If the CIO is buried in the operational out of comfort of the known, who is now accountable for innovation?

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CIO
IT departments
If the CIO is buried in the operational out of comfort of the known, who is now accountable for innovation?

It is rare now to speak to the CIO. A 180 from just 1 year ago. The average CIO is now running people and departments. They seem to be in some sort of ugly rut.

Who now leads with innovation? The IT Department heads cannot execute anything without the CIO. So how does the Technology Dept grow? How do they learn? What is new and special about the team or department?

 Sounds familiar?

By the way....Is there no wonder now why there are no more IT jobs out there? 

Theresa Gallo

Frustrated Director of Business Dev Director for Innovative IT Vendor



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  • TechTalker
    Innovation does not have to necessarily start with the CIO, although it is convenient when it does. Innovation starts with you. I am a Director of Database and Reporting Systems at a large (non-profit) healthcare services/higher education organization and I, along with my entire team, innovate every opportunity that we can without being directed to by the CIO or any other senior executive. The key is to take the lead yourself and others will follow, including the CIO if he/she agrees with your foresight and direction. Don't get frustrated and demoralized, find something that you or your team can do to innovate and make it happen. You will be pleasantly surprised at the positive culture shift that will occur when your team starts innovating and others follow suit.
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  • James Murray
    I did a paper on CIO's and CTO's and who is the best C-level leader representing technology. When you mention inovation I assume you mean technical innovation? The best CIO is a business executive with a 10% understanding of technology vs a 90% understanding of Business. The job of the CIO is to integrate the technology strategy with the business strategy. The job of the CIO is not technology inovation. The job of the CIO is to translate the business requirements of the C-level exectuives into technical requriments. The network architect takes these requirements and designs the technical architecture. This is where much of the technical inovation should be occuring. The technical architect takes the architecture to the technical operations managers and develops the plans that will be executed on. Finally the technicians follow the operations managers and technical lead instruction to build the nuts and bolts technology. I agree with Tech Talker, technical inovation occurs within the technical leadership and teams that impliment that architecture. It sounds though like your organization has grown so fast that the CIO has not kept up with the changes. This is a business risk that the C-Level exectutives need to address with the CIO. You sound disheartened, just understand that in most growing organizations there may be growing pains, but these growing pains provide opportunities for those that are creative, to stand out. One thing I have noticed though is that on certain international teams I've worked on the theories of X and Y managment haven't been taught in those cultures. Theory X managment styles assume that workers are lazy and need to be motivated. Inovation comes from the manager. Theory Y managment theories assume that the worker is motivated to do a good job. I find that as we outsource more and more work away from theory Y managment cultures to Theory X management cultures the types of symptoms you describe occur. Since you are a director level manager, perhaps you might gain some inspiration by going back to study Douglas McGregors X & Y managment theories. There's nothing like inovative success to demostrate to the C-level managment teams to hand of Inovation to you. Good Luck
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