To be sure, CIOs should have a good understanding about technology and strong business acumen in order to be successful in their roles. But to truly be an effective leader, CIOs must have solid people skills, communicate well and be great at developing partnerships with employees, business peers and other constituents, according to the authors of a new book on the topic.
In The CIO Edge: Seven Leadership Skills You Need to Drive Results (Harvard Business Review Press, Nov. 2010, $29.95), co-authors Graham Waller (Vice President and Executive Partner with Gartner Executive Programs), George Hallenbeck (Director, Intellectual Property Development, Korn/Ferry Leadership) and Karen Rubenstrunk (formerly with Korn/Ferry's CIO practice) examine the key talents CIOs require and how those can be developed.
I've been reading a lot of stories and commentaries lately about IT governance and whose responsibility it is. One of the more insightful and balanced pieces I've come across was penned by Gartner analyst Julie Short on Silicon.com where she cited several reasons for why IT governance should fall to a company's board of directors.
I agree with many of her points, including how she sees "the lines between the business and IT becoming more blurred" and how IT tasks are being performed in the business, how business is taking on IT leadership roles and vice versa.
CIOs like to take on big challenges. Like helping companies to identify and execute on strategies to grow revenues in a down economy. Or stepping in to rescue a foundering project, such as a struggling ERP effort.
But some challenges are beyond gargantuan. Like being the CIO of Enron during the height of its legal and financial troubles.
Earlier this week I posted an item referencing the Cutter IT Journal, and I return to it now for an article that intrigued me if only for its novelty. Finally I read something that had other things to say about the qualities CIOs must have.
Here are some surprising (and not in a good way) things I learned from the current issue of the Cutter IT Journal, in the article "The Right Way to Recruit CIOs" by Robert Gariano, an executive-search veteran and founder of search firm Robert Gariano Associates: