sf-2017-cio-summit--26As Delphix Founder and Executive Chairman (and frequent HMG Strategy keynote speaker) Jedidiah Yueh shares in his book Disrupt or Die: What the World Needs to Learn from Silicon Valley to Survive the Digital Era, as cyclonic technologies like AI and automation are taking the world by storm, established companies - and entire industries - can be shaken up or taken down in less time than ever before. 

For CIOs who are committed to helping the CEO and the C-suite to identify and act on new business opportunities and business models, it's no longer simply a matter of delivering on the art of the possible. Tech leaders must deliver on the 'art of the necessary' in order to enable their organizations to survive and thrive.

"One of the top requirements we look at when recruiting CIOs is finding people with a strong bias for action," said Bob Concannon, Senior Client Partner, CIO/IT Officers Practice at Korn Ferry. 

Concannon, who will be speaking at HMG Strategy's upcoming 2018 San Francisco CIO Executive Leadership Summit on April 26, says it goes beyond the CIO's ability to help plot the future state. "The time has come for CIOs to stand up and go boldly into the jobs that they need to do and break free from the backroom mentality. As Katy Perry sings in her song 'Firework', 'You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine'." 

For those CIOs who hail from engineering or technical backgrounds, this requires stepping out of their comfort zones and standing boldly alongside the CEO and other members of the executive team to execute on the vision. "Many CIOs aren't able to make this pivot," says Concannon. "You've got to work with what you have and be able to engage an audience - whether that's one-to-one engagement or one-to-two hundred."

A big part of the challenge is that few CIOs have the storytelling skills that are needed to engage effectively with senior management and key stakeholders, says Tony Leng, Managing Director, Practice Lead and OMP at Diversified Search. 

"Just 20% of CIOs have the communications skills needed to be able to build momentum within the organization to drive the change that's necessary," said Leng, who will also be speaking at the San Francisco summit with Concannon. "The CIO needs enormous persuasion skills. Things are not often apparent until you have a competitor that suddenly cleans your clock."

As part of his recruitment criteria, Leng looks for CIOs who have either come out of a 'digital native' environment or those who have driven digital transformation efforts. "Those CIOs who have led digital transformations have a powerful ability to create a narrative behind the impetus for these initiatives and what the anticipated business results were," said Leng. "Many CIOs are good at sharing specs and facts but they're not very good at telling a story. `What will the digital transformation look like when we get there?' and 'What will the journey look like?' These are the types of narratives CIOs need to be able convey successfully," Leng added. 

To learn more about the 2018 San Francisco CIO Executive Leadership Summit and the all-star roster of speakers like Bob Concannon and Tony Leng, click here