A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending and facilitating a panel at the annual HMG CIO Summit conference in Denver, along with hundreds of other practitioners and technology leading sponsors. If you are a CIO, these events are a must attend! It not only allows you to hear leadership strategies from top global CIOs, but also allows you to get unfiltered opinions and hear unbiased research about the latest technologies. The theme this year was The CIO as CEO of Technology: The Courage to Lead in the Future Enterprise. I have participated in these events for years here and in other major cities. I was reminded of the amazing buzz you have when that many leaders and innovators are together in one place talking about what is needed to transform our global economy through technology. I happen to be an early adopter, and it was clear from the start that we all have an incredible passion for technology.
Below outlines my insights from the event and key messages that really resonated with me.
- From leading and driving innovation, cultural transformation, accelerating the enterprise, to identifying and understanding future trends, the state of cyber and more, there was no shortage of content to ponder!
- No Outcome = No Income with the idea that CIO’s have to drive business outcomes through technology to have the right seat at the table. There were a few wide eyes when the industry best practice for innovation spend was announced to be 20% of your budget. From the looks of the audience, I think some interesting conversations with their CEO’s and leadership team were to follow!
- Culture Trumps Everything. I cannot tell you how many organizations we have consulted at where this concept was the single biggest challenge to overcome. Many cultures have huge resistance to change, so transforming is almost impossible. Be sure you know what the pulse of your organization truly is! Organizational change management is getting elevated to the top, tied to successful projects and successful transformations. Do you have a method, and is it a priority for you?
- Email – who needs it anyway? This is a fundamental shift that I can personally tell you gets me giddy. According to millennials, it is only a good communication method to talk with their grandparents! I do not know about you, but I regularly have a massive amount of email coming from all places that I struggle to keep up with. I had the epiphany, along with a lot of other leaders at this event – enough of the email. Communication can be had more effectively in many other fashions whether it be Slack, Yammer, face to face, good old fashion phone calls and more. Who is ready to delete all of their inbox with me? Which gets me to my next favorite theme – the Courage to Lead.
- This sounds simple, but is hard. With the acceleration of technology advancing at an unprecedented pace, to the consumer not driving, but demanding that the customer be reimagined, as leaders we really have to step up our game. Service integration, keenly sharp execution capabilities are table stakes.
My panel, which is of course my favorite topic, was called: Identifying Future Trends that will impact the Enterprise. I had a great set of speakers and we covered everything from cognitive learning, smart assistants, robotics, autonomous vehicles, internet of everything to bit chain/block chain technology. I for one am a fan of smart everything if it aids in simplifying our life, augments our user experience, and allows us to repurpose our time and energy into the next big leap.
I personally left the event feeling optimistic about the future technology can play in solving key areas across every industry. I reaffirmed that Denver has a strong executive leadership presence and we are here to share ideas, to ponder how we each take action to move our clients, companies, people forward with what feels like a huge leap coming! The event also confirmed that transformation, technology enablement, organizational effectiveness and outstanding execution capabilities will all be key capabilities Lewis Fowler can continue to bring to the market.
Last, but not least, I will leave you with food for thought. According to some interesting futurist projections, 75% of the current S&P companies are expected to turn over by 2028. Think about what Uber has done to the Transportation Market, for example. So, I ask you.. What are you doing today to test, try, adopt innovative technology personally and at the enterprise level to prepare yourself to lead the enterprise tomorrow?