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Hi all, I have another very interesting topic - at least to me. I recently had a conversation with a president of a Texas university. He asked a very interesting question: How are you, as a CIO, fullfill the task of being the Lead Innovation Officer for the university? Firstly - Is one of our jobs to be the Lead Innovative Officer? Secondly - If it is, how are we suppose do that? Is our job to provide the systems to create innovation or is our job to help ignite innovative ideas in our institutions? Where do we start and where to end? God bless, Sam Young Chief Information Officer Point Loma Nazarene Unversity ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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Sam, I'm pretty sure there is going to be huge differences here between large research places, well endowed, higher end, liberal arts colleges and the small to medium sized masters II schools. Molloy is closest to the third of these..... My president and I put together an Emerging Technology Initiative Advisory Committee. Includes a rep from each school, the faculty development center and library. The charge is to help drive technology into the T/L process. He has provided sufficient funds to allow the group to develop an in house grants program which my office helps administer. All that being said, I find myself the one that is out scouring the resources looking for, and introducing, innovations to the group. Best, Rob Dr. Robert Paterson Vice President, Information Technology, Planning & Research Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY 11571 516-678-5000 ex 6443
IMHO.... Title change from Chief Information Officer to Chief Innovation Officer...makes sense.... First - I do believe that CIOs can and should initiate innovation and change whenever possible. Our job/role is not reactionary anymore (ie must be proactive and not reactive). Second - We do this as a team *AND* with executive support (President, Provost, VPs, Deans, Dept. Chairs, Supervisors, Managers, etc.). More accurately as a collaboration that we are part of. I am the first to admit that I do not have all of the answers and rely on others for good ideas/solutions. So we CIOs are to do both provide systems to create innovation *AND* to help ignite innovative ideas in our institutions. It is also very important for us to realize that good ideas will come from every part of the organization, both high and low, and where most often the great ideas coming from the front-line folks, from whom we should be listening to very closely and often. I would think then the challenge would be to pick a good idea or two, regardless of who has them, and try it/them out. At the very least, the exec support mentioned prior means that they will help communicate/champion the ideas. The exec support means they will also *support* any failures and see these as really learning lessons to move from and try something else. So, then the only *failure* is not trying anything at all....not trying anything means no innovation happens and that the secret of getting ahead is to simply getting started. Regards, Jim James M. Dutcher - Chair - SUNY Council of CIOs SUNY Cobleskill - CIO: PMP, CISSP, SCP/Security+, CISA EMail : dutchejm@cobleskill.edu EMail : jim@dutcher.net (personal) Office: (518) 255-5809 Cell : (518) 657-1056 (work) Cell : (607) 760-7455 (personal) Skype : james_dutcher http://www.cobleskill.edu ________________________________________
This is one of those opportunities where you can plant seeds and nurture ideas, and lead without control of the resources.  The opportunity is realized through collaboration and cooperation, described very well by Rick Matthews.  Not all innovation is through technology, though, or even enabled by technology.  From my perspective, there needs to be several "Lead Innovative Officers" if an entire university is going to innovate or be innovative.  Because IT is focused on change and innovation, a role we can play is to encourage others to be innovative in their areas and from their perspectives.  We can encourage ideas, collaborate and cooperate on execution.  I don't think we can own all innovation; if a university fails to be innovative, it does fall that the IT area failed to lead in innovation.  A role we can play is being positive about change and encouraging others to think broadly.

Theresa


Message from shelf@westernu.edu

Some interesting, quick reads on the subject below. Your mileage may vary.

I do have some potentially controversial views (and actions...) on the subject, that I would be more than happy to share in private. I will say this: be wary of pigeon holes. If you can be commoditized in the eyes of the executive team and company culture, you are a commodity, and all that implies.

Whether the Innovation Officers are more fluff than substance:





A bit more formal read on what innovation could actually entail:


Thank you for bringing this up -- great topic!

Cheers,

Scott Helf, DO, MSIT
CTO-COMP
WesternU
shelf@westernu.edu


From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] on behalf of Theresa Rowe [rowe@OAKLAND.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2012 5:45 AM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: Re: [CIO] Lead Innovation Officer

This is one of those opportunities where you can plant seeds and nurture ideas, and lead without control of the resources.  The opportunity is realized through collaboration and cooperation, described very well by Rick Matthews.  Not all innovation is through technology, though, or even enabled by technology.  From my perspective, there needs to be several "Lead Innovative Officers" if an entire university is going to innovate or be innovative.  Because IT is focused on change and innovation, a role we can play is to encourage others to be innovative in their areas and from their perspectives.  We can encourage ideas, collaborate and cooperate on execution.  I don't think we can own all innovation; if a university fails to be innovative, it does fall that the IT area failed to lead in innovation.  A role we can play is being positive about change and encouraging others to think broadly.

Theresa


Thanks for sharing these great reads.  One sentence jumped out at me:

"Close to 70 percent of CEOs are investing in IT to reduce costs and become more efficient, while 54 percent are also funneling funds toward growth initiatives. "  I do find it challenging to convince senior leadership to fund innovative ideas and initiatives without neglecting funding for the mundane and infrastructure investment.  We can build apps, but not using funds that keep the network functional.  :-)

Theresa

I admit that my very first thought looking at this thread was "shouldn't the CEO be the Chief Innovation Officer?". Then, thanks in large part to that excellent PwC article (thanks, Scott!) I realized that the CEO's job (with help from all the leadership) may be to build an organization that can innovate as a matter of course, and that the Chief Innovation Officer's job might be to facilitate and steward the ongoing work of constantly innovating.  

I think that we confuse these two things. In an organization where innovation is not the normal way of being, where innovation is not completely tied to strategy, it strikes me that a Chief Innovation Officer would probably be fluff. (I've heard some allegations that higher ed is not, as a general rule, aggressively innovative.) In that kind of organization the title might represent the CEO's (or board's) expression of their hope to make the organization more innovative by nature. That's not necessarily a bad job to have, but it's very different from the job of improving the innovation process in a place where it is a way of life. 

Ethan

——
Ethan Benatan, Ph.D.
Vice President for IT & 
Chief Information Officer

MARYLHURST UNIVERSITY
You. Unlimited.



If we want to adopt an innovation leadership role in our positions, what barriers do we hit?  I thought about that question as I read this timely article in Government Technology this morning:
http://www.govtech.com/budget-finance/Is-Procurement-Killing-Innovation.html
and
http://www.govtech.com/pcio/articles/5-Government-Procurement-Practices-That-Stifle-Innovation.html?utm_source=related&utm_medium=direct&utm_campaign=5-Government-Procurement-Practices-That-Stifle-Innovation

One item on the graph that was presented was making commitments beyond one fiscal year.  This can be a real obstacle for us. 

If I really want to do something new, I like to keep it small and agile and flexible to start. 

My biggest obstacles to innovation:
  • Projects getting too big with too many constituents - if it gets too big, I get too many participants from the middle of the bell-curve on technology adoption.
  • Lack of funding focused on innovation.  I really have to redirect from maintenance to innovation to get funds, and that has risk.
  • Too many advocates that see change as really expanding the scope of the existing, rather than jumping tracks and changing direction.

--
Theresa Rowe
Chief Information Officer
Oakland University
 
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Hi all, Here are some of my random thoughts on this subject: 1. There are certain tools that helps in the creative process. For example: Mind mapping software can help a person or a team organize their thoughts. Collaboration stations is another type of technology that will certainly help. Other group oriented tools that provide a team digital space to collaborate is also important. I believe it is the CIO's responsibility to provide these tools the university to facilitate collaboration. 2. According to Geoffrey West, the number of creative ideas is directly proportional the number of people in a close area. So the larger the community the more creative collaboration happens. Generally speaking when a population doubles, there will be 15% more patents that are produced. If that is the case, through social networking we should be able to gain even more innovative ideas. CIO's can certainly help create a digital intellectual cross pollination of ideas. 3. I have noticed that when I publicize the successes and accomplishments within IT, other people become excited. These successes have often sparked other ideas around campus. People often come to me with new ideas and new enhancement because they read my "new releases". Since ITS is often the agent of change, we often is one of the centers of activities. When others learn of our activities, they also start to explore creative ways to approach a problem. 4. Some of our (ITS) faculty and staff development programs have been an avenue to bring different parts of the campus together. We have found that some of these relationships have ballooned into new innovative ideas. This is what I call "a watering hold effect." - If you can somehow bring different people with very different perspectives together, the people will soon come up with new ideas… Innovation is a strange thing. I have discover that Innovation begets more innovation. I have often seen people extend an innovative idea way beyond the original objectives. We often see this when we write new computer programs. As we approach the crest of one hill, you can see the land beyond. The Chief Innovation Officer's job is not to be the most innovative person on campus. I believe this person's job is to help create the climate and environment for innovation to happen. If the presidents of our universities truly view us as the Lead/Chief Innovation Officer, then our jobs are going through a transformation process. Traditionally, we have been called to be the head technologist. Then we were called to automate various tedious processes. But many of those concerns have pretty much been addressed - We have Banner/DataTel/PeopleSoft/Jenzabar and others that handle our processes; network management is much easier with enterprise wide policy management tools; websites are run through very powerful CMS and portals; etc. Are we being called to a new set of responsibilities? If so, are we equip to be in the seat? If we are not equpped, where can we gain that skill set and knowledge? God bless, Sam Young Chief Information Officer Point Loma Nazarene University Individualization ~ Achiever ~ Learner ~ Belief ~ Activator From: Theresa Rowe > Reply-To: EDUCAUSE Listserv > Date: Fri, 4 May 2012 08:19:16 -0400 To: EDUCAUSE Listserv > Subject: Re: [CIO] Lead Innovation Officer If we want to adopt an innovation leadership role in our positions, what barriers do we hit? I thought about that question as I read this timely article in Government Technology this morning: http://www.govtech.com/budget-finance/Is-Procurement-Killing-Innovation.... and http://www.govtech.com/pcio/articles/5-Government-Procurement-Practices-... One item on the graph that was presented was making commitments beyond one fiscal year. This can be a real obstacle for us. If I really want to do something new, I like to keep it small and agile and flexible to start. My biggest obstacles to innovation: * Projects getting too big with too many constituents - if it gets too big, I get too many participants from the middle of the bell-curve on technology adoption. * Lack of funding focused on innovation. I really have to redirect from maintenance to innovation to get funds, and that has risk. * Too many advocates that see change as really expanding the scope of the existing, rather than jumping tracks and changing direction. -- Theresa Rowe Chief Information Officer Oakland University ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/. ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

This has been an interesting discussion and one that prompts a good deal of self-reflection, not only to our role on campus, but that of all C-level responsibilities. In an era of stiff competition for students, staff and funding we should continue to ask ourselves what are we trying to accomplish, where is our focus, and what outcomes do we expect from our actions?

 

Innovation is something that intrigues and captures our collective imaginations. As institutions we look for that one distinctive program, service or functionality that can separate us from the pack of competitors we call our peers. We are, in our own minds, each unique, unlike any other educational institution in the world. In reality, we are all pursuing the same goal of providing our students with the appropriate and useful level of educational attainment that allows them to seek a successful path upon graduation.

 

We are weary of change having been asked more frequently over the last decade to create and recreate strategic plans in response to presidential turn-over and incumbent’s need to bring to campus a renewed view of mission and vision. Yet as educational institutions we must embrace change because the world we live in is as reflective of Moore’s Law as the most recent Intel processor.

 

CIOs can and should participate in change and innovation. As has been mentioned several times in this stream we are constantly asked to innovate, to streamline, to lead change of one form or another. We possess the skills to take on this mantle, but I do not believe we should take it on alone. Every C-Level administrator on our campuses should embrace the notion of innovation and we should work together to analyze what innovations are right for our particular environments. Because we as CIOs have leadership of core functionalities, without which institutions would be hard pressed pursue much of the work that gets done, whether in the classroom or the business and registrar’s offices, our role as innovation leaders is critical but not a solitary one. It really does take a village.

 

So having read the articles cited and reviewed everyone’s comments I have to conclude that the trend toward a Chief Innovation Officer, to succeed, must be a recognition and what we really need are chief innovation teams, individuals who collectively embrace and live the missions of our institutions and work together to understand those initiatives that might be supported to enhance the work we are already doing today. Even with declining funding for the everyday challenges we face, the increased risks we live with because we cannot pursue that necessary disaster recovery plan or have limited control over power to our data centers, or cannot find the critically needed employee for the position vacant for six months, we must continue to innovate and sustain the gains we have been able to make. Together with our colleagues at the C-level we stand a better chance of discovering that innovative task that truly does separate us from our peers and stimulates us to be constantly in innovation mode.

 

Tom

 

Thomas H. Carnwath
Vice President
Technology and Information Services
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Once again I find that Theresa and I are on the same wavelength. Must be that "great minds think alike” thing. :-) CIOs labor in a rapidly changing environment and are more innovative by necessity. Is our “innovation” really innovation, or an application of existing innovation to our institution? Are invention and application the same? More to the point everybody, especially senior leaders, should be pursuing innovation as an important piece of his/her position. Innovation should be an explicit responsibility in the job descriptions for such positions. IT, inherently knowledgeable of core functions and their inter-relationships, is often seen as the logical department to encourage and lead innovation. It’s in our DNA. However, in the same way that departments are the owners of their data and their processes, they should be responsible for innovative thinking within their domain, with assistance from IT and other appropriate departments or external sources. In a small liberal arts institution, already criticized by faculty for administrative bloat, adding a VP for Innovation is unrealistic. Salary, portfolio, and desperate lack of existing staff resource probably preclude significant and sustainable innovation. Finally, have those in this discussion assumed that the CINVTO (can’t be “CIO’) would be focused on IT or campus-wide innovation? Assuming that the CIO sits at the table, she/he would suggest innovations for IT as well as other departments. Bob -- Bob Paver rcp@thepavers.net "Bruce, we can’t be successful unless we lie to customers.” - Larry Ellison -
I think we need to define "Innovation". In my view, Innovation is the ability to assimilate and apply information in a different way. So the question becomes: (1) How do you obtain and provide information for innovation to happen? (2) What are some of the ways of assimilating information? I believe the Chief Innovation Officer is someone that helps the institution create an environment of innovation. Assimilation of Knowledge: There are many avenues that innovation happens. Innovation happens when a person is pressed to the point beyond their logical solutions. Or it can come from a group with different views. Innovation also happens when an idea is challenged and questioned, as a group works towards a solution people discover innovative ideas. Another way innovation happens is by grouping information differently. Availability of Information: Information is very important for innovation to happen. Without the proper information, the innovation is useless. A good innovative solution must have as much information as possible. What are the tools and methods to create this environment? I believe one of the calling of the Chief Information Officer is to help provide a digital environment that makes this happen. God bless, Sam Young CIO Point Loma Nazarene University Sent from my iPad
This thread is very interesting. Programs can be used to foster the collective development and application of "know-how", generated from available information and assimilation of knowledge. For example, we have set as a goal to "Expand the depth and breadth of opportunities available to faculty and staff to develop and then apply knowledge that will help them innovate and make optimal use of information and technology to help achieve the strategic imperatives of the University." We strive to do this in 5 specific ways: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Expand awareness of emerging trends within higher education and increase familiarity with industry best practices through more opportunities to participate in workshops, conferences and take part in collaborations with other institutions in order to foster experimentation, shared learning and innovative application of technology. SKILLS TRAINING: Provide greater opportunities to increase proficiency among faculty and staff with the use of technology, administration of systems, and management of information for varying levels of application and experience (i.e. novice, experience, and expert). KNOWLEDGE SHARING: Make new opportunities available for cross functional and multi discipline exchange of ideas, experiences and consultative input across different administrative offices and academic departments within the University. TIME TO LEARN: Provide more time within regular work schedules to discover and then implement best practices by offering new ways to participate in professional development, skills training and knowledge sharing. OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIMENT: Explore new ways of doing things with technology through pilot projects, as well as trial and error on a small scale, in order to test innovative ideas and gain insights that can be used to inform prospective implementation and support on a larger scale. We have initiated several programs to advance these goals including a joint professional development program between the Library and ITS, internally funded technology grants for pedagogical experimentation, regular meetings among a cross functional team responsible for enterprise-wide management of administrative and student information,... We are in a unique position at the intersection of educational technology, information systems and interactive media to help our organizations develop and then apply the kind of "know-how" that leads to innovation by convening, coordinating and contributing to these and other programmatic initiatives. -P Patrick Laughran | Chief Information Officer | Information Technology Services | 508/626-4048 w 508/626-4947 (fax) | Framingham State University | 100 State Street w PO Box 9101 w Framingham, MA 01701-9101 ________________________________________ From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Sam Young [SamYoung@POINTLOMA.EDU] Sent: Monday, May 07, 2012 3:04 PM To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [CIO] Lead Innovation Officer I think we need to define "Innovation". In my view, Innovation is the ability to assimilate and apply information in a different way. So the question becomes: (1) How do you obtain and provide information for innovation to happen? (2) What are some of the ways of assimilating information? I believe the Chief Innovation Officer is someone that helps the institution create an environment of innovation. Assimilation of Knowledge: There are many avenues that innovation happens. Innovation happens when a person is pressed to the point beyond their logical solutions. Or it can come from a group with different views. Innovation also happens when an idea is challenged and questioned, as a group works towards a solution people discover innovative ideas. Another way innovation happens is by grouping information differently. Availability of Information: Information is very important for innovation to happen. Without the proper information, the innovation is useless. A good innovative solution must have as much information as possible. What are the tools and methods to create this environment? I believe one of the calling of the Chief Information Officer is to help provide a digital environment that makes this happen. God bless, Sam Young CIO Point Loma Nazarene University Sent from my iPad
Message from luke.fernandez@gmail.com

Just by way of a cite I found Scott Berkun's book The Myths Of Innovation by Oreilly Press to be an insightful read: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596527051.do If you like iconoclasm read especially chapter 10 and the myth that "Innovation is Always Good." In the university innovation is especially challenging because of the Janus-like mission of the institution: We're both a steward of past knowledge and an institution devoted to researching the new. Fostering innovation while being faithful to both those missions isn't easy I imagine... Luke http://itintheuniversity.blogspot.com
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