Innovation is an important driver of success everywhere today – but there are certain specific areas of innovation for CIO’s and their IT groups to focus on.

The biggest area of innovation critical for CIO’s involves improving the performance and results of their organization and their business partners.

Everything a CIO and his/her team does needs to advance the most important strategic initiatives of their organization. The greatest challenge is the demand for miscellaneous, urgent, and over-the-top demands that do NOT address or advance critical outcomes.

The ultimate innovation is keeping all of their activities aligned around actual strategic impact on behalf of their clients and organization.

Essential to this are:

  • Ensuring their business partners’ deliverables produce a significant and meaningful impact
  • Ensuring that they are seen and understood as a critical investment in the success of the organization (versus an expense area to control)
  • Ensuring their alignment with their CEO and senior executive team is always around the company’s most important and agreed to strategic objectives
  • Ensuring that they have sufficient thinking time to “see around the corner” of what is needed and what is coming
  • Ensuring that IT and they are a critical agent of change and innovation in their organization

The key to success in all of these is to be the innovative strategic thinker relentlessly driving a focus on the most important and valuable outcomes. To do this means avoiding the traps of:

  • Accepting client requests that do not affect important results
  • Agreeing to client projects that do not have a clear, consistent, and direct link to strategic objectives
  • Allowing resources to be diverted to low priority projects
  • Anything else that diverts time, attention, and resources away from high impact results

The innovative opportunity – indeed the responsibility – for the CIO must be driving high value, high impact, and meaningful results.

Even when your clients are distracted from what matters most, you and your team must be the advocates for, and facilitators of, what is most important for that client and your organization. Even when they are not being strategic and focused, you must always be. Anything less invites you and your team into an unending downward spiral of massive work and little impact.

The innovation here is assuming the role and responsibilities for strategic impact and outcomes. Nothing is more important to the success of a CIO, IT team, and their organization than ensuring every project has clearly discernable, meaningful importance and impact.

Gone are the days when mastery of technology implementation and integration were your calling card. Today, being the master of strategic impact in service of the organization’s most important objectives is far more valuable. This means that while technical sophistication is your toolbox, your clients really don’t care what you do. They really only care about what they can get. Your job is to make sure that what they get what really matters in their work and business.

This ability to be the agent of strategic focus and important outcomes is perhaps the greatest differentiator between a technology vendor – and being an indispensable partner in your client’s success. Your greatest leverage today is your ability to be a high value partner with your client. This transforms your relationship from one where you and your group get noticed when something doesn’t work, to one where you and they are consistently called upon for insight, perspective, and guidance about how to drive your partners’ critical results faster and better.

To accelerating and elevating your success,

If you are ready to accelerate your ability to be an indispensable partner, contact us for a free whitepaper or free informational session on the Best Keys to Success at