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The Transformational CIO: Leadership and Innovation Strategies for IT Executives in a Rapidly Changing World by Hunter Muller

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Figuring Out What's Relevant

Sheila Jordan is vice president of communications and collaboration IT at Cisco. In her role at Cisco, she has a broad portfolio of responsibilities. One of them is making sure that IT initiatives are aligned and integrated with business strategy across the company. She is also part of the team that developed and launched Cisco Quad, the company's new enterprise collaboration platform. The platform combines social networking with communications, business information, and content management systems.

So perhaps it's natural that when you ask Sheila to name a technology that will play a significant role in shaping the future of IT, she's likely to say, “Enterprise collaboration.” I think it's probably best if she explains why in her own words:

Today the business is saying that it needs to get to market faster, that it needs a rapid mechanism for keeping pace with all the changes in our global economy. And at the same time, the business needs constant input to make sure that it produces and delivers goods and services that the market really wants.

Global high-performance teams are critical components of the “rapid mechanism” that Sheila describes. In the same way that the platoon is the fundamental unit of the Marine Corps, the global high-performance team is the fundamental unit of the modern global corporation.

In addition to being cross-functional and cross-cultural, the global high-performance team—as its name implies—is made up of individuals who live ...

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