CIO: Chief Innovation Officer

Photo at blog from webmaster - 30/09/2010 - 11:27

The regular readers of the Results2Match blogs know that we talk a lot about the role and position of a Chief Information Officer (CIO), finding a balance in the change management and delivery aspect of the role. In comments I got on my Commodity Trap blog, I was questioned how a CIO can prevent falling into this trap.

The answer is in fact quite simple: The CIO should be an innovation manager! He or she should focus on bringing a company further in inventing, supporting and funding of new business initiatives to keep ahead of the pack (Hans Lodder called this the change manager role of the CIO). The support through ICT to increase a company's margin through operational excellence is a total different role: It is a delivery role, supported by roles like the Production Architect which I suggested some time ago.

The above also opens up the discussion of the much discussed organizational place of a CIO. I could simplify matters by saying that if an organization has its CIO reporting to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), they are not innovation focused. Does this automatically mean that a CIO, full board member, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and responsible for all ICT is the perfect solution? Well, maybe but depending a lot on the ability of the individual CIO to balance the innovation and delivery aspect.

Why not be bold and think about an organizational model which tries to optimize the position of an organization in the Customer Value/Operational Excellence matrix:

  • Have an Innovation Board, with the CEO, CIO, and the CxO (depending on size and industry the: Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Marketing Officer and/or Chief Business Development Officer).
  • Have an Operations Board, with the CEO, CFO, and the COO.
  • Have the ICT delivery organization reporting to the COO, with the Production Architect as personal staff.

Both Board's have their own focused Key Business Requirements, budgets and Key Performance Indicators (KPI's). ICT delivery becomes integrated part of the business operations.

Could this work? I think so, but it would require some radical mental rethinking by those who currently lead their organization straight into the commodity trap.

As always, comments welcomed.

This blog is part of a series on the Chief Information Officer (CIO) role:

  1. What Role Should the Corporate Information Officer (CIO) in 2008 Grab?
  2. Wanted: The New Corporate Information Officer (CIO)
  3. CIO: Chief Innovation Officer (this blog)
  4. KPI's For a Corporate Information Officer (CIO)
  5. Is Dislocating Technology a Change Agent?
  6. Mergers Miss Consolidation Deadline Required By Law!
  7. Corporate Information Officer (CIO): too much or the wrong Business Intelligence (BI)

Results2Match has a strong vision on successful fulfillment of the CIO role and result driven implementations.

This blog is written by Hans van Nes. Hans is a very experienced interim manager and (radical) change management consultant. You can contact Hans through his Results2Match email address.

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