100 Days as CIO; A Retrospective

It's been a little over 100 days since I started my new CIO post. When I started back in May, I published My First 100 Days as CIO with reference links I used to help develop my plan. About 1/3 of the way through, I published a Top 10 Guidance Tips to New CIOs and IT Leaders with some simple advice to those in new IT leadership positions. I even tweeted through my first 100 days. Now, after a hundred days, here's a bit of a retrospective.

It was really hard to stay balanced. Listen and ask questions, or be prepared to run? Make clear decisions, or let teams self organize and find solutions? Keep things status quo, or make dramatic changes? Spend time with the tech team and learning the operations, or foster business relationships? Is this a burning issue that requires significant attention, or something that appears significant but is not strategic? In a lot of ways, I had to do all of the above sometimes one way, then switch gears and using a different approach the second time around. Balance.

I found it difficult pacing change. My sense is that a good CIO or a good leader is instinctively going to want to move fast. Set organizational processes, stop doing some things, do other things differently, get better at others, start some new things, etc., but how do you gauge when you're moving too fast - or too slow for that matter? Again, I think it's all of the above because when you're introducing change, change first starts with a small set of individuals. Ideally these individuals support and enhance your values, then help set examples for the team. What I found was, that different people embraced different elements of my program. Bottom line is, you have to get to know and work with individuals to help you in different ways.

Learning a new organization, business, and industry requires investigative work. Especially as a CIO, I needed to learn the current state from multiple perspectives internal, external, sales, customers, competitors, adjacent industries. In a 100 days - even in 300 days, I doubt I could achieve a complete picture. It was more important for me to adjust my direction based on what I learned, full knowing that I will always have incomplete information.

Finally, the first 100 days has been a time of rapid planning and presentation. It put my skills to the test, and my team largely responded. I'm looking forward to the next 100!


  1. It's a very interesting experience learning and assimilating into a new business. Leadership qualities such as active listening, encouraging others, exemplifying and highlighting desired qualities and characteristics in others, acknowledging examples of accomplishments and failures, empowering others, and risk-taking go a long way in motivating teams and inspiring excellence. These qualities create a high-performance culture. Of course, we have to balance this with the necessity to increase shareholder value in the short term as measured by quarterly earnings reports. Not easy - where's the right balance? This depends on the state of the balance sheet, how the organization measures effectiveness and success, and the organization's appetite for staying ahead of the curve and its competition.

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  4. Congratulation on finishing your 100 days..thanks for sharing the tips for new CIO. Helped me a lot!

    Construction CV

  5. Anonymous10:04 AM

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld, CIO.com, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.