The CIO Paradox
With the help of a wide array of successful IT leaders, Martha Heller defines a set of contradictions that permeate the CIO role, and offers solid advice for breaking through them.
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Regardless of industry, most major companies are becoming technology companies. The successful management of information has become so critical to a company’s goals, that in many ways, now is the age of the CIO. Yet IT executives are besieged by a host of contradictions: bad technology can bring a company to its knees, but corporate boards rarely employ CIOs; CIOs must keep costs down at the very same time that they drive innovation. CIOs are focused on the future, while they are tethered by technology decisions made in the past.
These contradictions form what Martha Heller calls The CIO Paradox, a set of conflicting forces that are deeply embedded in governance, staffing, executive expectations, and even corporate culture. Heller, who has spent more than 12 years working with the CIO community, offers guidance to CIOs on how to attack, reverse, or neutralize the paradoxical elements of the CIO role. Through interviews with a wide array of successful CIOs, The CIO Paradox helps readers level the playing field for IT success and get one step closer to bringing maximum value to their companies.
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As a CIO that has survived this paradox for more than a decade, I appreciate the insights of The CIO Paradox.
Robert B. CarterEVP & CIO, FedEx Corporation
This is not a book about IT that will bore you!
Pamela J. StensonSVP & General Manager, CIO Executive Council
A must-read for all CIOs and those aspiring to the role. The CIO Paradox is a compendium of our colleagues’ most valuable and sometimes painful lessons packaged up and told in a compelling and straightforward manner. Thanks, Martha!
Timothy C. McCabeSVP & CIO, Delphi
More praise for
The CIO Paradox »
In The CIO Paradox, Martha Heller has clearly articulated the many
contradictions that permeate the CIO role. But more than that, she
includes rich examples of how successful CIOs have managed to break
through these contradictions. IT leadership is a balancing act, as Heller
demonstrates in this entertaining and insightful book.
Carol Zierhoffer VP & Global CIO, Xerox
Martha does a great job of capturing the paradox of not just the CIO
role, but of Enterprise IT as a whole. In a world that greatly admires
technology and over-rewards the start-up, how is the brand of the
enterprise CIO and the technology teams that support our business so
weak? As a CIO that has survived this paradox for more than a decade, I
appreciate the insights of The CIO Paradox.
Robert B. Carter EVP & CIO, FedEx Corporation
In The CIO Paradox, Heller has her finger on the pulse of the major contradictions that plague the CIO role today, including being hired to be
strategic, but spending most of our time being operational. Her recommendations
on how to overcome major paradoxes offer concise and helpful
advice to CIOs on becoming more successful in the role.
Gregory S. Smith author of Straight to the Top: Becoming a World-Class CIO
Martha Heller has unparalleled access to CIOs. She advises them, writes
about them, and recruits them. With her terrific book, The CIO Paradox,
she lets us in on all that she has learned and the advice she has given. The
result is an invaluable resource. Martha demonstrates that for CIOs to be
successful in this day and age, they must achieve balance in their skills,
plans, and methods to eliminate blind spots and to achieve sustainable
success for their departments and for their companies.
Peter HighPresident, Metis Strategy, LLC and author of World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs
What makes The CIO Paradox a compelling read is the understanding Martha has of the vast challenges today's CIOs are faced with. Throughout the book you have those aha! moments that energize any reader who works in or supports the IT profession. The organized, blunt fashion in which she states the paradox, while injecting the perfect amount of humor, is terrific, as are her conclusions. This is not a book about IT that will bore you!
Pamela J. Stenson Senior Vice President & General Manager, CIO Executive Council
A must-read for all CIOs and those aspiring to the role. The CIO Paradox is a compendium of our colleaguesí most valuable and sometimes painful lessons packaged up and told in a compelling and straightforward manner. Heller has distilled years of CIO experience into a pragmatic guide that not only helps CIOs everywhere to improve their game, but forces them to reflect on where they have been and, more importantly, where they should go next.
Timothy C. McCabeSVP & CIO, Delphi
Martha Heller has captured the essence of the exhilaration and the stress that come with being a CIO in the 21st century. In The CIO Paradox, she has articulated the complex and critical set of issues that confront CIOs every day, in every enterprise, in a witty and constructive way. Having lived the CIO role over four different decades, I was able to relate to her paradoxes and her conclusions: that to be successful in this young and great profession you must move from being an either, or manager to an and, and leader. It will be exciting to see more and more of our next generation leaders break through these paradoxes.
Charlie FeldFounder, The Feld Group Institute, and author of Blind Spot IT: A Leader's Guide To IT-Enabled Business Transformation
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