Innovation is central to the transitional translational CIO

By: Babette Ten Haken


Tomorrow’s IT leaders are more than a transitional and a translational CIO. They are innovators.

The role of CIO is undergoing major reconstruction. The role is morphing in response to pressure from the increasingly ubiquitous digital business ecosystem for both greater security and greater agility. As this ecosystem changes, so do the specifications for tomorrow’s role of CIO.

The transitional CIO pokes holes in corporate silos.

Tomorrow’s transitional CIO serves as chief information architect for their company’s IT strategy and implementation playbook. Their transition strategy not only represents movement away from a legacy IT infrastructure model. The strategy transitions organizational culture away from legacy mindset which traditionally sequesters professional disciplines within departmental silos.

The transitional CIO liberates information from data kingdoms. Information is now shared in well-structured, user-intuitive and highly collaborative information environments. Information environments flow across business and operational units. Information becomes the acknowledged common denominator wielded throughout the entire organization to create competitive differentiation.

The transitional CIO melds strategy with implementation in moving IT functionality towards a seamlessly integrated bimodal IT model. They foster the formation of cross-functional teams as alternatives to the legacy “Us versus Them” mindset characterizing how many IT departments and business units regard one another.

For non-IT readers, bimodal IT is the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed.

The translational CIO becomes an innovative change agent.

In their role as innovator, the transitional, translational CIO does more than plan and implement systems. They function as more than an Uber Manager monitoring changes in information utilization patterns across their organization. The Design-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC) cycle gains an additional component: Innovate.

The translational CIO has a vision. Their IT innovation strategy represents the balancing act between monitoring and responding to security threats while facilitating organizational collaboration which focuses on business innovation. Their IT innovation strategy creates novel business applications and algorithms enabling greater competitive differentiation for the organization and their clients.

Harness the full power of your core business applications

Innovations within both modes of IT delivery now are shared throughout the organization. The target is business acceleration, not business prevention. The target is operational conscientiousness and due diligence across the entire organization, not stealth IT. Both IT modes are leveraged comprehensively instead of an either-or choice of allegiance.

The translational CIO compellingly walks their IT innovation talk throughout their organization.

The translational CIO serves in another capacity. They take a leadership role across the entire organization. They become the chief architect not only of information technology strategy and implementation. They become the chief architect of communication strategy as well. Those communication strategies articulate how best practices in utilizing information architecture create business value.

The translational CIO creates processes and measures for how IT systems innovation impacts overall organizational culture, health and well-being. Business value is created by both operational and business units working together collaboratively. Clients choose to do business with their company because of the overall perceived business value created by information technology systems, processes, data and predictive analytics.

The transitional translational CIO possesses hybridized skill sets and mindset.

In charting their company’s IT roadmap for tomorrow, leadership teams seek a CIO who perceives IT infrastructure from both an agile as well as a process control perspective. This CIO will have served in both capacities in past leadership roles.

The transitional, translational CIO is a skilled negotiator, risk taker and communicator. They bridge the gap separating operations and business units, shop floor and C-suite. They demystify control processes and systems perceived to prevent business from happening. In turn, they impact hiring processes in customer-facing business units as well as in operational units.

The focus: bimodal mindset, bimodal competency and bimodal collaboration.

The transitional and translational CIO is hired as an organizational catalyst. They boldly transition their organizations where no CIO has led them before. The transitional, translational CIO is the architect of what tomorrow’s growth, expansion and sustainability strategies look like for their own organization and their clients’ organizations as well.

Topics: ,

About The Author

Babette Ten Haken

Founder & President, Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC

Babette Ten Haken is a catalyst, corporate strategist and facilitator. She writes, speaks, consults and coaches about how cross-functional team collaboration revolutionizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain for customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six... Read more