High Performing IT Teams

On August 30, 2017, Posted by , In Blog, By ,,, , With No Comments

For those who know my Warehouse (TWL) IT story you’ll know that things were a bit bleak in the early days. I had joined TWL from Deloitte with the expectation that as a CIO my role would be to lead a team that would use IT to provide competitive advantage…

In Pursuit of Operational Excellence

| I recently wrote a blog where I outlined an epiphany I had around the need for an IT team to be operationally excellent  (the original blog can be found here).  In essence the insight was that high performing organisations have high performing IT teams and that a key characteristic…

The Case for IT Value: A review of my favorite research

On July 27, 2017, Posted by , In Blog, By ,,,, , With No Comments

| For all of you who are regular readers of my blogs you will know that I am fairly obsessed with the notion of IT Value. This obsession stems from a belief that IT has huge potential to make our lives and organisations substantially better and that it is our…

Innovation and Change. When Leaders are the Problem.

On July 3, 2017, Posted by , In Blog, By ,,,,, , With No Comments

Innovation is a hot topic around the globe at the moment and given the  tight connection between technology and innovation today it is something I am intensely interested in.  So it was with great interest that I read the following article and the full report from a few weeks back….

We Want to be Digital, But What Does that Mean?

| A few weeks ago I got a call from a client “Owen, we presented our digital strategy to the board yesterday.  It went well but the board wants us to go quicker and are prepared to invest in that.  Can we talk?” “Of course we can talk” I replied,…

Shadow IT. Mandate Without Service.

On May 26, 2017, Posted by , In Blog, By ,,, , With No Comments

Many IT organisations are strong on wanting a mandate.  This is what IT does and this is what users can and cannot do. The expectation is that if we can simply clarify and enforce the rules then shadow IT will go away and we will solve all, or at least…

High Performance. The Role of Process vs Outcomes

On March 29, 2017, Posted by , In Blog, By ,,,,, , With No Comments

| I was meeting with a client a few months back.  This particular client was having some ongoing issues with the performance of their help desk.  Specifically, tickets were not getting closed in a timely fashion and as a result IT’s customer (i.e. users of IT services) were getting some…

It’s Not Where You Begin

On March 8, 2017, Posted by , In Blog, By ,,, , With No Comments

| I don’t know about you, but I have a series of moments which are burnt on my mind and I can recall them easily and always will.  Whether it is the birth of my children, the 1995 World Cup, which I watched with friends in Ngaio, or the turn…

A Renovation Approach To Going Digital

On January 10, 2017, Posted by , In Blog, By ,,, , With No Comments

| I reckon that for most large incumbent organisations (that is those born in an analogue age) going digital is a bit like embarking on a significant house renovation and extension.  But first let me take you back to the beginning of 2004. My wife and I decided to buy…

Finding Common Ground

On November 15, 2016, Posted by , In Blog, By ,, , With No Comments

| In my job you don’t go to many days without hearing someone talking about the gap between IT and “the business”.  It may be from someone in IT, who is struggling to be heard and understood by their colleagues.   It may be from an executive, who is trying to…

Line of Competence

On September 20, 2016, Posted by , In Blog, By ,, , With No Comments

| Technology is changing the way companies do business but the sad reality is that in many organisations the IT team, the supposed technology experts are barely participating in these changes let alone leading them.  On the surface of it this makes no sense at all and many IT professionals…

Persistent Problems and Conventional Thinking

On September 8, 2016, Posted by , In Blog, By ,,,, , With No Comments

I I have been thinking a lot about projects and project management lately.  Why?  Because effective project delivery is critical to delivering value from IT and as an industry we don’t do a great job of delivering our projects.  We are all aware of the statistics.  Most commentators report that…

Failure is Good. Yeah Right!

On September 1, 2016, Posted by , In Blog, By ,,, , With No Comments

| It has become very trendy to trumpet the importance of failure.  Many authors, and commentators are encouraging us to fail.  The rationale?  The only way to make progress, to change things, to innovate is to do something, most likely to do something new.  When you try something new there…

Facilitated Governance

On August 30, 2016, Posted by , In Blog, By ,,,,, , With No Comments

| There we were halfway through the workshop with the IT leadership team and our attention shifted to the team’s project delivery performance.  The insight from the executive was very clear.  They saw the IT team as the department of no!  It didn’t matter how good an idea it was…

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective CIO’s (part 2)

On July 12, 2016, Posted by , In Uncategorized, By ,,,, , With No Comments

| I have been a fan of Stephen Covey’s 7 habits for a long time now.  It has been very influential in how I look at the world and how I live my life, despite my constant failures to live up to the habits.  It has also been influential in…

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective CIOs (part 1)

On July 10, 2016, Posted by , In Uncategorized, By ,,,, , With No Comments

| I have been a fan of Stephen Covey’s 7 habits for a long time now.  It has been very influential in how I look at the world and how I live my life, despite my constant failures to live up to the habits.  It has also been influential in…

Too Much To Do

On May 27, 2016, Posted by , In Uncategorized, By ,, , With No Comments

| I had arrived early and took up a seat in a quiet corner of the cafe.  I was here for my first coaching session with Roseanne.  Roseanne was identified early as a high potential leader within a major corporate IT team.  Recently, however, her CIO had noticed a disturbing…

The Technology Puzzle

On April 21, 2016, Posted by , In Uncategorized, By ,,, , With No Comments

For more than a decade now the proportion of organisational technology spend being managed outside of the IT team has grown rapidly.  Most industry analysts reckon that the split in IT spending is nearly 50/50 between IT controlled and spent outside of IT.  There are many reasons offered as to…

Driving Digital Competence

On April 14, 2016, Posted by , In Uncategorized, By ,,, , With No Comments

My daughter Sarah has just passed her learner’s driving licence.  It is a very exciting time for her and a somewhat nervous time for myself and her mother.  The day after she passed I took her out for her first ever drive.  I decided that having her actually drive on…

Defining Digital Competence

In a recent blog I raised the issue that most organisations don’t systematically invest in the digital competence of their team.  Having under invested, they then lament their inability to deliver real tangible value from their technology investments.  You can’t be a digital leader, or expect to realise the full…

Aspiring IT Leaders

What makes a great CIO? What do CIOs do anyway? These two questions and variations of them seem to get asked regularly at conferences and on social networks such as LinkedIn. The latest round of these questions has inspired me to write this blog.  This is my take on what…

How to Sell to a CIO

On November 14, 2014, Posted by , In Uncategorized, By ,,, , With No Comments

Before I took up the role of CIO at The Warehouse I was a partner with Deloitte Consulting. As with most professional services firms my role was a mix of selling and delivering services to clients. Because of this when I joined The Warehouse I was quite open to meet…

Knowledge is Power! Or is it?

| We hear all the time that knowledge is power. In our industry we use this mantra as a justification for all sorts of investment, particularly investments in business intelligence. But is knowledge really power? Let’s consider this. In our house we have one rule (thanks to my sister, from…