10 Innovation Topics to Help with Defense and Offense


Are you aware what is on the mind of your peers and how they are handling innovation, transformation and business disruption. What is fascinating is that we are all struggling and succeeding at various CIO functions. However, the job is hard….very hard and there is a need for ramping up certain personal and team skill sets. Take a look at the topics what I facilitated in the lunch session. I wish I could have recorded all of the shared wisdom in the room, but we all sign a confidentiality waiver to protect us all. Trust me when I say that when you have top-of-the-food chain discussions like these there were ideas and practical suggestions which we all left with that made us feel elevated and invigorated by our peers about the profession and the opportunities and challenges that lie before us.

So read on….and if you would like to be notified about upcoming lunch sessions or summaries like these click here to sign up for my CIO Innovation Insider Newsletter


Shifting the Culture to Meet Innovation GoalsHow Do You Design a Business for 2+ Years in the Future?

“Our CEO wants cultural change to support innovation. We have set up innovation teams, and have been successful in IT, but how do we take this success across many departments in the organization? How do you take innovative ideas and move them into action, fund them, etc.? How do we look at the cultural impact on the organization?”

Innovation and the CIO

“How does a CIO shift from being an A+ project executor over 15 years to a person who can also be A+ with vision and innovation? I have been with the company for 15 years and with new management recently they are suddenly are asking for more nebulous ‘vision’ / ‘chart the future’ type conversations and leadership. This, coupled with corporate strategy, is poorly defined…..feedback and ideas welcomed…”

[Note from Bill]  From my recent conversations and interviews, many CIOs are identifying personal skills gaps. Business expectations are changing; so I am curious what group is doing about continuous learning and education related to innovation, finance, etc. so that our skills, and management, and leadership capabilities continue to grow with the evolving business and digital landscape. This continues to come up as a theme with all of my conversations. 

Transformation and Innovation

“New skills are being required of CIOs to both innovate and transform. IoT offers new capabilities for CIOs to innovate and transform services delivered to guests as well as lower costs and increase efficiencies. I have been successfully delivering all the expected core services to the business, but what is next? How can we be more nimble, agile, fast, etc.? I am interested in exploring with others how they are approaching innovation and transformation broadly beyond core service delivery.”


DevOps Clashes with Development Teams and Continuous Delivery.

There is a clash happening with DevOps & development teams when they forget established best practices of security, release management, governance controls, etc. Standards and practices. DevOps Movement – in order to prevent anarchy, are there ideas from the group on how to build processes and controls into a methodology that promotes ITIL, standards, controls, etc.

[Note from Bill]  I think this is such an important issue for our conversation because as the business moves away from big framework development and waterfall methodologies to more agile and lean release cycles, how can IT adapt so that there are still privacy, security, and governance controls in place.

Project Management

How do I start building a Project Management Organization from scratch so I can get out of the weeds? And…..so that the PMO group becomes a strong resource that other business units pull from and that can be charged for the service? What are some starting points? Love feedback and ideas…”

Enterprise IT Security

What are peers doing to build bench strength within security on the team. Inside Strength, partnering, cloud, etc.? Are there best practices to be aware of when moving to O365 to ensure security, migration, and other related issues are mitigated?

[Note from Bill]  One of the exponential trends with Big Data and IoT and Cloud is the impact this is having with Authentication and Authorization controls as well as Governance, Compliance, Privacy, Ethics, Best Practices for Controls, etc. With innovation and transformation that businesses are looking for an (offensive) advantage it can be a

challenge to play (defense). But, as the saying goes….a great defense makes for an outstanding offense.

Digital Disruption – Innovation and Disruption for the CIO

With disruptive changes is the role of the CMO changing to one of more influence?

[Note from Bill] – I think this is an interesting point as the role of the CMO impacts big data, and scrutiny of public/private information. What role will the CIO play with transformation of Sales and Marketing efforts? Will the CIO partner with the CMO?