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“Do you want to finish the last director’s or CIO’s strategic IT project? How much waste are you willing to live with by abandoning projects? You take risks, you challenge assumptions, you stay flexible, you recover rapidly.”

Those two important questions and a description of how innovators work comes directly from “CIO360 Empowerment,” a slide deck from Andrew Wasser that was recently uploaded to SlideShare. If Wasser sounds like an IT leadership coach, he’s got the credentials: As Associate Dean of The Heinz College’s School of Information Systems and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, Wasser is also director of the organization’s CIO Institute.

Although it’s not exactly clear where Wasser was delivering this presentation, it’s well worth flipping through. Beyond some inspiration and advice, there are points in the deck that sound far more off-the-cuff in their candidness than you hear at the average tech event. To wit:

On consultants: “Why do we respect the opinions of outsiders more than we do our trusted employees? Why do we let consultants and vendors gain experience at our expense?”

On IT failures: “Give up on massive cross-departmental IT projects. One-off partnerships and incremental agreements work better.” (Some good examples on the slide about this).

On Shadow IT: “Friend or enemy? We could ask Hilary Clinton.”

There’s lots more here in just 32 slides, including a hard look at some other reasons CIOs don’t achieve the results they want, the benefits of Agile and enterprise architecture, and a suggestion on what Wasser describes “principal-agent theory” which he suggests could be used to provide better incentives that change user behaviour.


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