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Tips on Becoming a Transformational Leader from CIO of the UN

The CIO in the World of World Politics

The CIO of the UN might seem like one of the most unique positions a person can hold—but the truth of it is that this CIO faces the same struggles and challenges as any other CIO in the world. The CIO in question, in this case, is Atefeh “Atti” Riazi—and her suggestion for other CIOs is to become more creative while staying a bit paranoid. She told article author and executive editor of SearchCIO Linda Tucci that CIOs become too risk adverse, limiting how effective and transformational they can become.

When asked to address her previous statement that the CIO would be a good person to run a company, Riazi explained how the CIO is the only executive who understands workflows, are accustomed to transformation, and customer needs. She cautioned, however, that CIOs are less skilled at the “softer issues” around transformation:

So you do need a holistic CIO. Most CIOs live in their left brain and the rest of the body is there to take care of the left brain. They need to get out of their left brain and they need to move to the right brain.  We are still stuck thinking technology is about tools — about hardware and software — when technology is actually about transformation. It's about the experience of all of that hardware, on economic issues, organizational issues, social issues, political issues. It's necessary to move away from the what and how and to understand their job is about why; why do we deploy technology versus what is it we're deploying and how are we deploying it?

Innovation Isn’t Success

Riazi goes on to explain the difference between innovation and success: success means money and happy stakeholders, whereas innovation often doesn’t mean money—and almost always is a disruption. Because of this, CIOs often forget to look at the future—at the importance of innovation, though it’s essential to keep that at the forefront of a CIO’s mind.

Read the full article here:

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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