- 4/22/2014 6:00:36 PM
Hi Bryan Excellent advice. Even for those of us who have been in the workforce for awhile. I like your thoughts about solving a legacy issue for those who want to carve out their own niche.
It certainly is tricky but if you want your bosses job ultimately then I agree, you have to get them in a position to be promoted. And above make them look good for hiring you ! Words to live by.
- 4/22/2014 11:31:37 AM
Beth, Just off the cuff, the idea sounds great. However people seldom realize how tough it is for innovation to occur. Sometimes it is based on using old tools in new ways or coming up with new tools. Sometimes it is based on exposure to other company cultures and ways of thinking, sometimes it is the function of necessity, sometimes it is based on seeing problems from different points of view. That is why I like interdisciplinary teams. Let me give you an example of innovation: A college professor was driving past an insane asylum when his back-right tire came off. Upon examination, he saw that three of the five lug nuts were missing. He stood there befuddled because he did not know what to do. A resident of the asylum came to the fence and said 'if you take one lug nut from each of the other wheels and drive slowly, you will OK until you can get to a service station'. The college professor was amazed and said 'You are right! How did you think of that?' The resident replied 'Hey, I am crazy, not stupid.' In like manner, innovation is often finding the crazy person who can understand the simple path to problem solving; the visually impaired person who does not have eyesight, but has insight; the deaf person cannot see but can detect beat vibrations. Innovation is an art not a science. It is hard to come up with new ideas in a vacuum but it is easier when there is a specific problem to be solved. So I would agree in principle that the CIO needs to create monetized ideas. But creativity on demand is hard (even comic strip artists cannot be funny day, every week and every year). CIO repurposed as innovators? Sounds good but not as easy as it sounds.
- by BethSchultz, Blogger
- 4/22/2014 9:39:09 AM
Well, Bryan, I don't know about the "big bucks," but I do like to stir the conversation! So, let me ask you this: What do you think of the idea of the CIO, as in chief INFORMATION officer, needing to become the chief INNOVATION officer? That's an idea put forth last summer by Daniel Burrus, a business author and consultant, in an HBR piece. He wrote:
"Enterprise IT as we have known it is rapidly becoming obsolete, and the traditional role of the CIO is increasingly irrelevant. As game-changing technologies transform every business process, they also give us the ability to create new products and services that were impossible just a few years ago. Therefore, the CIO's role must shift from protecting and defending the status quo to embracing and extending new innovative capabilities."
There's some truth to that, I think.
- 4/22/2014 9:20:44 AM
Beth, excellent observation (that's why you get the big bucks). Yes crowdsourcing is 'innovation on the cheap'. You get broad-band intelligence at no cost. Once a new idea has been proven, the work then becomes local implementation. I don't hear too much about Chief Innovation Officers. If there are any, they are probably in small start ups - the title given to the vision person. No company can afford to give a check to a vision person unless it is Steve Jobs - his vision translated into sales and market dominance. So again, the bottom line is the bottom line. Ideas that can be consistently monetized are the ones that last. There is school-smart and business-smart; our young analysts need to learn the distinction quickly.
- 4/22/2014 9:07:32 AM
Hi Louis, Yes, what I am suggesting is that for the person just entering the work world, take some time to understand what is valued in that environment. I am not suggesting that one be a YES person/kiss up. But find out what the boss needs and use your talents (even some innovation if it saves resources) to some the boss' problems. If you want your boss's job, then you need to help your boss get promoted. Or if you want to carve out a niche for yourself, then solve a legacy problem or at least make it less pain full. The new analyst may have been in the top 10% of his/her class, but in a work environment, you are just another bright person among many other 10% people. Hence the way to win is to ethically deploy your skills, knowledge and abilities to solve existing problems or create new efficiencies. Make your boss look good first and that will create a little wiggle room for you to start rising up. If you come across as a self-serving smarty-pants that cannot deliver solutions. it really does not matter what your GPA was. If you are just starting out, I suggest help the boss look smart for hiring you.
- 4/21/2014 5:01:13 PM
@Beth I really think it is the latter. I am not so sure how companies are taking to these new titles cropping up. It seems like CEO's like to think of themselves as such in this particuliar case, but seriously, I don't see companies thinking that the position of Chief Innovation Officier is a must have.
- by BethSchultz, Blogger
- 4/21/2014 9:38:42 AM
Louis -- do you think that's because it's an idea who's time has come and gone, or because it's an idea that's still has momentum building behind but hasn't yet reached critical mass yet?
- by CandidoNick, Data Doctor
- 4/20/2014 12:44:45 PM
As a quick check to see the popularity disparity between the CIO positions, I found that Googling Chief Innovation Officer led to 75 million results, versus Chief Information Officer's 438 million.
The rest of the typical chief positions yielded much higher results, leading me to believe that the popularity of an innovation position is simply small or that the position is just a newer prospect.