A good team is hard to find

“Creating a Team Mentality” by Jay Bahel (CIO Insight, 28 August 2009). Influence, we all know, is also a function of culture. Is the culture open minded, dynamic and pro-innovation? Or small minded,  slow moving and in denial of change? Obviously, it makes a difference.

Unfortunately, creating an efficient and effective culture is easier said than done. It’s certainly not something that can just be imposed from above. None the less, the cost of the status quo can be significant, if not fatal. So try we must to develop teams that produce positive results. Hopefully Mr. Bahel’s ideas can help get you rolling in the right direction.

Also there were two related articles on CIOInsight.com: “Key Questions on Recruitment” by Larry Bonfante, as well as “An Absence of IT Talent” by John Parkinson.

What? Yes. When? Not so much so.

“What Data Mining Can and Can’t Do” by Allan E. Alter (CIO Insight Magazine, June 2007) The subject of business intelligence (BI) came up in a meeting a couple days ago. The discussion centered around using broad patterns, as well as past behaviors of individuals to make future predictions. This article isn’t new but given the authority of Mr. Peter Fader (who is the interviewee) it will help you properly wrap your mind around this topic.

In short, there seems to be a fair amount misunderstanding when it comes to BI. Well, at least Prof. Fader thinks so.

The sweet spot and the silver bullet

“Debunking Innovation’s Buzz” by Larry Bonfante (CIO Insight, June 2009). It’s worth mentioning that Mr. Bonfante is the CIO of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Pardon the heavy handed cliche but he serves up a couple  aces when he notes:

Innovation isn’t some sort of mystical silver bullet that will solve all of our problems. Nor is it some new technology that we can buy and implement. Innovation is about creatively leveraging the tools and processes at your disposal to drive business value.

Stop being your own worst enemy – Part 2

“The Human Element of IT” by Chris Dowse and Dr. Paul Hertz (CIO Insight, June 2009). More or less a follow up to their article in the same publication in May, but applied in a slightly different way. For the non-IT types please  look past the IT-centric focus and apply the broader concepts. That is, we are human and who we are effects what we do, how we do it and who best we do it with. If we can understand our strengths (and weaknesses), as well as those of others around us then that is one step closer to the victory circle.

With that said, doing so is not easy because being human has its faults.

Stop being your own worst enemy

“Does CIO Behavior Derail Intentions?” by Dr. Paul Hertz and Chris Dowse (CIO Insight, May 2009) Part of being human is having a personality, as well as having habits and patterns under particular circumstances. We all admit that sometimes the past causes us to not  act in our own best interest. This is hardly an issue that’s unique to IT. This article is a friendly reminder to pause the next time a bad habit is about to undermine a moment.

Two hands on the wheel isn’t enough

“Microsoft CIO Tony Scott on IT Strategy in 2009″ by Brian P. Watson (CIO Insight Magazine, April 2009). Check out Mr. Scott’s handy analogy about learning to drive a car:

CIO Insight: What key things do CIOs need to keep in mind in executing their strategy through the recession?
Tony Scott: …The second thing is strategy. I compare that to when you first learn to drive a car. If you only look a few feet in front of the car, you wobble all over the road and steer around every little bump in the road. If you look down the road a bit, the car goes straighter, it’s a more enjoyable ride and you become a better driver.

There’s a thin line between promotion and pink slip

“Getting It Done: Why Big IT Projects Fail” by Jay Bahel (CIO Insight Magazine, April 2009). Budgets are tighter than ever, to the point that the margin for error is razor thin. This list is hardly complete but it’s worth adding to your quiver. Naturally, we believe that Mr. Bahel’s ideas can be applied beyond IT and/or big projects.

Money can’t buy love (or job satisfaction)

“5 Tips for Retaining IT Workers” by Bob Violino (CIO Insight Magazine, April 2009). These tips are universal and need not be limited to IT personnel / organizations.

The future of software and therefore the future of business

“Embracing The Software Service Economy” (www.CIOInsight.com, August 2008)  is an (edited and condensed) interview of Mr. Timothy Chou as given by Paula Klein.

Regardless of what side of screen / browser you sit on it’s hard to imagine a business that isn’t directly or even indirectly impacted by software in some way. In a few minutes this article will brief you on what’s it all about and where Mr. Chou predicts it’s all going. You might also recognize Mr. Chou as being the author of “The End of Software” (Sams, 2004) as well as “Seven” (www.lulu.com/activebookpress).

Another quick read that beats having to digest a whole book just for a couple good to know thoughts.