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Category: Welcome - CIO to CEO--Get Value from IT

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Category: Welcome

04/26/10

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with the CEO of a company about their IT function. This company of about 300 employees is highly dependent on technology for their business--as the CEO put it "information is our business."

The organization had recently hired two high-level IT leaders, both of whom had left the company after relatively short periods. While the CEO was telling me the details of the situations, I found myself analyzing the situation so that I could provide the CEO with some advice about how to approach the hiring process in the future.

Often, organizations do not know what type of person they "need", but they know the type of person they "want". These are not always compatible. For instance, even if an organization is small, if it is highly dependent on technology and is frequently on the leading edge, it may need a true CIO--a strategic thinker who is constantly looking at the big picture. A larger organization whose business does not revolve so intensely around technology and is content being in the "middle of the pack" may need a strong IT Director--a great operations person who can look one or two years into the future but is primarily focused on keeping things running smoothly today. The type of person who fits each of these roles is rarely the same--and hiring the wrong one can lead to dissatisfaction on both sides.

Be sure to consider the type of person you need, not just the type you want. While it may sound impressive to say you have a CIO, you may be better off having an IT Director.

I am interested in hearing about experiences from others, so feel free to post your comments here.


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12/16/09

Permalink 01:38:30 pm, Categories: Welcome

Thanks to everyone who has been following the blog this year. In recognition of how busy most of us are during the final month of the year, I am going to put the blog on hiatus until January. The blog will return the week of January 4th.

-Don


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10/25/09

Permalink 03:41:45 pm, Categories: Welcome

All: I will be attending a conference during part of these two weeks and will pick up my blog after the conference. I expect to have some great information and ideas to share after this conference. Thanks for following the blog! -Don


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08/12/09

Permalink 06:20:51 pm, Categories: Welcome, IT Leadership

Yesterday, I got to drive through the beautiful Cascade mountains from Seattle to the Apple Capital of the World, Wenatchee, Washington. The reason for my 2.5 hour trek (each way) was to attend a Washington State Healthcare Authority (HCA) meeting on developing a plan for distribution of some of the Federal stimulus funds (specifically those related to healthcare). The content of the meeting was useful and progress was made.

But what struck me was how many different constituencies were represented in the room. Hospitals, physican groups, emergency medical services, public health, government departments, private enterprise (such as Microsoft), consultants, colleges and universities, research organizations--the list goes on. What was truly amazing was that despite the different backgrounds and agendas, we were ultimately able to agree on some core things that we believe the State should achieve through the use of the federal funds.

How could this happen with so many diverse points of view? I think the success can be attributed to two main factors. The first is that the state HCA department has promised transparency in the process and so far has delivered pretty well on this promise, thus eliminating the "suspicion factor". The second factor is that everyone was allowed to speak, if they wanted to, and all ideas were written down in plain sight. This helped to avoid the "interpretation issue". All of this took place with approximately 60 people scattered all over the state--some physically present in the conference room, some on a video conference bridge, and others on a telephone bridge.

CIOs need to constantly bring together diverse constituencies and create agreement and momentum. If a government agency can make this work, surely we can by following these same basic guidelines.

I look forward to your thoughts, ideas, and maybe a true story or two about how you've accomplished similar things.


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06/22/09

Permalink 06:48:36 pm, Categories: Welcome

Hello world! Thanks for checking in and hope you find the forthcoming posts (new ones weekly) helpful and insightful.

-Don


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Don shares his experience and ideas about how to get the most value from your IT function. Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of Don and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of his clients or employers.

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