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The Creative CIO

The CIO Dilemma

CIOs have an interesting predicament when compared to the rest of their contemporaries in the C-suite. They need to not only keep the “lights on”, but also find the time to be innovative and transformative in the companies they support. It’s a challenge, to be sure, but also a great way to differentiate the role of the CIO from other executives.

Ken Jarvis take the time to write this post concerning just that dichotomy, and how CIOs can become creative enough to deal with the strain from it. As he explains in this post, CIOs must challenge themselves to experiment. They must encourage what he calls “whole brain thinking” and challenge team members to think beyond problems and typical solutions. It’s more than using the worn-down cliché of “thinking outside of the box” and more about thinking outside of thinking outside of the box:

Look to introduce fresh thinking and fresh eyes on a subject. CIOs are so consumed by day-to-day issues that they don’t see the wood for the trees. That’s where an external perspective can help. Look for out-of-the-box thinkers, within or outside the organisation. As Lee Iacocca said when regenerating GM: “The kind of people I look for to fill top management spots are the eager beavers, the mavericks. These are the guys who try to do more than they are expected to do…they always reach.”

Hire Young, But Don’t Forget Experience

Jarvis also promotes hiring young, creative people (but not so much that you lose more experienced people), embracing new technology and leading the social revolution within your company. Also make it a point to embrace failure—this helps people feel like you have their back to try new things and take big risks.

So if you’re a CIO who wants to expand their creative side (and see some great results from the effort), read this post in full:

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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