Forget the bureaucratic laurels of the past: Chief Information Officers are increasingly becoming more like entrepreneurs.
High performance CIOs must be intrapreneurs – entrepreneurs pursuing new ventures within an organization – rather than taking a more administrative approach of older management paradigms. Gone are the days of being a conservative CIO, says Joel H. Dobbs, CEO and President of consulting firm Compass Talent Management Group LLC (CTMG) in a report for the Enterprise CIO Forum’s blog.
Even the US government is redefining the CIO’s role. Future CIOs will need to manage a cross-functional approach, merging innovative and creative strategies with high performance operations and service, said Casey Coleman, CIO of the US General Services Administration, in the Huffington Post.
“This is not your granddad’s federal government; this is a 21st century government,” she said. “I think of the CIO today as being a choreographer or a conductor of an orchestra, bringing various services together and choreographing the delivery of those services,” Coleman added.
Future CIOs must embrace the flexible, creative and visionary approach typically associated with entrepreneurs, Dobbs says, in order to respond to the frequently evolving demands of the organization they serve.
These are some of the important traits CIOs of the future must have:
1. Vision – Transformational change hinges not on the existing infrastructure and practices of an organization, but in leadership’s vision of what’s to come. Vision is the antithesis of complacency because it pushes past existing practices and brings new business ideas to fruition.
2. Passion – When someone really cares about something, their eyes light up, their voices lilt, their hands wave with excitement. Passionate people are invigorated by fresh ideas. This type of enthusiasm is contagious: Passion breeds a culture of innovation. The effect ripples from within the organization to the brand beyond.
3. Confidence and Self-Motivation –A confident CIO knows both the IT business and the company business. They are self-aware and are equally comfortable giving advice and counsel and taking initiative in areas of strength. They are also comfortable seeking advice and input from a variety of others. Confident CIOs have no problem accepting responsibility and being held accountable for their actions,” writes Dobbs.
4. Risk tolerance – Calculated risks are a necessary element of working towards new, successful outcomes. Being too conservative can result in missed opportunities.
5. Comfortable with ambiguity Because entrepreneurs navigate a landscape of uncertainty, embracing ambiguity as part of the challenge can help steer the organization away from predictability – and more towards innovative, successful business practices.
6. Creativity – The above traits promote the groundwork for creativity, the precedent for innovation. Creativity, according to Dobbs, is a capacity to transcend traditional methods for new ideas.
7. Restlessness, Persistence and High Energy –CIOs must always be enthusiastically working towards their vision. The key here is focus: Work without purpose is a form of procrastination. Persistence allows leaders to push past temporary setbacks. CIOs are motivated by their vision and passion. They keep their energy up. They keep going.
“Entrepreneurial CIOs must be persistent because all of the easy stuff has already been done,” Dobbs writes. “The game-changing stuff is difficult and only people who persevere through challenges succeed at difficult things.”Tags: Business,Entrepreneurs,Leadership,Management