Innovation and The New CIO

The New CIO is a weekly article about the challenges facing today’s CIO as well as what can be done to prepare for future challenges.


That’s a powerful word.  It can conjure up many feelings and thoughts, but does the word mean anything to the CIO and/or the IT Group?

Do most IT organizations know what innovation really means? Is it the job of the IT group and Chief Information Officer to help drive innovation?

I believe it is.  I believe the CIO has to step out from the role of IT leader and move into a role of innovation leader within the organization.

CIO = Chief Innovation Officer?

We probably won’t see a title change, but The New CIO will need to be able to not only speak the language of business and technology, but also the language of innovation.  The New CIO will needs to be comfortable talking about the world of now as well as the world of tomorrow.

Gone are the days of waiting on the sidelines to see what other companies are doing.  The New CIO has to have their finger on the pulse of popular culture, technology culture and academia to know where society is going, what technology is available now and in the near future and where technology is going in the long term.

Can The New CIO really do this? I think they have to.  The New CIO must take a lead in innovating.

While the CIO still has to worry about IT Operations, Governance,  Security, Project Management and everything in the world of IT, if The New CIO can build the right team, they’ll have more time to focus on the responsibilities of driving innovation throughout the enterprise.

What other group or person within an organization is better positioned than The New CIO?  The majority of innovative ideas today revolve around using technology in some manner.   What better way for The New CIO to drive home the value of  IT than to help lead innovation.

The New CIO has a lot of hats to wear: Portfolio manager,  Leader, Strategist are just a few.   Add Innovator to that list and you might just have the perfect CIO.

From CIO to Innovator to CEO?

Many organizations are looking for people who can think strategically and innovate.  Add to that, the ability to blend technology with business, and you’ve got the makings of a great CEO.

Put on your thinking hat, dust off your strategic thinking skills (hopefully they aren’t too dusty!) and start driving innovation. For the CIO who figures out how to do these things well, they might just find themselves being sought out for larger leadership roles within the organization.

Take that step from operational CIO to The New CIO…you just might find it’s fun being involved in changing the way to the organization does business.  You might also find yourself in the CEO position in the future.

Join me next week for another The New CIO article.

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