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Monday, August 12, 2013

Uncomfortable CEOs

Former colleague José Ignacio Sordo Galarza  has a new site: The Uncomfortable CEO.   And I have just finished his new book:  The Uncomfortable CEO: Making Information Technology Overcome Business Uncertainty.

An unusual book, based on his years of executive experience at Procter & Gamble, during roughly the same time I was there.  So I can vouch for some of the experiences and related ideas.   In particular this book looks at the interaction between business and technology management.

A book excerpt.

So what exactly is an uncomfortable CEO?   It s one that has strong curiosity, the ability to face reality, drives for results and never settles. Strong words.  Especially in a time of uncertainty.

The book deals not so with the nature of the CEO, but how the CEO works with the CIO, and other management that deals with information technologies.  I think it is clear now that information technologies are now strategic, so making this interaction work is key.

I particularly liked the chapter called "Resilience in an Uncertain Marketplace".  We do live under many dimensions of uncertainty, and the role of the CIO is reduce that uncertainty in the realm of techology.  And today it is not just the internal uncertainty, but also the uncertainty of how the consumer is using technologies.    What a challenge!

In particular, we do live in a VUCA world ... a Volatile, Uncertain, Challenging and Ambiguous world, the CEO, uncomfortable as they are, must ally themselves with the CIO to address many kinds of risk, which are enumerated in the book.  Which then includes a statement of what this kind of resilience looks like, and is followed by a case study.  Nicely done.

The final chapters describes how to bring it all together, with a good check list of issues to be considered.  A good book to use in a training or collaboration session with your executives or with a board.

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