From time to time, I will let you know about a subject of possible interest.
The New Voice of the CIO: Insights from the Global Chief Information Officer Study is the title of an insightful forward thinking study just released by IBM. Although the focus is on identifying the personal best practices of highly innovative Chief Information Officers, the results of this study are eye-opening for all managers.
Researchers interviewed more than 2500 CIOs worldwide to compare and contrast the behaviors of low growth CIOs and their high growth colleagues. Key findings include:
• High growth CIOs devote 87 percent more of their time to enabling the business and corporate vision than do low growth CIOs
• High growth CIOs spend an impressive 55 percent of their time on activities that spur innovation. Low growth CIOs are mired in tactical execution and IT issues.
• Specific innovation activities include generating buy-in for innovative plans, implementing new technologies and managing non-technology issues.
• High growth CIOs spend 94 percent more time integrating business and technology to innovate than do low-growth CIOs
• High growth CIOs actively use collaboration and partnering technology within the IT organization 60 percent more often than low growth CIOs.
Although the research was confined to CIOs, you can use the report to challenge yourself and your thinking even if you’re in HR, logistics, purchasing, or payroll. How do these high growth CIOs find time for strategy and innovation while others are bogged down in the weeds of daily execution? How do they “decommoditize” the value they create for the organization and become indispensible? Read this report and you’ll find yourself taking notes and taking action!
A copy of the study can be obtained at http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/cio/ciostudy/.
As I have shared before, I present a book synopsis monthly at the Urban Engagement Book Club for Central Dallas Ministries, led by Larry James. This is a wonderful group – community leaders, nonprofit leaders, a few business folks, people from area churches, and a few folks just from the community. It is the most amazing mix of people I have ever spoken to – and I love it. (For information about these gatherings, go here).
Last week, I presented the synopsis of: Tools for Radical Democracy: How to Organize for Power in Your Community by Joan Minieri and Paul Getsos. As they describe a step-by-step approach to organizing, they share some great wisdom for anyone trying to build a constituency/customer base. Like this:
You do not wait for people to come to you. You find partners, go out, listen, learn, and build a network of public relationships.
People do not come to you. You go out and find them.
And when you find enough people/customers, your group grows:
You can never have too big a base.
And we all know about the need for a good elevator speech. Here’s their description, though this would take a little longer than the 30 seconds for an elevator speech, and they use a different vocabulary:
Effective initial recruitment, the first time you talk with someone, is characterized by a strong rap.
A rap is the five-to-seven-minute conversation that introduces you and the organization. It is your tool for approaching a person you don’t know and engaging him or her in a dialogue.
And last, some advice on how to approach issues, with a strong emphasis on “solutions” rather than on “problems:”
An issue is the solution to a problem. A community power-building organization never organizes around the problems of individuals. It organizes to advance solutions to collective problems that have a systemic cause.
The book has much more to offer, including the power of “groups” in an age that focuses so very much on individualism. Though the book is very much focused on dealing with issues of societal change, there is plenty of good wisdom for any business or organization. And if you work with people in the nonprofit sector, this is quite a valuable book.