Friday, August 28, 2009

Ten Great Ways to Crush Creativity

As at IT leader, you know the importance of finding creativity within your staff. Its important to look to them for innovations in processes and ways that can enhance your business environment and your bottom line. But are you actually crushing this enviornment of creativity? Take a look at this recent post by Paul Sloane on Stepcase Lifehack.

If you want to crush creativity in your organization and eliminate all the unnecessary bother of innovation then here are ten steps that are guaranteed to succeed.

1. Criticize

When you hear a new idea criticize it. Show how smart you are by pointing out some of the weaknesses and flaws which will hold it back. The more experienced you are, the easier it is to find fault with other people’s ideas. Decca Records turned down the Beatles, IBM rejected the photocopying idea which launched Xerox, DEC turned down the spreadsheet and various major publishers turned down the first Harry Potter novel. The same thing is happening in most organizations today. New ideas tend to be partly-formed so it is easy to reject them as ‘bad’. They diverge from the narrow focus that we have for the business so we discard them. Furthermore, every time somebody comes to you with an idea which you criticize, it discourages the person from wasting your time with more suggestions. It sends a message that new ideas are not welcome and that anyone who volunteers them is risking criticism or ridicule. This is a sure fire way to crush the creative spirit in your staff.

2. Ban brainstorms

Treat brainstorming as old-fashioned and passé. All that brainstorms do is throw up lots of new ideas that then have to be rejected. If your organization is not holding frequent brainstorm sessions to find creative solutions then you are not wasting time on new ideas. Instead you are sending a message to staff that their input is not required. If people insist on brainstorm meetings then make them long, rambling and unfocused with lots of criticism of radical ideas.

3. Hoard problems

The CEO and senior team should shoulder the responsibility for solving all the company’s major problems. Strategic issues are too complicated and high-level for the ordinary staff. After all, if people at the grass-roots knew the strategic challenges the organization faces then they would feel insecure and threatened. Don’t involve staff in serious issues, don’t tell them the big picture and above all don’t challenge them to come up with solutions.

4. Focus on efficiency not innovation

Focus solely on making the current business model work better. If we concentrate on making the current system work better then we will not waste time on looking for different systems. The current business model is the one that you helped develop and it is obviously the best one for the business. After all, if the makers of horse drawn carriages had improved quality they could have stopped automobiles taking their markets. The same principle applied with makers of slide rules, LP records, typewriters and gas lights.

5. Overwork

Establish a culture of long hours and hard work. Encourage the belief that hard work alone will solve the problem. We do not need to find a different way of solving a problem – rather we must just work harder at the old way of doing things. Make sure that the working day has no time for learning, fun, lateral thinking, wild ideas or testing of new initiatives.

6. Adhere to the plan

Plan in great detail and then do not deviate from the plan regardless of circumstances. ‘We cannot try that idea because it is not in the plan and we have no budget for it.’ Keep to the vision that was in the plan and ignore fads like market changes and customer fashions – they will pass.

7. Punish mistakes

If someone tries an entrepreneurial idea that fails then blame and retribution must follow. Reward success and punish failure. That way we will reinforce the existing way of doing things and discourage dangerous experiments.

8. Don’t look outside

We understand our business better than outsiders. After all we have been working in it for years. Other industries are fundamentally different and just because something works there does not mean it will work here. Consultants are generally over-priced and tell you things you could have figured out anyway. We need to find the solutions inside the business by working harder.

9. Promote people like you from within

Promoting from within is a good sign. It helps retain people and they can see a reward for loyalty and hard work. It means we don’t get polluted with heretical ideas from outside. Also if the CEO promotes people like him then he can achieve consistency and succession. It is best to find managers who agree with the CEO and praise him for his acumen and foresight.

10. Don’t waste money on training

Talent cannot be taught. It is it a rare thing possessed by a handful of gifted individuals. So why waste money trying to turn ducks into swans? Hire our kind of people and let them learn our system. Work them hard, keep them focused on our business model and do not allow them to fool around with crazy experiments. Workshops, budgets and time allocated to creativity and innovation are all wasteful extravagances. We know what we need to succeed so let’s just get on with it.

Ten Great Ways to Crush Creativity

Thursday, August 27, 2009

5 Basic Reaons Why Enterprise 2.0 Projects Fail

Michael Krigsman recently posted on ZDNet that organizations can follow a simple guideline in order to avoid enterprise 2.0 failure. Here's a quick recap of his 5 points.

1.What’s in it for me’. Not just ‘What’s in it for us’ - Most failures occur at the initial planning phase where the typical business focus is on organization benefits and personal incentives. An example of this is how a sales rep would act in an online community as opposed to an engineer who would want to collaborate, learn, and share information.

2.Social software plays an important but limited role towards Enterprise 2.0 design - Another big stepping stone is premature technology selection. It's best to think of the performance objectives you're trying to affect and then deciding whether a best of breed solution is best of if you can stick with a general purpose platform.

3.Fix the True Break points in Your Organization - You must carefully think through inputs and outputs of enterprise 2.0 design before deploying anything.

4.Figure out the Optimal Ownership Structure - It can be quite confusing to figure out for this broad functional set in the enterprise. Do this instead, identify which benefits most closely support your performance objectives. This should help you figure out the right home for it in the enterprise.

5.There’s Metrics and then there’s Performance Goals - Explain to superiors that metrics for new media is different. You should measure your business based on conversations, engagement, affinity, frequency of sharing, and other such points.

Do you have any more reasons to add to this list?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

IT Leadership Forum Speaker Profile: Daniel W. Rasmus, Director of Business Insights, Microsoft

Daniel W. Rasmus
Director of Business Insights

Daniel Rasmus is the Director of Business Insights at Microsoft Corporation.

Dan has 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Prior to joining Microsoft, Dan was the Vice President of Knowledge Management and Collaboration research at the Giga Information Group, a subsidiary of Forrester Research. Prior to Giga, Dan was manager of workgroup computing at Hughes Space and Communications, where he managed their knowledge manage programs among other roles.

Dan has held technical and management positions at Dataproducts, ITT Cannon, Cipher Dataproducts, Western Digital and Hughes Aircraft. He has managed large projects, including engineering collaboration systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations and the development of expert systems for manufacturing applications.

Dan is the author of nearly 200 trade journal articles and three books. His most recent book, Listening to the Future, was published by Wiley in 2008.

Dan attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, and received a certificate in intelligent systems engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

Don’t miss Daniel's session Preparing for the Business Environment of the Future at the IT Leadership Forum this November held in Phoenix, AZ.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Service Provides Immediate Threat Response and Support for Businesses Worldwide

The Nation reports that TippingPoint has introduced the TippingPoint Emergency Response Service, to help organizations immediately address the impact posed by cyber attacks, viruses and various other risks that continue to threaten network security without warning. For organizations that are experiencing a network security breach or feel they may be under attack, this complimentary service will provide network managers with access to TippingPoint's intrusion prevention system (IPS) to immediately stop threats from impacting the business.

TippingPoint Launches Industry's First Emergency Response Service

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Snapshot of IT Budgets in 2009

This article in CIO discusses how recent research taken by Forrester shows us that companies are reducing their IT budgets by not only laying off staff, but by also cutting back on benefits and employee salaries. The research firm took their information from more than 1,250 SMB IT decision-makers between the months of February to May 2009.

According to the report "IT staff salaries and benefits continue to be the largest part of the IT operating budget. Hiring freezes and layoffs top the list of actions that firms expect to take this year as a result of current economic conditions."

How are IT departments expected to innovate when there are so many cutbacks on resources?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

ETS to Provide Recovery Audit Services for Dept of Veterans Affairs

Enterprise Technology Solutions LLC, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business and Health Net Federal Services LLC, the government operations division of Health Net, Inc., today announced they have been awarded a contract by the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Administration Center to provide recovery audit services of VA payments made for non-VA hospital care to veterans. As the prime contractor for this agreement, ETS will provide program management, and Health Net Federal Services, the prime subcontractor, will provide technical and operational expertise.

Enterprise Technology Solutions and Health Net Federal Services Awarded Department Of Veterans Affairs Recovery Audit Services Contract

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

IT Leadership Forum Speaker Profile: Warren Fristensky, CIO, John Wiley & Sons

Warren Fristensky
John Wiley & Sons

Warren Fristensky is the SVP/CIO for John Wiley & Sons, responsible for all computer and communications services for the company worldwide. Coming to Wiley from the financial industry in 1992, Warren successfully reengineered the technology function and infrastructure to a common global platform architecture. Recent activities have been focused on integrating major acquisitions, evolving global hosting and development capabilities including outsourcing and offshoring, and helping the company transform to electronic publishing via the Internet. These activities have been recognized as innovative and leading edge by several industry publications and academic research studies. Prior to his position at Wiley, Warren was V.P. of advanced technology at Banker's Trust, and V.P. of Systems and Network Development for Bank of New York where he utilized early Internet technologies for the Bank's commercial and retail networks. Warren received his MBA degree from Pace University where he won top honors in Information Science, and holds a B.S. degree in Business Management and Data Processing from St. Peter's College in Jersey City, where he later served as an adjunct instructor in Data Processing. Warren serves on the MSIS Executive Board at Stevens Institute of Technology, and is a member of the Board of Regents at Saint Peter's College. Warren is an active member of the Society for Information Management.

Don’t miss Warren's session Managing in A Global Environment at the IT Leadership Forum this November held in Phoenix, AZ.

Monday, August 17, 2009

5 Recession-Era Strategies for Software Vendors (and Their Customers) has a great plan of action for software vendors and customers during the recession. Writer Eric Lai discusses that Accenture Ltd., the global consulting firm released two reports that, while aimed at executives at software vendors, can offer insight to their customers, such as enterprise CIOs.

Check out the article here, for recommendations for software vendors.

5 Recession-Era Strategies for Software Vendors (and Their Customers)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Archive Web Seminar from founder of CMS Watch: Enterprise Social Software: Ready for Prime Time?

For those of you who missed Tony Byrne's informative web seminar yesterday
Enterprise Social Software: Ready for Prime Time? here's your chance to view at your own leisure! Make sure to check back on the blog often more upcoming web seminars brought to you by the IT Leadership Forum. Don't forget if you're planning to attend the event make sure to mention ITWEB for 20% off the standard registration.

View the web seminar archive.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

IT Leadership Forum Speaker Profile: Kathleen Barret President and CEO, IIBA

Kathleen Barret
President and CEO, IIBA

Kathleen Barret is the Program Manager for the Global Resourcing Centre of Competency within BMO Financial Group. With her team of GR consultants, Kathleen oversees BMO’s relationships with its multiple suppliers of India-based development resources for its information technology organization.

Kathleen started with BMO Financial Group in 2000 as a Business Analyst within the Call Centre business area. In January 2003, she moved to the BMO IT Best Practices group to lead the organizational charge to standardize and ISO certify its requirements management process. From 2004 to 2006, Kathleen further refined and integrated the requirements management process as BMO adopted the CMMI software development framework. In late 2006, she accepted the role of Program Manager for GR, leveraging her experience and knowledge of business analysis to ensure effective off-shoring of development work.

In March of 2004, Kathleen became the first and current President of the International Institute of Business Analysis, a professional association focused on defining the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®) and implementing a certification program for qualified practitioners.

Kathleen has over 20 years experience in the Information Technology field. Particular fields of expertise include networking, research, benchmarking, retail and e-business in large and small enterprises. In addition to BMO Financial Group, Kathleen has worked for major corporations such as Manulife Financial, Bell Canada, KPMG and IDC, and spent 10 years with a benchmarking consulting company, Real Decisions, that was later acquired by Gartner Group.

Kathleen received her degree in International Economics from Georgetown University.

Don’t miss her session Back to Basics - Coming out ahead after the recession is over at the IT Leadership Forum this November held in Phoenix, AZ.

Kathleen's biography courtesy of

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Obama Administration Pushes Open IT Innovation

According to this recent post on the CIO blog Barack Obama and his administration is pushing for agencies to pursue an open innovation approach to government. One of the departments heavily favored to adopt this practice quickly is John Holdren, who heads up science and technology. George Bush's administration was highly criticized for the lack of involvement and idea exchange in their technology agencies, will this finally change/

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sharepoint is shining in the recession

The Bits Blog at the New York Times recently took a look at how Sharepoint is shining in the current economic downturn. It's a software, much like Microsoft Office, that has taken many different applications and combined them for use in one program. It's used to both create and manage content for their websites. Read the full article here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

How to Strengthen the Office of the CIO

In his two part series on, Andy Blumenthal discusses ways that the office of the CIO can be changed to better serve the us population and the government body. Blumenthal's discussion focuses around to identifying, describing and linking the core elements that make up and support an Office of the CIO for the purpose of demonstrating how that will lead to improved IT operations. When the CIO is properly supported, program and project management can be executed with strategic intent and alignment.

We encourage you to check out both articles in Blumenthal's series and share your thoughts with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

How to Strengthen the Office of the CIO: Part 1

To Strengthen The Office of the CIO: Part 2

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reminder: Free Webinar Next Week by Tony Byrne of CMS Watch: Enterprise Social Software: Ready for Prime Time?

Next Thursday, the IT Leadership Forum in association with Tony Byrne, founder of CMS Watch, will present a one-hour long web seminar on Thursday, August 13th from 2:00 - 3:00 PM EDT. Here's a brief description of that web seminar.

You can now find numerous case studies of successful departmental implementations of various social software technologies, such as wikis, blogs, forums, tags, micro-blogs, and so forth. However, extending those projects to enterprise-wide initiatives gets trickier.

Noted independent analyst and evaluation firm CMS Watch will explain how the challenge in enterprise deployments stems partly from immature technology. Many social computing tools – even from large, established vendors – lack key functionality. But the rest of the challenge lies in organizational factors, including common barriers to adoption.

This seminar will assess today’s social software and collaboration marketplace and offer concrete advice about how to select the right tool for your circumstances. It will also share best practices in enterprise deployment and adoption of social technology.

What you will learn by attending:
- Key success factors for enterprise-wide social software roll-outs
- How the enterprise social software marketplace breaks down into six categories
- Strengths and weaknesses of some of the major vendors
- How to pick the right tools for your enterprise
- What the future holds for 2010

Featured Speaker
Tony Byrne, Founder, CMS Watch

Register here:
Mention Priority code G1M2114W1BLOG

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Intel Taps Facebook Multitudes for Massive Research Efforts in Volunteer Computing

According to, Intel has built an application that will connect Facebook's More about Facebook masses to a volunteer computing application designed to boost the research efforts of three nonprofit organizations.

Progress Thru Processors is launching as a public beta and is available to all Facebook users. It runs as a background process on the computer, automatically directing idle processing power to the researchers' computational efforts. When the user's computer needs the processor performance, the application shifts into idle mode.

Progress Thru Processors' desktop client and application are based on software developed by the National Science Foundation-funded BOINC project at the University of California, Berkeley.

The process utilizes volunteer computing, which according to the report, has been around for a long time.

Progress Thru Processors is starting out with only three research endeavors:

* Rosetta@home, which uses computing power to help find cures for cancer and other diseases such as AIDS and Alzheimer's;
*, dedicated to understanding global climate change by predicting the Earth's climate and testing the accuracy of climate models; and
* Africa@home, which is currently focused on identifying strategies to combat malaria by studying simulation models of disease transmission and the potential impact of new antimalarial drugs and vaccines.

What do you think about utilizing volunteer computing for the greater good? Would you like to implement or join this effort with your business? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

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What are some of the IT Twitters that you recommend following?

Monday, August 3, 2009

IT Insights from one of the World Top Business IT Leaders

Here's some insight from a great CIO from JPMorgan Chase, Guy Chiarello. According to this post in Information Week, his advice on innovating through the economic downturn is to focus on innovation in IT infrastructure.

Chiarello explains that investing in IT infrastructure is critical now more than ever. Now is the time to tap new markets and make improvements. IT infrastructure must be ready for when the economy turns. Those IT departments that stand still are in deep trouble while those that are investing in innovation will come out strong through this recession. What is your IT dept doing to stay ahead of the game?