Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Trend Spotted as Importance of Information Eclipsed by Importance of Innovation

I’ve recently come across three pundits talking about a shift in business away from a focus on information toward a focus on innovation. I think it’s worth paying attention to.

This quote from InformationWeek indicates that roles are shifting for the CIO from Chief Information Officer toward Chief Innovation Officer.

As the new millennium begins (no, that wasn't last year), I've come across a slight but very important change in the use of the title CIO. I recently talked with Ken Bohlen, CIO and executive VP of Textron, the global company that's into aircraft, automotive, industrial, and financial operations. His title doesn't stand for chief information officer but chief innovation officer. Could this be the new title for the new millennium?

Ken also says the CIO's role in the next five to 10 years will become an infomediary within a company, tying technology to business. "The CIO will morph into something different. The CIO needs to prepare the organization to accept whatever tomorrow might bring without knowing what that is." If we're going to be the innovators of the new millennium, we'll need to foster an attitude of wanting to learn, to be different, to change.

(InformationWeek, January 8, 2001)

It stands to reason that this shift is occurring, because of the information a Chief Information Officer could be managing for a corporation, the information about markets (and technologies for that matter) is probably the most important, as stated by Drucker:

“For most CEOs, the most important information is not about customers but about noncustomers…We must begin to organize information from the outside, where the true profit centers exist. We will have to build a system that gives this information to those who make decisions.”

Drucker, “Managing in the Next Society”, p. 54-55
Overall, some see a wholesale shift in the economy amounting to a renewed focus on innovation:

“The Knowledge Economy as we know it is being eclipsed by something new -- call it the Creativity Economy.”

“You're thinking "this is all hype," aren't you? Just another "newest and biggest" fad, right? Wrong. Ask the 940 senior executives from around the world who said in a recent Boston Consulting Group Inc. survey that increasing top-line revenues through innovation has become essential to success in their industry. The same BCG survey showed that more than half of the execs were dissatisfied with the financial returns on their investments in innovation. They should be. By one measure, from innovation consultant Doblin Inc., nearly 96% of all innovation attempts fail to beat targets for return on investment. No wonder innovation frustration is the talk of corner offices.”

(BusinessWeek, August 1, 2005)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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