Outcomes Over Origins

“Quantity and persistence will get you the outcomes you need.” – James Altucher

There is no lack of quantity when considering technology solutions. However there can be constrained quantity when solutions are judged on their origins instead of the potential outcomes.

Shadow IT: This phrase does not refer to dark-clad geeks churning out malware in windowless rooms surrounded by desiccated pizza crusts; it refers to any information technology outside of central IT. In fact, “shadow” and “central” are irrelevant to quality or reliability. I’ve seen both lousy and great IT come from just about anywhere. CIOs should embrace the good and eradicate the bad whether it comes from the darkest cubicles or sunlit collaboration spaces.

Technology: Cloud or on-premise? Microsoft or Apple? Open source or licensed? Stop with “or” thinking which limits options. Partner with the vendor(s) and deploy the solutions that work for your business, being thoughtful about an enterprise architecture with enough standards to keep things effective and enough flexibility to quickly respond to opportunities. And never ever underestimate the importance of a good contract. I value my colleagues in legal and purchasing; they help make sure that I can focus on partnering vs. administrating a vendor.

Sourcing: Hire or contract? Local, near-shore, off-shore? Experienced or nascent talent? The answer is: yes. CIOs need to have a multi-variant talent strategy. I don’t care what payroll category someone falls into or the geography from which they hail. I look for collegial people who are critical, creative thinkers and are able to interact and communicate effectively. (No jerks or prima donnas, please.)

Go for quantity. Look for good tech everywhere.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” – Isaac Asimov

Worthwhile:

Recent research shows that vague feedback is a factor in the paucity of women in leadership roles. Women get non-specific comments and fewer recommendations linked to business outcomes at greater rates than men.

Check out the #CIOChat Twitter group that “meets” on Thursdays at 2 p.m. EST, hosted by @MylesSuer.

Honored and so fun to be on the list of Top 100 Social CIOs in Huffington Post, along with amazing colleagues like @nflcio, @dchou1107, @S_dF, @mzyw, and @fcc_cio.

Overheard: “Be the cream of the crop, not the cream of the cr*p.” Point being that being the best of the worst is still…the worst.

I loved this photo and story, as told by @krisrenn. In an enclosed courtyard at @michiganstateu, a mother duck hatches her ducklings. The only way out is through the building. Personnel keep an eye on her, waiting for Ms. Duck to peck at a door, whereupon they open the door and watch her and ducklings make their way through the halls and out a door, whereupon the family heads to the Red Cedar River.

SpartanDuck

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