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Creative Destruction requires leadership: CIO Leadership

by Mark P. McDonald  |  February 15, 2011  |  5 Comments

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The theme of this year’s Gartner CIO Leadership Forum is Creative Destruction. That sounds like a strange title for a leadership conference as on the surface it asks people to tear down what they have build.

After all, isn’t leadership about building for future success and what about destruction, haven’t the cost cutting of the last few years led to the destruction or at least dissipation of IT capability.

That way of thinking is accurate if you measure IT’s success based on its ability to attract increased budgets and new projects.  Unfortunately, that situation is more of IT’s past than it will be in its future.

The future of IT will require creative destruction to reconfigure and reimaging resources in new roles creating new sources of value. That requires leadership, which is why it is the theme of this year’s CIO Leadership Forum in Scottsdale Arizona on March

Thought leaders and leading CIOs will be sharing their thoughts and ideas at this year’s event.

Clayton Christensen is the leading thinker on disruption, innovation and how firms successfully navigate the two. His books have placed innovation at the heart of business and market strategies, providing frameworks for leaders to act in an environment of disruptive change.

Clay Shirky is one of the foremost thinkers about social media, mass collaboration and how both influences business and society. His two books on the subject Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus are must reads for people looking t o

Mark Djani,Senior Vice President, Business Services and Chief Information Officer, Kraft Foods. Mark is a leader in Kraft’s transformation and growth. He will talk about leading transformation into uncharted territory. He will focus on how he and his Executive Team journeyed together to shape the future and empower every employee to take part in transformation.

Cindy Berger, Vice President, Global Corporate Technologies, American Express. Cindy is the senior leader responsible for technology development of the key American Express corporate functions including Finance, General Counsel’s Office, Human Resources, Corporate Affairs & Communications, Global Advertising & Brand Management, Basel II and Global Business Services which is American Express’ shared service and internal servicing organization.

It is not often that you get the chance to bring together thought leaders and leading practitioners from major companies who are driving significant results. That is the experience is our goal for the CIO leadership forum. Why? Because the opportunity for IT to re-imagine itself cannot be overstated.

Does this mean that its do or die time for IT?

No, firms can be satisfied with a continuation of the same old same old IT so long as they think of IT as a cost and they do not have the inclination to change the choice they have made. Both things that can change quickly.

Who wants to work at a place where ‘keeping costs in line’ is the definition of doing your job? Who wants to lead an organization constantly looking over their shoulder, concerned with alternatives that are steadily gaining capacity and capability?

Leadership looks ahead and that is exactly what we see CIOs getting form this year’s leadership forum.

If you have registered, great and we look forward to seeing you. If not then please consult the CIO Leadership Forum Website. The event is for CIOs in order to create a safe peer-to-peer environment. Highlights will be posted to this blog.

Thanks for reading this far and we now return you to your normally created Blog

Category: 2011  cio  leadership  management  strategy  

Tags: 2011-planning  cio-leadership  management  strategy-and-planning  

Mark P. McDonald
8 years at Gartner
24 years IT industry

Mark McDonald, Ph.D., is a former group vice president and head of research in Gartner Executive Programs. He is the co-author of The Social Organization with Anthony Bradley. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Creative Destruction requires leadership: CIO Leadership

  1. In a time when most CIO (and people) are worried about keeping their jobs, creative destruction implies taking a high degree of risk and I’m curious if you are finding people are willing to embrace change in the current environment?

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  3. Mark McDonald says:


    Thanks for your comment and I found your blog, very interesting. To answer your question, yes there is an early majority of CIOs and IT leaders who are looking to do new things.

    Its no so much a degree of risk they face but rather the fact that the economics of the current IT way of working is seen as no longer being sustainable in the long run.

    The increasing availablity of ‘alternative delivery models’ for IT, the enhanced capacity of so-called consumer devices and general fatigue in the business for expensive and long running IT projects is creating an environment where something has to break. Some will wait it out, others are breaking it themselves proactively by taking advantage of the leadership opportunities we will be talking about at the forum.

    Thanks again for your comment and I appreciate your reading the blog. Also its great to see your blog as well.

    All the best


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