The CIO Paradox - A Must Read

The CIO Paradox One day, I hope to write a book and share my best ideas, secrets and wisdom with fellow CIOs and CTOs. Martha Heller, CIO Magazine columnist just published her new book The CIO Paradox and has delivered a must read, must-have reference for IT executives. It is also a great read for CEOs and CFOs who will learn a great deal about the CIO job and its complexities. So when my day comes, Martha will be a tough act to follow.

Martha presents the complexities of the CIO job as a series of paradoxes. Should the CIO focus on cost management, or innovation? How can a global CIO streamline processes yet still support regional and local solutions? How can CIOs be more successful when they are accountable for project success but need business leaders to own the project? How can a CIO communicate IT success when its failures are so visible and impactful to the business?

Great questions, and Martha presents CIO stories and general advice throughout the book. I've met several CIOs interviewed in the book at the CIO Global Forum and they are an exceptional bunch with a lot to learn from. Geir Ramleth, Bechtel Group's CIO uses a simple formula, Speed = Innovation * Simplicity to remind IT to keep solutions simple in order to target 80% of the payback. Tom Conophy, CIO of the Intercontinental Hotels Group provides advice to CIOs that need to take on cultural challenges and transform IT's mission   to drive innovation. Then there is Ramon Baez, former CIO of Kimberly Clark and now with HP shares some of his secrets communicating and engaging a global IT workforce.

Part 3 of the book shares some secrets on recruiting IT talent, establishing successors, and hot topics lggike CIO Board seats and CIO career path. While some of these are advanced topics, these chapters should help the CIO think expansively about their role and career.

The CIO Paradox is packed with a wealth of advice and I highly recommend it to CIOs and CXOs. 

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