Monday, March 6, 2017

CIOs as “Chief Intrapreneur Officer”: Practicing Entrepreneurship in IT

Practicing entrepreneurship in IT starts with the outlier visionary digital leadership, build the innovative culture - the collective attitude to experiment better ways to do things.

Contemporary CIOs have multiple personas, "Chief Innovation Officer," and “Chief Intrapreneur Officers,” are the most pertinent titles for CIOs to fit the digital leadership role in running IT as a business. Companies are recognizing that IT is roughly coupled to the business strategy as an innovation engine. With increasing pace of changes, CIOs generally have greater opportunities to stand out and practice digital leadership in driving innovation across their companies. Being entrepreneurial is first the mindset, then an attitude and skills are the easier part to be developed. More and more forward-looking IT organizations are practicing entrepreneurship and running IT as a software startup to play the niche and make continuous deliveries.


An entrepreneur's mindset: The Intrapreneur CIO needs to be a dynamic person with vision, openness, growth and complexity mindset- with high ability to envision the digital trends, manage innovations, communicating to suite situations so as to craft strategies and make things happen. An entrepreneur's mind is often innovative, being innovative is more important than any specific innovation. Innovativeness is a way of thinking. An entrepreneur's mindset is important for CIOs to run IT as a business, and manage both opportunities and risks accordingly, to ensuring IT is strategically positioned to be ahead of where the business is moving next. The Digital CIOs need to be equipped with an intrapreneurs' mindset to expand their thinking boxes and getting a better understanding of the current boxes, figuring out which of them it makes sense to challenge and then using creativity tools (exploring, divergence, convergence) to arrive at a useful new box. Digital is the age of options, it provides the opportunity to think the new way to do things, so it forces IT leaders to get really creative on solving the emergent or old problems in new ways.


Innovative attitude: The heart of entrepreneurship is about changes, and organizations no matter large or small, all face the unprecedented change, uncertainty, velocity, and accelerated business dynamic. To run an innovative IT organization, the more difficult challenge is not just launching successful teams, but maintaining their motivation and focus, cultivate a positive attitude and build a culture of risk tolerance. Intrapreneur leaders are not only self-motivated but also motivate teams to cultivate change capabilities and continue to improve. The biggest source of innovation within a company is built on culture - the collective attitude, the focus should be on the capability of innovative thinkers to contribute to particular professional practices in specific contexts. To keep the fountain of creativity alive. It is an accepted thumb rule of rewarding people which motivates them to join and engage, create and share ideas. Also, it has been observed that recognition helps people participate cross-functional collaborations, improve work effectiveness, voice opinions and share wisdom.


Running IT as a software startup: Practicing intrapreneurship means to run IT as a business because digital IT shifts from hardware and technology-heavy to data and information savvy; from a maintenance center to a customer-centric digital powerhouse. It is about running IT as a business, with a healthy and shortened business cycle of planning, funding, designing, building, operating, securing, optimizing and maturing. It is also about innovation management practice on how they evaluate and select ideas, as well as architect and implement ideas, in order to manage a balanced digital innovation portfolio. Practicing intrapreneurship also means enterprise IT should go smarter and flexible, with the culture of risk awareness. Good intrapreneur-leaders have bold visions and explain the big “whys” clearly, to articulate the strategic rationale behind the venture, as more often than not, intrapreneurship is about discovering the new path for digital transformation and balancing innovation with other organizational priorities, to focus on the top line business growth and catalyze innovation.


Practicing entrepreneurship in IT starts with the outlier visionary digital leadership, build the innovative culture - the collective attitude to experiment better ways to do things, and build innovation as the differentiated business capability. IT innovation capabilities directly impact how it helps the business gain competitive advantage and capture upcoming trend to compete for the future.


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