JB HOMER Retained Executive Search, specializing in executive search for technology and operations talent in a global market

In this President's Letter, Frederica discusses the trend toward why Boards are choosing the "new school" CIO.

President, JB Homer Associates

How A CIO Can Be Selected To Serve On A Board
"OLD SCHOOL" VS. "NEW SCHOOL" - by Frederica Bolgouras

As I began speaking with CIO candidates to reflect on which prototype would best serve as the next CIO role model on an Executive Board, I asked myself whom I would seriously consider based on their current qualifications, leadership style, and gravitas.

Transparency and influencing skills came foremost as well as this executive's ability to be nimble and to create a strategic roadmap for the organization as this executive would for his own company. This CIO would also move from an old school concept of sitting on the board and presenting the facts to becoming a new school thinker. This executive would be interactive with the Board and have a digital agenda to forecast, as they may have conducted with a start-up organization in new "disruptive" technologies, i.e. 3-D Printing, Predictive Analytics, Autonomous Cars or Bitcoin/Blockchain Technologies.

These are the qualifiers that Boards are looking at today in determining the role of a "new school" CIO Board member. This executive should be a hybrid pioneer of IT Strategy, Innovation, and Digitalization. This professional will not only have knowledge of Cyber Security, but will also focus on company growth, having strong networks established, demonstrated leadership, and developed programs.

Will Boards be open to CIO's who have moved into start-ups and can share the concept of new technologies? The "new school" CIO would be prepared to discuss these new methods and opportunities, leading to better insights and oversights of Information Technology in the future.

It would certainly be a positive change and create new discussions on how to suggest new thinking vs. business as usual for a traditional CIO Board member, who is primarily focused on regulations and compliance, stifling business growth. In my opinion, after speaking with more and more CIO's, I hear their willingness to exit the main stream markets in order to make their final mark.

Board Members are comprised of various industry Heads. One of the best ways for a first time Board Member as a CIO to get on board is to join a Not-For-Profit as they are always in need of great IT direction and strategy. Once again this begs the question, do you want to present yourself as part of the "new school" or "old school"?

Feel free to send your comments to fbolgouras@jbhomer.com

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