CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 70

Why were you interested in learning
about CIOs' first 100 days?

in their career, and it can happen multiple times in the

In our consulting practice, over half of the time, our

a widely shared experience, and I think it's possible to

first engagement with a company will be a collaboration

identify a few universal principles that have made some

with a CIO at the beginning of his or her journey, as

executives very successful.

we look at how their new teams compare to what we
call "world class IT" organizations. It's very important
to do so at the start of the journey, because after 100
days, any problem that you have not identified up to

Everyone will have "the first 100 days" at some point
same company if one is promoted from within. This is

So there is a recurring pattern that
you've observed in CIOs' first months
on the job?

that point is your problem - even if it results from the
actions of your predecessor. It's really important to

The first month is typically a learning period. When I

have an eyes-wide-open perspective: How do I augment

say learning, I mean primarily learning the culture of

this department's strengths, where is it weak, where do

the organization, assuming you have been hired from

we have to prioritize funds and people and activities to

outside and are new to it. What worked in your last job is

improve in areas where there have been issues?

not necessarily going to work in the new job. You need to

Engaging with the Business

understand the plans of each as well as to understand

In this excerpt from Peter High's
latest book, Implementing World

Class IT Strategy: How IT Can
Drive Organizational Innovation, he
describes how Jo-ann Olsovsky,
as the new CIO of BNSF Railway in
2008, dove deep into the business in
order to set her budget priorities:
The company's demand for IT was increasing, as
many of its strategic projects as well as the projects
mandated by the government were being brought to life

the current business processes and systems as they
interconnect. The goal was not just to be able to ensure
that IT was directionally correct in its technology
investment on behalf of each of those divisions, but
also to give IT insight into how to drive competitive
differentiators and business efficiency via the systems
modernization and implementations that would be
under way.
Under Olsovsky's watch as part of the annual planning
cycle, the technology team works to understand the
business direction, current challenges, risks, and so
on from both the business and the technology points of
view. Business objectives are documented and are then

" A comfort zone is a very dangerous place toto technology objectives. This want mean
translated be. It's where we all does not
through technology...
to be because that's where we feel safethat a division's strategicappreciated.rewritten or
and valued and plans need to be But
When Olsovsky stepped in, IT's resources and budget
redirected in some dramatic way. In some cases, it does
if you want demand.] In the face of this
had not grown to [meet this to reach your full potential, you've got to be willing to stepmore
mean recasting existing technology plans with
limitation, she knew it was important to get greater zone onaccessible language so that people outside of the division
outside that comfort
a pretty regular basis "
clarity from and for the rest of the organization so

that she could ensure that top priorities were first to
be addressed...

can more clearly understand the direction suggested by
the plans, can suggest enhancements to them, and can
align their own efforts to them where appropriate and in

Olsovsky and her team engaged the leaders of each of

such a way that the employees chartered with executing

the divisions and embarked on an exercise to more fully

do understand the true business drivers.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6

Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover1
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 4
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 5
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 6
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 7
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 8
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 9
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 10
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 11
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 12
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 13
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 14
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 15
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 18
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 19
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 20
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 21
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 28
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 29
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 66
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertA
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 67
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertB
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 68
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 69
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 70
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 71
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover4
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