The best CIO quotes from the book, The CIO Paradox, by Martha Heller

One thing I’ve learned from talking with CIOs all these years is that many of you can beautifully articulate the ironies and complexities of your job in a concise, juicy quote. CIOs I interviewed for The CIO Paradox gave me plenty of these and I have gathered some of my favorites to share here.

CIO Paradox book coverwith dropshadow


Cultural change takes six months per layer in your organization. If you have eleven layers, you won’t live long enough to get anything done.

— Mike Capone, CIO, ADP


CIOs have a tendency to believe that they are an overhead function. When you believe you’re overhead you operate differently than when you perceive yourself as leading a P&L.

— Ray Barnard, CIO, Fluor

Business model innovation is the new contribution of IT.
— Werner Boeing, CIO, Roche Diagnostics


Architecture is a belief system. And then governance is having the discipline to put that belief system into action.
— Ralph Loura, CIO, Clorox


Projects are won or lost at the beginning.
— Colleen Wolf, CIO, Ventura Foods


It is a common mistake among less experienced CIOs to believe that all business partners are interchangeable. Left alone, the business will give you the mediocre but reliable person who has never rocked any boats.
— Leslie Jones, CIO, Motorola Solutions


In IT, we always come up with complexities and barriers for what we want to do and we overlook the simplest solution.
— Geir Ramleth, CIO, Bechtel


It is tough to be strategic when your pants are on fire.
— Ron Kifer, VP Global IT, Hewlett Packard


If you’re planning to retire and your replacement is another ‘you’, who has worked under you for the past thirty years and has adopted your approach and vision, it is probably a huge miss.
— Barbra Cooper, former CIO, Toyota Motor Sales North America (retired)


In the health-care industry, the top five enterprise software providers own 67 percent of our space. If you are an incumbent, you have benefited from our chaos, and you are not my most trusted business partner.
— Scott Blanchette, CIO, Vanguard Health Systems


People are defined by the problems they are asked to solve.
— Bill Wray, COO (former CIO), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island


Management is a career and leadership is a calling. If, as CIO, you are fielding questions about day to day transactions, you are probably still a manager.
— Brent Stacey, CIO, Idaho National Laboratory


For a CIO to be asked to join a board, they need to be known for work that is broader than the CIO title.
— Doreen Wright , former CIO, Campbell Soup Company (retired)


Whether it’s about consumer technologies or ERP or e mail, legacy begins the day you put something in. 
— Tom Murphy, CIO, Davita


Before you take a job, ask who you report to.  Do you a have a seat at the table with the CEO?
— Ray Barnard, CIO, Fluor


People believe that IT is about technology, but it’s really a behavioral science—understanding the behaviors of your company’s staff, leaders, and customers—and facilitating the adoption of a new vision.
— Werner Boeing, CIO of Roche Diagnostics

Roles We Recruit


 

Read our weekly e-newsletter packed with career advice and resources for the strategic technology leader, and information about active searches.

The Heller Report

Add a Comment

My CIO Career: With Kellie Christensen of Gray

Sep 28, 2022

Board of Directors’ Digital Literacy: Progress made and work still to be done

Sep 21, 2022