IT Best Practices

When Leadership Gets Out of the Way

This article from Insurance Networking is strangely appropriate for CIOs trying to consider how to enable their teams and the IT department as a whole. The article focuses on a meeting between the author (Pat Speer) and Tsukasa Makino, deputy general manager of the Corporate Planning Department and IT Planning Department at Tokio Marine& Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. Makino noted that Takio Marine doesn't have a CIO, but do have a free-thinking, autonomous environment where all levels of employees can create innovation and optimization. The idea of not having a CIO is one that is a bit concerning or confusing (especially if you happen to be a CIO), but the idea does have some merit. Management Innovation eXchange recognized Takio Marine for reducing bureaucracy and having all stakeholders understand where the IT organization was heading. This led to voluntary innovation, breaking down the old organizational structure and allowing for restructuring Whef the entire group: In its “Beyond Bureaucracy Challenge” contest, The Mix's second phase of the HBR/McKinsey M-Price for Management Innovation, Makino san describes how, in 2004, a systems engineer initiated an action that triggered a series of transformational initiatives””many of which led to voluntary, grassroots and enterprise-wide activities that broke down organizational silos, used internal social networks to communicate progress, and with some dramatic HR reforms, made innovation “everyone's job.” How can we take this premise, the leaderless group, and make it work within our own organizations? No, the suggestion here isn't to remove yourself from the IT department, but to think of how effective a more innovative team can be for driving organization wide success.

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