessing IT leadership?

CIO as Innovation Provocateur? 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 the 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.

The CIO as “Chief Innovation Officer”: Is Innovation your Daily Leadership Practice? Nowadays, many people and organizations are talking about innovation, but very few practice creativity persistently and manage innovation effectively. When everyone just follows the industry best practices to run IT for “keeping the lights on,” there is no way IT can stand out. The challenge is getting out of the daily burdens and spending more resources and time on innovation-related activities. The CIO as “Chief Innovation Officer” should ask themselves: Is innovation your daily practice? How can you encourage creativity and inspire innovation?

CIOs as De Facto “Chief Innovation Officer”: How to Manage Intensive Digital Innovation Innovation is what leads to differentiation. Technology is often the disruptive force behind innovation, and information is the most time-intensive piece of the digital innovation puzzle. In an industry where innovation threatens to tear down legacy systems and practices, just as it generates new opportunities, it's natural to fear the unknown or be skeptical of the unproven. There is a full emotional cycle behind digital innovation. CIOs as de facto “Chief Innovation Officer”: How to manage intensive digital innovation smoothly?

Three Tips for CIO as Chief Innovation Officer Modern CIOs have many personas indicated in the magic “I” of the CIO title, Chief Innovation Officer is one of the most pertinent roles, because so much business innovation these days is enabled by technology, a good CIO with their finger on the pulse of technological advancement or information insight can provide many ideas on how new tech and abundance of info could create fresh business opportunities. CIOs are uniquely positioned to drive business innovation because of their vantage point in digital transformation. But how can CIO build a solid innovation agenda, and play such a new role more effectively?

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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