As I looked back over this year, I wanted to capture the best advice for CIOs from CIOs out of the hundreds of enlightening recommendations offered by the great IT leaders involved in the #CIOChat. My hope as we end this year of change is that you can use the guidance to become an even better IT leader in 2017.
Here is my selection of the best advice from 2016 and if you want to hear more, you are always invited to join us on Thursdays at 2-3pm EST— starting up again on January 5th.
“Find a pain everyone recognizes and fix it first. And then you have the authority to drive real innovation and change.”— Jonathan Reichental, CIO for the City of Palo Alto
“CIOs need to be visionary business and people leaders first.” — Alexander Bockelmann, Chief Digital Officer and Head of IT at UNIQA Insurance Group
“It is critical for CIOs to be both a manager and leader but they are very different. You lead people and you manage budgets and relationships.” — Ben Haines, VP of Global Information Systems at Yahoo
“Management is the mechanics. Leadership is value. Supporting people to successfully innovate and contribute is priceless.” — Joanna Young, Former CIO for Michigan State University
“The leadership skills that need to be in the CIOs toolkit are: Empathy, Strategy, Communication, and Foresight.” — Will Lassalle, CIO at JLS Technology
“There should only be one customer. The customer of the company/business.” — Tim Crawford, CIO Strategic Advisor and Former CIO
“Innovation means thinking of better solutions for your customers, making their lives easier.” — David Thompson, Executive VP, Global Operations and Technology and CIO at Western Union
“Organizations that use technology as a competitive advantage will separate from the others.” — David Chou, CIO of Children’s Hospital of Kansas City
“A CIO must start to pivot from Information Technology to Digital Services.” — Jonathan Feldman, CIO of City of Ashville, NC
“CIOs need to protect data wherever it pools or flows.” — Sharon Pitt, CIO at Binghamton University
To me, the common themes above are leadership, management, and the use of technology to innovate and drive better organizations. Great IT leaders know that they are about enabling their businesses to compete and innovate, and at their core, they are integrated into the business. For them, business and IT alignment is instinctual versus something to pursue. @CIOMentors recently said that smart CIOs have stopped calling internal departments customers because as it says above, “There should be only one customer.” Do you have any great advice from 2016 to share with CIOs? I look forward to hearing your wisdom as we proceed into 2017.