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Decoding the IT Value Problem: An Executive Guide for Achieving Optimal ROI on Critical IT Investments by Gregory J. Fell

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CHAPTER 8

The Office of Know

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In today's economy, collaboration is often an essential ingredient of success. The CIO and the IT team should be perceived as collaborators and team players. In the modern company, everyone has a strategic role; no individual or functional area stands alone.

Correcting a Classic Case of Misalignment

It's well-known across the IT community that the CIO is commonly referred to as “Dr. No,” and the IT department is often called the “Office of No.”

While it's not uncommon for some people and departments to have unflattering nicknames, those particular nicknames can make it harder for a CIO to establish the kind of rapport required to succeed as a C-level executive. Those nicknames also point to an intrinsically troublesome and potentially damaging misalignment between IT and other functional areas of the company.

In a recent conversation with my friend Mark Polansky, Managing Director of the CIO/IT Practice at Korn/Ferry International, a leading global executive search firm, he suggested that CIOs should work collectively on changing the “Office of No” into the “Office of Know.” In the months following our conversation, I've given his advice serious consideration.

I truly believe that Mark hit the nail directly on its head. But I thought long and hard about whether it would be possible for CIOs to transform those negative associations into positive associations—without abandoning their primary responsibilities as stewards of an increasingly ...

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