Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 6, Number 2, 2012

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Leadership Perspective Creating a Culture of Innovation W Every CIO should enable a culture that embraces innovation to build on the strength of today's ever-changing enterprise. | By Adam Elster e're experiencing a rate of busi- ness change that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago. Consider, for example, what the emergence of tablets and smartphones has meant to information access in the workplace. Or how cloud computing is transforming today's technology environ- ment. Not to mention the new meaning that social networking is giving to collaboration. Many organizations are resistant to change, but chief information officers (CIOs) shouldn't allow this to get in their way. Instead, those who embrace change will foster a culture of innovation that allows the enterprise to continually generate new ideas — and ideas that will leave their competitors in the dust. This is especially true for large, estab- lished companies. Many large companies are still doing things the way they've been doing them for years. Bureaucratic inertia is a powerful force, and it can be difficult for managers to break away from the sta- tus quo. As a result, innovation may come only in periodic fits and starts. But real business success comes when companies are consistently innovative. This happens when large enterprises create an environ- ment where change and innovation are "In large enterprises, CIOs and business leaders must proactively manage change while still protecting their core business interests. Essentially, these companies need a culture that encourages risk-taking without weakening the organization's business model." valued and rewarded, where employees are encouraged to take responsible risks. Smaller companies generally have an easier time being nimble. Start-ups have their share of challenges, but it is defi- nitely easier for them to adapt to market conditions and business demands. That's because they tend to be simpler and more agile. It does not take much these days to get a company up and going when an opportunity hits. So smaller start-ups can hit the ground running. But in large enterprises, CIOs and busi- ness leaders must proactively manage change while still protecting their core busi- ness interests. Essentially, these companies need a culture that encourages risk-taking without weakening the organization's busi- ness model. Senior IT executives will ideally work in partnership with their business-line teams to develop and drive programs that encourage the development of new ideas. At CA Technologies, we're in the midst of a companywide initiative to drive change and deepen innovation throughout our business. This means looking at everything we do: which processes and procedures get in our way and slow us down, how we work with one another to break down silos, and how we develop solutions. The larger goal: to enable us to move more quickly, innovate more rapidly and stay ahead of our customers' needs. It's truly amazing what people — and companies — can achieve when they focus their efforts on enabling change. What's more, innovation can come from anywhere and anyone. So, to take the first step in enabling a culture of innovation, CIOs should give all individuals a chance to be heard. This will ultimately drive greater efficiency to dramatically improve the bot- tom line. n ADAM ELSTER is Executive VP of the Mainframe & Customer Success Group at CA Technologies. 6 SMARTENTERPRISEMAG.COM PHOTOGRAPH: CA TECHNOLOGIES

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