Innovation is the cornerstone of successful businesses and keeping up with technological advances is more important than ever before. A skilled CIO should be a facilitator of innovation and must assist the company in moving forward. Below is a list of ways that can aid CIOs in enhancing their organizations through innovation:
Create a technology-oriented vision for the organization
When trying to improve your organization in any way, being goal oriented is key. Being aware of the necessary changes and setting a deadline for them helps put the development process in motion and points you and your team in the right direction. Additionally, passing new milestones should be reason for celebration and a form of motivation for the organization.
Immerse yourself in the company's environment
CIOs are not a part of the work teams that perform the company's day to day tasks. Therefore, walking in the shoes of its staff is a great way to gain perspective and immerse yourself in the environment. A CIO may not be able to gain first hand experience of the company's issues, but listening to active staff members and assessing customer feedback are the two next best things. Doing so allows CIOs to objectively assess the situation, see the bigger picture and find a strategy that adapts to the needs of both the customers and the business.
Create an open communication environment for your team
Creativity will not always come knocking on your door and sometimes you may find yourself unsure of what to do. It is in such moments that team collaboration can provide you with unique perspectives and help in producing efficient solutions. Rather than holding traditionally boring and unproductive staff meetings that seem to have no valuable purpose, CIOs should make the weekly gathering a place for open communication and a platform for innovation. Employees must not feel uncomfortable sharing their unique perspectives and innovation should be rewarded. Additionally, presentations should be thought provoking and must help guide employees in the right direction. This helps them ask the right questions and successfully come up with business solutions that adapt to the organization's needs.
Trial and error is inevitable
One must keep in mind that while business strategies may seem flawless on paper, implementation is not always a smooth process. As a CIO, a large portion of your job encompasses a repeated cycle of observation, experimentation, trial and error. Consequently, part of the organization's budget must be set aside for exploration, testing and learning through application. Even in a failed project, a hands on experience allows your team to physically see what went wrong and find the suitable solution for it.