Accelerating Change with Innovation

Build an innovative, learning organisation that’s primed for continual change

Today’s CIOs understand that transformation is an ongoing process, requiring a state of continual innovation to drive and achieve real business value.

As organisations begin to implement and upgrade their processes and methods, shifting organisational mindsets to embed a culture of innovation is no easy task.

It requires CIOs to combine all of their technological and leadership abilities. “It’s about embedding a culture of learning, starting from IT and extending to the wider organisation, while creating an organisation that desires to understand what’s out there and what’s happening,” according to Adam Evans, Professional Services Leader, EMEA for Rackspace.

Organisations willing to take risks and not make mistakes are reaping the rewards. Taking risks is a learning process that organisations need to not be afraid of. A notion that is re-instated by CIO.com contributor Snehal Antani, who argues that transformation involves creating ‘a culture of continuous improvement’ which ‘empowers product managers to quickly identify and deliver new features, and to quickly pivot or iterate based on both the voice and behaviour of the customers.’

Continuous improvement requires a shift in mindsets where the start/stop cadence of IT roadmaps gives way to something more iterative. Thinking about the end-to-end delivery of projects, and not the usual project-by-project basis. This enables people and processes to lead, encouraging collaboration and a transformative way of work. Applying the philosophy of agile SW development across the whole business.

Accelerating change

Organisations need to accept that failure is a part of the process, feeling empowered enough to take risks, and not shying away from potential mistakes and challenges.

According to Deloitte, the CIO needs the following attributes to drive business innovation; an experimental mindset, a risk-taking attitude and the willingness to speak out. CIOs need to also find and promote these qualities within their teams.

This starts by finding a business focal point and taking small incremental steps toward it. By building things that work, you not only add tangible value to the business, you build both confidence and credibility, creating a momentum that can drive future projects.

CIOs don’t need to do this on their own. While there will always be inhibitors, there will also be those willing to make a difference, who have the attributes to do so. Education and enablement will help organisations realise the impact of technology and encourage innovative ideas to come to the forefront.

As Evans says, ‘for businesses, it’s going to be very, very difficult to understand all you need to know about an emerging technology early enough within a program or project lifecycle to really be able to run fast, so partners are really going to accelerate you in that space.’

These are all distinct requirements, but at the core, what is really needed is a CIO with the right team and the right leadership skills. Including the right technical abilities to explore initiatives and ignite ideas across the business. In the innovative, learning organisations of tomorrow, the CIO must lead, and lead by example.

Learn more bout Rackspace and find out you can drive innovation throughout your organisation.

This article was originally posted on www.cio.co.uk