The CIO as Chief Implementation Officer

In the quest for IT to be recognised as a completely integrated business function the CIO is increasingly being advised to dress, talk and walk the walk of business whilst at the same time driving the technology services that underpin the modern corporation. Here follows a very personal view of one of the many leadership qualities needed to deliver this complex and mutating ‘job’.


1. carry out, accomplish; especially : to give practical effect to and ensure of actual fulfilment by concrete measures

2. to provide instruments or means of expression for implementation

The great CIO as Chief Implementation Officer is the spade wielding, no nonsense and completely focused delivery tool that turns the great ideas of the Instigator into operational fact and excellence.

The Implementor, by definition, not only gets involved in the hard slog of turning ideas into reality but, in the words of the traffic cop, knows when to ‘step away from the car’ and provide the tools, support and structure for those better able, or functionally responsible, to deliver on time and to budget and objectives.

The Implementor holds both the accountability and the responsibility for realising the fulfilment of the blueprint they design but they never hesitate to bind in partnership the relevant parties within the business who can both facilitate and empower the success of projects. Symbiotic consequence is a cornerstone of the CIO science and the Chief Implementation Officer understands the corporate biology better than anyone.

The Implementor as scientist also applies physics to accomplish the heavy lifting (the levers and meshing of the change engine) to effect physical transformation, chemistry to create the alchemy of the talent blend that will form the substance of efficient delivery and the psychology of the corporate culture to produce the perfect meld of EQ and IQ to accomplish the project objectives.

To paraphrase Joubert, ‘Genius begins great works but its hard graft that finishes it.’