Archives for April 2012
Last Friday on Twitter, I was lamenting the compulsion of new people on existing projects to revisit and reinvent every prior decision and action, rather than focus their energy on execution. I tagged the tweets reinvention week. My opening salvos:
Wouldn’t it be cool if new people to a project focused on getting it done, rather than reinvention? #reinventionweek #EntArch
We need to value execution on par with creation. #entarch #reinventionweek
Certainly, there are instances when revisitation is required, and is the mission of the new person. However, in my experience, too frequently the need is driven by ego. Either, in placing a stamp on the project, or in moving the project to the technology, standards, patterns the new person is expert on, and therefore most likely to be seen as a star and/or become a key player.
In our twitter back and forth, Sally Bean offered: “that’s why we need to hire smart lazy people, not smart industrious ones.”
Sally was referring to Field Marshal Bernhard Graf von Moltke’s model on categorizing officers:
• Smart & Lazy: I make them my Commanders because they make the right thing happen but find the easiest way to accomplish the mission.
• Smart & Energetic: I make them my General Staff Officers because they make intelligent plans that make the right things happen.
• Dumb & Lazy: There are menial tasks that require an officer to perform that they can accomplish and they follow orders without causing much harm
• Dumb & Energetic: These are dangerous and must be eliminated. They cause thing to happen but the wrong things so cause trouble.
I hadn’t see this model before. It’s an interesting take on matching talent (or not) to positions. We always think we need “smart and energetic”. Yet, in a multitude of situations, “smart and lazy” is the better way to go.
Wow. Can the CIO escape the chief infrastructure officer corner? Or, has that ship sailed?
“New research suggests chief executives don’t consider CIOs of their companies as partners in managing either strategy or innovation. This data could go a long way towards explaining why so many CIO jobs are advertised as strategic, but end up being largely operational.
According to Gartner, which conducts an annual survey of CEO attitudes towards technology, only 4% of the chief executives of some of the world’s largest companies consider their CIOs as leaders of innovation management within their organizations, or as supporting them in making strategic changes to the business.
Mark Raskino, who conducted the survey, added that 35% of CEOs named the CFO as their main strategic partner in the company, but didn’t mention CFOs at all when it comes to managing innovation either. “In this world of digital disruption, this overall equation is almost a systemic map for creating a blind spot… Strategy and innovation are held separately, and the CIO is held nowhere near any of them,” he told CIO Journal.”
“It reflects the extent to which CIOs are under-appreciated by the rest of the executive suite, in large part because “too often, IT leaders see themselves, and CEOs see them, as custodians of the tools” used to drive innovation. High says CIOs can change this perception by leading conversations about how IT can support initiatives for human resources, legal and compliance and marketing departments.
Gartner surveyed 381 companies for this report, 16% of which generate revenues of $50 billion or more, 23% of which earn between $5 billion and $25 billion, and 36% of which earn between $1 billion and $5 billion. Seventy percent of respondents were CEOs, president or board members, and 30% were CFOs. More than half employed more than 10,000 workers.“
Another article on the survey result points to short CIO tenures as a detriment:
“CIOs are seen as employees that move from company to company, never rising to a more senior role and never staying longer than their next job offer, added Lopez.“
Regardless of the cause, the impact is significant. I’m not advocating that the “I” in CIO becomes “Innovation”, but in the now (and forever) digital business world, the CIO needs to press the innovation agenda. Directly, or via a strategic hire.