The Next Gen-CIO. What Does this Person Look Like? | Podcast Episode #8

3D Small People - Management

Are you stuck as a CIO? Are you looking for ideas?

Do you wish you could listen into a Tier 1 CIO and observe how they think and act?

Bob Fecteau is what I call a Tier 1 CIO at SAIC. Tier 1 CIOs are in my opinion in the top 5-10% of the profession.

Bob Fecteau

What impresses me about Bob is that he is passionate about building and developing Tier 1- Next Gen CIOs. If you are trying to break into the top 5-10% of CIOs on the planet this is a show for you to listen to because you will be a ‘fly on the wall’ of a CIO who is in my opinion dominating his role as an IT leader.

We discuss in this episode his philosophy:

  1. Where did he develop his passion for building CIOs?
  2. Why does he feel it is so important?
  3. Team building – Linking every person’s efforts to the business strategy
  4. Being a financial expert – The largest expense other than HR is IT.
  5. Explain business process analysis and workflow. Becoming a diagnostician and a 6 sigma light CIO
  6. Communicate and speak to the business in their language (business) – A Journey
  7. Delivering value – explaining value
  8. Be an expert in Financial Management – programmatics – what is the value generated of every dollar?
  9. Asset management – Enterprise view – edge to edge
  10. Owning the problem – leadership
  11. Improving profitability – reducing expense
  12. Developing a Vision to avoid reactivity and becoming unstuck as a CIO
  13. The role of a CIO as a profession that is similar to a CPA or an MBA.
  14. Avoiding Buzzy words like SAS, Cloud, SOA
  15. Be involved in the CIO community
  16. His thoughts on the “Cloud” and other “buzzy” topics in general
  17. Attend conferences to be exposed and reminded about what is possible. “the art of the possible”
  18. Measurement doesn’t do anything. What is the definition of a metric versus outcomes
  19. The difference between managers vs leaders
  20. Not giving up and quitting on a problem till it is solved!

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The entire show notes are listed below.

Show Notes:

  • Developing and Executing improvements of a team [1:10]
  • “What one person can do is just a minor piece of what a whole organization can do synchronizing everything together” [1:50]
  • Was there a moment in which something pushed you over the edge? [2:20]
  • “How do you get more out of technologists that are experts in their fields, yet they can’t seem to see the purpose of what they’re doing?” [3:00]
  • Defining the Technology for the Strategy of the Business [4:18]
  • Education of a CIO [5:40]
  • What services must a CIO deliver to manage IT investments? [7:25]
  • Is business communication an important skill for a CIO? [11:30]
  • “There isn’t a technology solution for everything…If it’s a bad process to begin with, don’t put in technology until you fix the process.” [12:30]
  • Have you found anything successful for you in communicating with the CEO/Board? [14:47]
  • The importance of communicating the impact of a decision on the business [16:45]
  • Do wider communication skills make a CIO more effective? [18:55]
  • How would a CIO develop skills in analyzing business process flow? [20:12]
  • “It’s not about learning the skill so much, it’s establishing a common framework and common language between technologists and business people to achieve a better result.” [21:35]
  • “…one of the key roles the CIO plays in a business is that of the change agent for the organization.” [23:00]
  • How would a CIO own a problem within an organization? [23:30]
  • What is the best way to lead through the details for follow up and follow through purposes? [26:59]
  • Metrics vs. Leadership [29:17]
  • “Leadership is the application of metrics in a creative and innovative way to become something better than you were when you started” [30:52]
  • How does a CIO move an enterprise from a reactive culture to one that is a more successful, stable culture? [34:20]
  • The Art of the Possible [36:50]
  • Leadership and Vision as it applies to cloud opportunities for the business [39:10]
  • Options for CIOs to get to the next level of their careers [43:22]
  • University Programs for CIOs [46:07]

Mentioned in the episode – where to develop additional learning

  • Carnegie Mellon – Institute for Software Research, Executive & Professional Education Programs
  • Penn State – Information Sciences and Technology Programs which have an integrated Enterprise Architecture component that was built by CIOs and business leaders in response to a need to teach students how to align IT to the business.  Undergraduate, Graduate and Executive Certification Programs
  • National Defense University – Information Resource College’s, Chief Information Officer Program
  • Harvard Sponsored Program in their Center For Management Research:  Programs on Leadership for Senior Executives as well as the Kennedy School of Government
  • CIO Executive Council – CIO Pathways – provides a broad range of CIO Level leadership programs

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