- 7/23/2014 8:06:22 AM
@Broadway. I recognize that a good CEO encourages some level of disagreement among the executives. It's certainly one way to settle on the best solutions/strategies because you are exploring more possibilities. However, if it goes so far that things don't get done, or at least don't get done right then the CEO is no better than the people he or she is trying to get into line.
- 7/22/2014 11:25:56 PM
@Jamescon, I suppose it would take a very strong, and earnest, CEO to set bickering CIOs and CMOs straight. Many CEOs, who are maybe a little less confident or straight-up, would follow the divide-and-conquer technique, getting potential rivals to bicker with each other rather than him or her.
- 7/21/2014 3:57:36 PM
Broadway. Good point about the CMO often being fired. Of course, if the CEO can get everyone to play nice it won't come to that, assuming the CMO meets their goals. And, if the CIO won't cooperate with the CMO because it's just a matter of time for the CMO to get fired, maybe the CIO is the one who should be refreshing the resume.
Underlying all of this is the fact that the CEO has to put their stamp on how they want technology to be utilized and what type of culture they want in the C-suite.
- 7/21/2014 3:47:41 PM
@Jamescon, the CMO is the most fired member of the C-suite typically, so perhaps firing them more is not the option. The CMO's position is already undercut by the risk of firing; why should the CIO make nice if the CMO will be gone soon?
- 7/21/2014 10:36:11 AM
The CMO blames the CIO for not responding to departmental requests and for not staying current on tech trends. The CIO blames the CMO for not having a plan or patience, and for running off to set up their own marketing IT team (complete with their own tech experts and rogue services).
Someone is missing from this debate, and it's the CEO. There comes a time in every family when Mom or Dad or both have to sit the siblings down and say, "Knock off all the fighting. We're all in the same family."
Over the past decade a generation of CEOs have let too many CIOs and CMOs continue their infighting. Sometimes CEOs have to play the parent role and let everyone know what the rules are and what the "family" goals are. This means telling the CMO that they have to prioritize their demands for new apps based on company goals and a cost/benefit analysis. It also means telling that CMO that the rules include considerations like security and compliance.
At the same time, the CEO has to make it clear to the CIO that IT's job isn't just to keep the network running and to blindly go through a project queue that was established years ago. It means the CIO, if they haven't already, has to consider cloud options and saying "no" (with the CEO's backing) to project requests from throughout the company when those projects aren't going to advance the company goals.
In the worst case, the CEO is going to have to fall back on the corporate equivalent of sending someone to bed without supper: fire someone.
One of these departments represents the face of the organization. The other represents the vital organs. They have to work together. No excuses.
- by SaneIT, Data Doctor
- 7/21/2014 7:45:40 AM
@bkbeverly, That makes perfect sense. I've been slowly moving up the IT chain into management but not by my own design. As my career progresses I can see that the analytical skills from the IT field lend well to managing things other than technology. Most IT pros lean how to deal with high levels of stress, manage multiple projects, manage risk and juggle resources. Now that doesn't mean that every IT manager is a prime candidate to move into a C level position but I do think it's a good training ground. As for the CIO/CMO issue I see the hang-ups a little differently. I've never had marketing assume IT couldn't get the job done, what I have seen is a disconnect between what is possible on the shoestring budget that marketing usually comes to the table with. I can't count the number of times I've had marketing ask for a solution that would have been 3-4X their budget to do right and then had to clean up messes when they pushed forward hoping that cutting corners would get them where they wanted to be.
- by bulk, Data Doctor
- 7/21/2014 4:08:22 AM
Thanks for that, I had always heard people talk about engineers makeing good C level officers but I had not known about having to work their way through mroe functional areas to do so. Interesting.
- by bkbeverly, Data Doctor
- 7/20/2014 3:53:57 PM
Bulk, the next time you have 30 minutes to spare, check the biographies of the CEOs of major companies - GE, airlines, automakers, etc. like Jack Welch of GE (http://www.ge.com/about-us/leadership/profiles/john-f-welch-jr ). He started out as an academic stud but eventually translated his engineering degrees and skills into making GE run smoothly, as well as expanding GE's ability to sustain dominance as a multinational corporation. If all he did was make sure that fax boards were replaced, ran Ethernet cable or make sure that the company intranet was up to date, we would have never heard of him. Yes, you can start in IT, but you must use that as a platform to move into the major functional areas. The CIO role is only about 25 years old - the legacy functional areas are as old as dirt. Folks like Steve Jobs were exceptions. Jobs could design it, build it, market it, upgrade it, and have the respect of the traditional functional managers. But he was a rare breed. One example that I did not mention in my initial response was that in my stints on the management side, I know exactly what the functional managers say in private about IT folks. Not always nice, especially since IT staff can be augmented with H1B visa staff; those designations are seldom for marketing, finance or HR staff - only the commoditized techies. Hope this helps!
- by bulk, Data Doctor
- 7/20/2014 8:46:00 AM
Wow, thanks for the breakdown, I lack that insight into the managment tract so I appriciate yours. That is an interesting view of the CIO, I had never thought of them in that low of a role before, but coming from the tech side of the house my view is skewed a bit.