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'm both fascinated and baffled by stories and studies I come across regarding the use of social media within the workplace. There's still quite a bit of uncertainty, especially among neophyte organizations, as to whether or not to allow all employees or only workers in specific roles (i.e. marketing, customer service) to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social tools as part of their jobs.
It's understandable that some organizational decision-makers worry that staffers are going to spend most of the workday noodling around on Facebook and chatting with friends while productivity drops off a cliff. I recall similar concerns being voiced when instant messaging tools first came to the fore.
If you're an executive or a manager, you probably know who your top performers are. You may even know what motivates some of them. But do you really know how to get the most out of your staff or your direct reports?
In the latest edition of the Harvard Business Review, Thomas H. Davenport, Jeanne Harris and Jeremy Shapiro examine how leading-edge companies such as Google, Harrah's Entertainment and Sprint are applying sophisticated approaches to analyzing employee data in order to gain insights into the types of factors that help drive productivity, engagement and employee retention.
Deloitte recently published the results of a study on behalf of the Education and Employers Taskforce in which 95 percent of teenagers say they want employers to become more involved in providing them with guidance on careers and jobs.
The study, entitled "Helping young people succeed: How employers can support careers education," generated some other interesting (and disturbing) findings. For instance, 42 percent of the 500 teenagers who were surveyed online said they've had no contact with employers over the past two years. As the authors of the study note, "this highlights a significant divide between what young people want from the careers advice experience at school and what they get."
In a Wall St. Journalarticle that was published on Oct. 6, S&P senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt states that within the stock market, "the [technology] sector is the most important, not only because it is now the largest [sector] but because it shows a lot more business-to-business spending." Silverblatt's comments were the backdrop for a story about how third-quarter earnings in the tech sector may reflect the resiliency - or weakness - of the economic recovery as companies begin reporting their earnings.
Silverblatt is spot on. According to Fidelity Investments, the current market weight of the IT sector is 17.85 percent, placing it narrowly ahead of financials which stands at 16.60 percent. Additionally, earnings from tech companies are expected to comprise about 30 percent of total earnings for the S&P 500 index for the quarter, according to John Butters of Thomson's earnings research.
If new research published by The CMO Council and Accenture is any indication, the rift between CIOs and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) is worse than ever.
According to the report, "The CMO-CIO Alignment Imperative: Driving Revenue Through Customer Relevance," IT and marketing executives "do not believe they are highly effective partners, as they struggle to achieve common goals in the race to adopt and keep pace with rapidly evolving digital marketing capabilities."