We’re at a point in human history in which the pace and breadth of disruptive change is unrivaled. Technological and business innovation is occurring at a lightning pace. Creative business models are generating bedlam across industries.

As a result, company executives are scrambling to address seismic industry shifts that threaten the viability of their businesses. Indeed, just 12% of the companies that were on the Fortune 500 list in 1955 are still in business today.

The C-Suite isn’t prepared to respond to the glacial pace of change that’s occurring in business. Customers are gravitating to those companies that offer them the greatest perceived value. Consider, for instance, the success of Airbnb and how it has completely reshaped the lodging industry – or how Walmart’s GoBank has bankers on edge.

Given the profound shifts that are taking place in business, the CIO has an incredible opportunity to leverage his/her horizontal view across the organization and muster the people, processes, and technology to facilitate and lead innovation.

In order for the CIO to successfully enable and drive change, a new dynamic mindset is needed with the “Courage to Lead.”

CIOs need to draw upon new leadership capabilities that infuse passion and conviction with a willingness to take calculated risks. Consider companies such as Uber and Spotify and how they’ve completely disrupted the transportation and music industries. These companies wouldn’t have attained the level of success they’ve achieved if their business leaders moved forward with traditional business models. Instead, they boldly embarked on ventures that have gone outside the norm while offering new value propositions to customers.

CIOs need to go outside their comfort zones to lead in the 21st Century enterprise. The mandate for CIOs requires a two-pronged approach. First, CIOs must become the “CEO of Technology.” By using the mindset of a CEO, the CIO can set the agenda for the technologies that can be used to drive disruptive change and position the company to distinguish itself in the market with customers.

In order to compete in today’s fast-changing markets, CIOs must also have a need for speed – Speed to Partnerships; Speed to Communications; Speed to Trust; and Speed to Performance. CIOs and their organizations need the ability to act quickly and execute when opportunities present themselves.

There’s never been a more exciting time to be a CIO. HMG Strategy will continue to explore the challenges and opportunities facing CIOs as they undertake the Courage to Lead. We invite you to join the discussion.

Key Takeaways 

  • We are at a point in history in which the pace and scope of change is unparalleled.
  • The C-Suite is struggling to respond effectively to disruption.
  • CIOs need to draw upon new leadership capabilities that combine passion and conviction with a willingness to be courageous and take bold risks.