The Accidental Successful CIO

Is An Open Office The Right Solution For Your IT Department?

An episode of The Accidental Successful CIO

By Jim Anderson
Managing an IT department is not just a business, it’s a science. Nobody knows more about the science of being a CIO than Dr. Jim Anderson.

“I don’t embrace excuses about why an IT department is not being successful, I embrace solutions.”

Over the last 25 years, Dr. Anderson has transformed failing CIOs worldwide. Dr. Anderson will turn these nervous executives into powerful leaders.

Welcome to the premier podcast for learning how to think and act like a successful CIO – both if you are a CIO today or if you hope to be one in the future.
More places to listen

More places to listen

What CIOs Need To Know About Drilling For Oil
Once upon a time the CIO job had very little to do with the company that  you worked for.  Instead of having to worry about what the company was  up to, you could spend your time focused on building data centers,  selecting servers, and installing more storage. What it was being used  for really did not matter all that much. However, now the person in the  CIO position has a seat at the company’s planning table and what the business does is almost as important as how it goes about doing this.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the business of searching for oil… 
07:18
August 21, 2019
CIOs Need To Get Better At Detecting B.S.
I think that we can all agree that one of the most important parts of the CIO job is the ability to take in and process a large amount of information  in order to understand the importance of information technology.  It is  our responsibility to determine what is important and what we can  ignore. However, it turns out that the person in the CIO position also  has to have the ability to detect B.S. when it shows up.  In our digital age false information in the form of nonsense, rubbish,  and fake news can show up at any time, we’ve got to be able to detect  it.  How good are you at doing this? 
07:03
August 14, 2019
What Does Your Workplace Say About Your IT Department?
One of the most challenging jobs that the person in the CIO position has  to deal with is trying to recruit the best workers.  In addition to the  importance of information technology, there are a number of different  things that can cause a young person just out of college to decide to  either join your IT department or not, but one of the most obvious is  what they think of your work environment. In the past, CIOs have added a  number of “cool” things to the office such as pool tables or even craft  beer dispensers.  However, now the challenge for the person with the CIO  job is to find a way to make sure that the outside world knows how cool their office is. 
07:27
August 7, 2019
Just Exactly How Much Of A Risk Are Hacks?
Based on what we’ve all be reading in the newspaper and seeing online, I  think that it’s pretty clear that anyone who is aware of the importance  of information technology knows that Cybersecurity is a big priority for the person with the CIO job.   The number of hacks of companies has been on the rise as has been their  scale. The possibility of your company being disrupted by an electronic  theft is starting to seem more and more likely. Unfortunately for all  of us, the line between state sponsored attacker and independent  operator is also starting to become blurred.  Clearly this is something  that CIO’s need to deal with, but how? 
06:09
July 31, 2019
How Can CIOs Become More Successful?
I would like to be more successful. Would you?   I think that there are several points during the year that we all have  the realization that we’d like to be able to accomplish more based on  the importance of information technology than we are currently able to  do. When one of these times swings around, we make a promise to  ourselves to get more done, become more creative, etc.  However, it turns  out that we’re overlooking one very important factor: just exactly how  much the time of day matters to our performance. 
06:51
July 24, 2019
What’s Preventing You From Becoming A Better CIO?
Hopefully we’d all like to become better CIOs.  This is a great goal, the challenge that most of us are facing is that it just is not clear exactly what we need to do in order to make this happen. The good news is that researchers have been talking to the people that work for us and what they have found out is that we are pretty good at sharing information, but we're lousy listeners. You can’t be a good CIO if you are a poor listener. It turns out that doing a good job of listening to the people who work for us is seen as being a complement to them. When we listen to them we’re telling them that we care about them.  So now the big question is how can the person with the CIO position become a better listener? 
05:29
July 17, 2019
CIOs Need To Learn How Best To Use Email
Ah, email. What a powerful tool. What an utter nightmare!   The person who has the CIO job probably uses email so often that they  no longer really spend that much time thinking about it. However, that  may be a mistake. What we forget is that email is a tool and if we can  learn how best to use it, then we can become more effective.  The good news is that email is something that the researchers have been  spending a lot of time taking a look at. Their goal has been to find  out how we can become smarter about how we use email at work in order to  boost the importance of information technology.  Let’s take a look at  what their research has uncovered. 
06:40
July 11, 2019
Just How Important Are Good Managers?
Having the CIO job is tough. Because of the importance of information  technology, the company expects you to be able to accomplish a great  deal.  The world in which you work, IT, is constantly changing and it can  be quite difficult to keep up with everything that is going on. This is  why you need to have the best team of people working in your IT  department. Finding those people, getting them to agree to join your IT  department, and then convincing them to stay is a full time job on top  of everything else that you are expected to do.  Recent studies have  shown that if you want your staff to stay, it have more to do with the managers that you have working for you than anything else. 
06:45
June 26, 2019
How CIOs Can Do A Good Job Of Delivering Bad News
 Let’s face it, as CIOs we’d all like to be liked. We enjoy the parts of  our job that are fun and which have to do with the importance of  information technology.  It makes us happy when another large IT project  is successfully rolled out. However, life is life and part of our job is that when there is bad news to be delivered,  we’re the ones who have the job to share the news with the people who  work for us. Nothing that I can tell you will ever make this an easy  thing to do.  However, it turns out that there are ways that you can  deliver information like this in ways that turn out to be less stressful  for you and, perhaps, just a little bit more comforting for the people  that you have to deliver it to. 
05:26
June 19, 2019
What Can CIOs Do When The Cloud Isn’t Fast Enough?
The world in which we live is currently changing.  Over the past few  years, as the importance of information technology has grown, the  internet has become a bigger and more important part of both our  personal and professional lives. Every IT department makes extensive use  of the internet these days to run apps, handle storage, and  communicate. The revolution that is currently going on is occurring  because more and more devices are being connected to the internet for the first time.  What will the impact of this be for CIOs? 
06:50
June 12, 2019
CIOs Want To Know: What’s Coming Next In Technology?
If a the person with the CIO job could have a super power, what would be  the best one to have? The ability to fly and avoid all of those lines  at the airport? The ability to see through walls and find the people  that you are looking to talk with? These would all be great to have, but  perhaps there is another super power that would top them all. How about  the ability to see into the future.  The ability to see what is coming  next in the crazy mixed up world of technology?  This truly would be a great power to have.  None of us have this power,  but if we take the time to talk to really smart people then sometimes we might just a peek at what is coming our way. 
07:36
June 5, 2019
How CIOs Can Solve Really Big Problems
As CIOs we are faced with a complete set of problems that we need to  solve.  These can be small, simple problems that we can solve just by  thinking about them for a moment and then telling someone what to do in  order to solve them or they can be the really big problems that we have  no clue how to go about solving. It’s these big problems that can cause a  CIO real headaches.  It turns out that that in order to solve the really  big problems, CIOs need to use a different way of thinking about  problem solving in order to come up with solutions that will really work  for them. 
06:45
May 22, 2019
Are You Ready For Big Data?
All CIOs have heard about big data by now: the Tsunami of data that is  washing over every company and the struggle that they have to collect  it, store it, and then process it in order to create actionable  information.  As a CIO, when we think about big data  we are faced with a number of questions having to do with the  importance of information technology that we have not had to deal with  in the past. Is this going to require a new architecture? Will new  platforms be required?  These are all questions that we are  going to  have to be able to answer, but first we need to make sure that we understand the questions. 
07:33
May 15, 2019
Are CIOs Ready To Deal With Hackers?
As CIOs, every day is busy. We’ve got a lot of different things going on  that have to do with the importance of information technology and it  can be very challenging to try to get everything done.  That’s why when  it comes to hackers, we are aware of the problem but we may not be  currently doing anything about it. The thinking goes that if we run into  a problem with hackers, we’ll then free up some time and take care of  things then. Perhaps this is not the best overall plan. For you see, the  hackers are out there and they may have already found a way into your firm. The time to deal with them is now.  Are you ready? 
06:59
May 8, 2019
Why Can’t Your IT Department Be More Like Apple?
As the person with the CIO job, it’s your responsibility to make sure  that the company’s IT department understand the importance of  information technology and is able to meet the needs of the rest of the  company.  There are actually several different ways to go about doing  this. You can be the “slow and steady” IT department that rolls out new  products and services after everyone else in your market has already  deployed them or you can be the “first in” who rolls out new services  before anyone has ever heard of them.  Wouldn’t it be better if your IT  department was more like Apple and just got it right each and every time?  
05:06
May 1, 2019
Is An Open Office The Right Solution For Your IT Department?
Can you remember the day when if you wanted to talk with your boss you  would go walking down the hall to his or her office? You’d knock on the  door, get called in, enter and perhaps shut the door behind you. Well  guess what – those days are just about over.  Welcome to the new workplace reality: the open office. CIOs are being asked to make decisions about what office layout is going to be the best for their IT department and right now the open office is one of the leading candidates. 
06:56
April 24, 2019
CIOs Want To Run Their IT Department Like Adobe
Being the person with the CIO job is hard work. You try and you try and  you try to do a good job but it always seems like you are somehow  falling further and further behind. There is so much work to do in  regards to the importance of information technology that you only dream  of being able to do all of the things that you should be doing in order  to make your IT department as good as it could be.  In cases like this,  it might be helpful to take a look around in the world of high-tech and see if there is anyone who is getting all of this stuff correct. Does anyone know how to run things correctly?  It turns out that the answer is yes – Adobe. 
06:37
April 10, 2019
How CIOs Are Using Algorithms To Tell People What To Do
As the person with the CIO job, one of your main tasks is to assign work to the various people who work for you.  As the number of people grows and the amount of work that has to be  done seems to get even larger, this task that once upon a time appeared  to be simple, can quickly get out of hand.  Over at those fancy new  startup companies that like to refer to themselves as being part of the  “gig economy”, they believe in the importance of information technology  and have started to use both apps and algorithms to assign tasks to the  self employed workers that they use.  Is this something that you should  be doing? 
07:31
April 3, 2019
CIOs Help Banks Prepare For The End Of The World
CIOs at banks have a great deal to worry about. Simply because their  companies have so much valuable data and money, the bad guys are always  trying to break in and steal things.  As though this wasn’t bad enough,  every bank is connected to every other bank. What this means is that if  something bad happened to a connected bank, then your bank could also suffer.  In order to prevent doomsday scenarios like this from happening, the people in the bank CIO position have come up with a plan. 
06:29
March 27, 2019
What Are The 5 Skills It Takes To Be A Successful CIO?
So CIO, are you a good manager? I suspect that most of us think that we  are. However, over at the Gallop company they have just completed a  survey of managers. What they discovered is that only one in 10 people actually possesses the talent to manage others.  Ouch!  This magical 10 percent who have what it takes to be a good  manager frequently realize 48 percent greater profitability, 22 percent  greater productivity, 17 percent greater employee engagement,  5 percent greater customer engagement, and 19 percent less turnover  according to Gallup.  Are you one of the 10%? Do you have the 5 talents  that every person with the CIO job needs? 
05:55
March 20, 2019
Security Breech At The SEC Causes A Headache For Their CIO
Let’s face it, when it comes to money, people can quickly become very  greedy. When you take a look at institutions like the American stock  market, the potential for people to do a large number of things that  they really should not do becomes very large.  In order to keep things  under control and make sure that everyone behaves themselves, the  government created the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This organization has the responsibility to watch over all stock and option trading and make sure that nobody is doing anything that they should not be doing.  This all sounds like a good idea, but what should the SEC’s CIO do when they are the ones who get hacked? 
07:36
March 13, 2019
CIOs Are Racing To Deal With The Next Big Security Threat: Quantum Computing
One of the most important jobs that the person with the CIO job has is to keep the company’s networks and data secure. This means that  they are responsible for implementing systems and procedures that will  keep the bad guys out.  We purchase and implement products that require  our users to correctly identify themselves before they are permitted to access important company resources.  So far these systems seem to be working fairly well – the bad guys have  not been able to guess how to defeat our security measures.  However,  with the arrival of quantum computing this may all change. What do CIOs need to do in order to get ready? 
07:18
March 6, 2019
CIOs Need To Understand The Risk Of Internet Connected Devices
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for a while, you may not be aware of this thing that is being called the “internet of things” (IOT). What people are talking about when they talk about IOT is the growing number of devices that can be connected directly to the Internet.   In a typical work environment this can include everything from copy  machines, fax machines, coffee machines, and even video cameras.  There  are a lot of benefits that come from this connectivity; however, at the  same time the  person in the CIO position need to become very aware of the downsides  that are associated with tying all of these devices to the internet. 
06:17
February 27, 2019
CIOs Want To Know: Is Tape Making A Comeback?
Securing the company’s data is one of the primary jobs of the CIO.  As the importance of information technology grows and more and more of  our data moves into the cloud, keeping that data out of the hands of  hackers is becoming a bigger and bigger issue.  As CIOs go looking for  solutions to this problem, what they are discovering is that perhaps the  perfect solution already exists. Like maybe it was created back in the  1950s.  Yes, I’m talking about storing your precious data on magnetic tape once again. 
07:24
February 20, 2019
How Can CIOs Teach Their Employees About Cybersecurity?
I think that we can all agree that keeping the company’s network secure  is one of the CIO's most important tasks. However, no matter  how many firewalls we put in place or how effectively we implement  two-factor authentication we still need to understand the weakest link in our security system: our employees.   What this means for a CIO is that we are responsible for training our  staff to not make silly security mistakes. How best to go about doing  this?  We  had better come up with a good solution otherwise all of the fancy  security tools in the world won’t be keeping the bad guys out. 
07:06
February 20, 2019
Wells Fargo’s CIO Drops The Ball
If you were the CIO of a major bank responsible for the importance of  information technology, what do you think that your #1 job  responsibility would be? If you are guessing “keep the bank’s systems  secure” then good news, you’d be close, but you’d still be missing the  point.  It turns out that a bank’s CIO’s most important job is ensuring that the people who have trusted the bank with their money are able to both see and access it.   Over at the major American bank, Wells Fargo, their CIO has just  dropped the ball and their IT systems were down for two days. This means  that people could not access their money. Not a good scenario.  
05:27
February 13, 2019
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