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The Big Shift in IT Leadership: How Great CIOs Leverage the Power of Technology for Strategic Business Growth in the Customer-Centric Economy by Hunter Muller

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Chapter 3Innovation

As I was interviewing about a dozen chief information officers (CIOs) for this book project, I began noticing a pattern in the ways that CIOs define innovation.

Successful CIOs make sure that their definitions of innovation correspond closely to the definitions used by the company's senior business leaders. The best CIOs listen carefully to how the business units define innovation, and then align information technology (IT) to strategy to match those definitions.

Aligning the IT perspective on innovation with the business perspective on innovation eliminates many of the hurdles that make it difficult for CIOs to deliver business-critical IT projects on budget and on time.

Achieving that kind of alignment can be challenging, however. Some CIOs find it difficult to surrender control of IT projects, and many CIOs resist efforts to define innovation in nontechnical terms.

My experience has taught me that CIOs who insist on calling all of the shots, all of the time, are usually less successful than CIOs who make consistent efforts to communicate ...

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