The Challenges With a Tech-Obsessed CEO

by

I caught up with one of my old friends last week who had taken a new CIO gig about a year ago. At his previous company, his bosses (first the CFO and then the CEO) were primarily focused on managing IT as a cost of doing business, but his new boss is a little different.

“I was so excited to work for a CEO who believed technology could transform businesses – and our business specifically,” he started, with a little hesitation in his voice. “But, it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns over here. He cares a lot about what we are doing, and sometimes it feels like too much.”

He shared a typical day. His boss pops by regularly with some idea he wants to discuss – often inspired by his entrepreneurial friends in Silicon Valley. He sends articles on technology trends and what tech companies are doing. He constantly questions my friend about whether they are working on the right things from a technology perspective and always pushes back on what they are spending on legacy technology compared to start ups. Every other week he asks how they are going to innovate faster.

“While it’s great that my company is willing to invest in technology, I secretly long for the days when everyone stayed out of my hair. It is so hard to get anything done around here!”

Most IT leaders would prefer to have my friend’s tech-obsessed CEO over the other extreme, but my friend reminded me that it does introduce new challenges. Instead of making a case for all the possibilities technology can bring, he has to spend his time justifying basic IT support.

One of the jobs of a CIO or CTO is to educate his or her CEO and executive team on how to invest in technology. Traditionally, that has involved justifying the value of IT to the business, but with a tech-obsessed CEO, it may involve more education around things like the hype curve and which technologies make the most sense in which industries. My friend has his work cut out for him, but I think he’d still take his tech-obsessed CEO over his previous bosses.

 

READ MORE

The Leadership Dog Years

The Leadership Dog Years

As a business leader, I feel like I’ve been living in dog years — so much has happened that this year feels more like seven. In the spring, our company — like many others — had to throw out our annual plans and quickly pivot to new ones. In the summer, we increased...

read more
Shifting Perspectives: 3 Learnings From a 3-Day Training

Shifting Perspectives: 3 Learnings From a 3-Day Training

About a week ago, I completed the second live (virtual) training in the process of becoming a Certified Professional Coach through iPEC. Once again, my mind was blown! It reinforced for me that virtual workshops can, and do, work, and, in a lot of ways, I prefer them...

read more
Finding My Work-Life Balance

Finding My Work-Life Balance

In my previous post, I told the story of how I got back into consulting after becoming a mom. All of the diverse experiences I had during that journey have helped me to find my work-life balance by… Defining Boundaries “Go home,” my first boss said 12 years back —...

read more
How I Got Back to Work After Being a Full-Time Mom

How I Got Back to Work After Being a Full-Time Mom

I Landed My Dream Job Throwback to 2014, I had completed my MBA, landed my dream job as a consultant, and was hoping that my new consulting career would exponentially ramp up my career growth for the next 5 years. This would position me to take on critical decision...

read more
Self-Awareness is Key to Belonging

Self-Awareness is Key to Belonging

In August of this year, as part of our annual company meeting, our team at Thought Ensemble participated in the foundational session of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training led by Dr. Nika White, IOM, CDE (she/her/hers). One of the most meaningful moments...

read more
Finding Your Organization’s Magic Pixie Dust

Finding Your Organization’s Magic Pixie Dust

It is often said that organizational culture is like a fog — it is all around us; it impacts our ability to see, to move quickly, and to deliver; but we cannot quite put our finger on it. Indeed, some organizations see their culture as a byproduct of operations,...

read more
We’ve Refreshed Our Brand!

We’ve Refreshed Our Brand!

Why have we refreshed our brand, you ask? Well, as we have grown and matured as an organization, we felt that our previous brand elements no longer represented us as well as they could. You see, we founded Thought Ensemble back in 2008 to help companies better compete...

read more
Thought Ensemble’s Purpose — Inspired in 2020

Thought Ensemble’s Purpose — Inspired in 2020

I recently wrote about how company purpose is being tested and inspired by all the events of 2020. This topic is very real for us at Thought Ensemble. We’ve been thinking a lot about what really matters as we’ve navigated the challenges of this year. While we’ve had...

read more