A dynamic command of social media seems to some like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, an ever-retreating horizon. After all, social media is driven by technology of a profoundly protean cast, and businesses require some measure of predictability. But, as recent guests on CIO Talk Radio, ones centrally placed to know, concur: social media is making business processes more efficient.
New technologies mean that businesses have had to think through the nature of a sales event.It is traditional, per Death of a Salesman and Glengarry Glen Ross, to think of a salesperson as the one who precipitates an event, and the event has been conceived as the face-to-face encounter of a nimble-tongued sophist (whether a Socrates or a Thrasymachus) and a prospect. The sales event was thought of as analogous to a point on a line, with particular emphasis on the “close,” the supreme importance of this instant. But today’s technologies have brought about a revolution in information—making it more abundant, yes, but also more available. And there is no longer a sales event proper (as there is, for instance, a gunshot in a Conan Doyle tale). Furthermore, it is unhelpful to remain in the habit of thinking in terms of such an event.
What rules do you live by? How do you define the culture and values you want in your IT department? We each hire the best talent, we all embrace diversity in people, skills and ideas, we all strive for business alignment, but how do we build a framework to assure we are targeting those most important elements that we as CIOs believe brings out our best, and delivers the greatest value to our companies? We each come from different backgrounds and experiences, face different corporate, budget, market, and industry challenges, and have our own ideas of what construes IT excellence. We each in common face the constant challenge of technology change, consumer technology empowerment, new markets and approaches to business, and the ever shortening shelf life of opportunity as pressures with which we must contend, adapt to or embrace, and which continually redefine our approach to IT.
Donald Rumsfeld’s recent book might help you answer that question – or perhaps the WSJ excerpts below will suffice and save you from reading his 815 page volume (Known and Unknown).
Ah, but there’s another book written almost 20 years ago that’s needed to complete the picture: Polarity Management, by Barry Johnson. Subtitled “Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems,” its premise is that you can become a more effective leader by distinguishing problems you can solve from those you cannot; and additionally by increasing your ability to manage the polarities inherent in those unsolvable problems.
Recently I was on the CIO Talk Radio and we were discussing on the emerging and changing role of the Head of IT function and I was pleasantly surprised with the co-speaker introducing himself as the Head of CPO (Chief Process Officer). During the course of the interview, he explained that he preferred the title of the CPO v/s. CIO as it describes the real role that he is playing.