The effective CIOs of the future will be internal and external entrepreneurs


As part of the recent Tomorrow-Ready CIO event series run by CIO Magazine and IBM, I was interviewed on the messages I shared in my keynote and the supporting Future of the CIO Framework. The brief video, available on CIO Magazine, is below.

Some of the points I make in the video are:
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How drones could build real-world networks to transform delivery of food, medicine, mail, and more


The rise of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) has been at the forefront of the news over the last months, with issues emerging that range from the remote use of military force to domestic privacy.

However there are many very positive applications of drones. Matternet, spawned from a Singularity University program, envisages creating a network of drones to address developing world problems. Over a billion people are geographically isolated and are often not able to access regular transport and the goods that can travel to them. Rather than building physical infrastructure, drones can cheaply and easily allow drugs, food, and other essentials to get to where they are needed. The video below shows the Matternet Vision.

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A new world of (lack of) privacy: Here’s looking at you with Google Glass


The discussion is heating up around the forthcoming Google Glass augmented reality glasses and what will almost surely be a wave of similar devices from other companies.


Much of the conversation focuses on the ability of Google Glass to continuously capture video of wherever its user is looking. Following an insalubrious bar in Seattle announcing Google Glass-wearers would be banned from its premises, we are seeing the launch of handy Google Glass Ban Signs for whoever else wants to ban Google Glass, along with its potential for pervasive video capture.

A nice piece in Sydney Morning Herald titled Through the looking glass into the future does a nice job of reviewing the state of the nation on the topic.

The article quotes me:

Australian futurist Ross Dawson said that people largely accepted widespread video surveillance, but ”the idea of individuals recording video wherever they go is more pointed and uncomfortable”.

He said the technology may be the final straw in the erosion of privacy that sparked a social uprising and new legislation, but it was more likely that people would become used to ”a world in which almost everything they do is visible”.

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Building success in the future of work: T-shaped, Pi-shaped, and Comb-shaped skills


This morning we completed the five-city Tomorrow-Ready CIO event series, run by CIO magazine and sponsored by IBM.

My keynote across the five locations was on the Future of the CIO, using a Future of the CIO framework I recently created. I hope to write a number of posts in the next little while on some of the more important ideas covered in my framework and keynote.

There were a number of excellent other speakers at the events, including Tennis Australia CIO Samir Mahir, Australian Government CTO John Sheridan, Forrester VP John Brand, IDC NZ country head Ullrich Loeffler, and head of Deakin University’s School of Information Systems Dineli Mather.

In her presentation Prof Mather discussed the skills required for data analytics, in the context of a new Master of Business Analytics program the University is launching this year.
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Professional services will be at the heart of our economic future


Last night was the announcement of the winners of the annual BRW Client Choice Awards.

Each year Beaton Consulting compiles the opinions of large professional service clients – this year 40,000 of them – who collectively select the best professional service firms in Australia. The results are announced at a gala dinner and published in BRW magazine.

The full list of winners is here. The magazine’s lead article on the awards Client choice awards: Savvy, digital, global: the face of the new professional, provides interesting insights into the state of the professions in Australia.

I gave the guest keynote at the event, with the intent of providing inspirational yet light-hearted perspectives on the awards.

My theme was “Creating Australia’s Future”, about how professional services firms are at the heart of Australia’s (and all developed countries’) future.
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The 7 characteristics of powerful visions for effective leadership


‘Visionary leadership’ is one of the phrases most bandied about these days, yet it is almost always an aspiration rather than a description.

A vision of what is possible is a prerequisite to visionary leadership. That vision can come from an individual, but more often it is the product of many people.

The vision that underpins visionary leadership is definitely not the ‘Vision’ that is encapsulated in a neat phrase and sits alongside the ‘Mission Statement’ and its ilk.

A vision needs to be something that people can ‘see’ in a way that makes them want to move towards it. There are seven primary characteristics to powerful visions that I identify:

– Compelling. Powerful visions must draw people, attract them, make them want to take action and overcome obstacles to achieve it. It must feel worth achieving, worth putting real effort into getting there.

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New Prezi: The 45 elements of the Future of the CIO framework


One of the ways in which I use the frameworks I create is as a foundation for my keynote speeches. Since in many cases the frameworks are designed to distil the key ideas in a domain into a single graphic, they can provide a valuable lattice and flow for the ideas in a presentation.

Visual presentation tool Prezi can be a great way to do this, in showing the logic and structure of the framework through the presentation, while allowing me to zoom in through the presentation to illustrate the specific detailed concepts.

I have used Prezi in this way for keynotes on The Transformation of Business and The Transformation of Government.

For the current Tomorrow-Ready CIO series of events run by CIO Magazine and IBM I am using Prezi to run through my recently created Future of the CIO framework. The Prezi is below.

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Launch of Future of the CIO framework


Over the next few weeks I will be giving the keynote at the Tomorrow-Ready CIO Series organized by CIO magazine and sponsored by IBM. The events will be held over breakfast in Canberra, Perth, Sydney, Auckland and Melbourne, with an audience of CIOs and other senior IT executives. Full details on the events here.

My keynote will be on the Future of the CIO. I have recently pulled together my thinking on the topic, drawing in particular on a series of CIO workshops I ran across Europe last year.

Below is the Future of the CIO Framework that I will be sharing at the events. It is now up on my complete list of visual frameworks on

Click on the image for the full-size pdf
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