The evolution of the CIO – the transformation of the role of the Chief Information Officer

I was recently interviewed by Mark Pesce for Lenovo’s ThinkFWD CIO Podcast Series on ‘The Evolution of the CIO’.

The audio of the podcast can be found on the ThinkFWD website.

In the podcast Mark asked me to delve into the details of my Future of the CIO framework, shown below.

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Understanding organizational change: Exceptional visualizations of evolving org charts

Org charts have long been used to show people the formal reporting lines in organizations, usually as a hierarchy with different levels.

However organizations are regularly re-organized, requiring a new org chart to be created. In fact, organizations are completely dynamic, changing in ways small and large every single day.

A fantastic video (below) depicts the continuous and frequently dramatic changes in the org chart of Autodesk over a 4 year period, in what the creators describe as an OrgOrgChart (Organic Organizational Chart). It’s well worth watching.


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APIs are enabling an unprecedented flow of innovation

On Tuesday I had the great pleasure and honor of doing the opening keynote at the APIDays Sydney conference, the first API (Application Programming Interface) conference in Australia, excellently organized by Saul Caganoff of SixTree.

APIDays was founded by Mehdi Medjaoui in Paris in 2013, has since been run in Barcelona, Berlin, San Francisco and now Sydney, with the event in Paris last year attracting 800 delegates.

Below are the slides for my keynote on The Flow of Innovation. As always, note that my slides are designed to support my presentation and not to stand alone, but still may be of interest to people who did not attend my keynote.

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Four lessons learned from 12 years of blogging

It is 12 years since I started this Trends in the Living Networks blog to accompany the launch of my book Living Networks. It is interesting to look at my posts from October 2002, in which I reflected on some of the earlier signs of the networks coming to life.

The original blog was on the book website, but a couple of years later I moved it to this domain, rossdawsonblog.com. At the time I put quite a lot of consideration into whether that was a good name, given that ‘blog’ was a neologism that might fade or be replaced.

The concept of a blog is now firmly mainstream, with not just tens of millions of people and many companies blogging, but a significant chunk of mainstream media having shifted to blog-like formats.

I still spot many articles about how to get attention to your new blog, and many people still seem to be setting up blogs (though of course many are also abandoning them after having tried for a while).

So what are some of the things I have learned from 12 years of blogging?
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Study: Decentralized organizations will win, especially in challenging times

For decades management theorists have argued over whether and when organizations should be centralized or decentralized.

However the situation is now dramatically different than it was before, as we become richly connected and the world we live in becomes increasingly complex and interdependent.

A new paper reviewed by Stanford Graduate School of Business examines the relative success of firms through the recent global “Great Recession”, depending on their degree of centralization.

The authors, Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University, Philippe Aghion of Harvard University, Raffaella Sadun from Harvard Business School, and John Van Reenen from London School of Economics, reportedly found that:
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Mobile and design are shifting to the center of technology and work

Today I am giving a keynote at the The Youth Festival of ICT (YITcon14) in Melbourne, with participation from over 1,000 students and young professionals.

The Australian newspaper yesterday featured an article titled Mobile exposes need for design skills, programming languages: Ross Dawson based on an interview with myself and Alan Patterson, CEO of the Australian Computer Society, which is organizing the conference.

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Concept video: The Future of Work

A while ago at Future Exploration Network we created the Future of Work Framework to provide a high-level overview of how the world of work is shifting.

Over the past year I have used the framework extensively as a starting point for executive briefings and strategy workshops on the strategic implications of the rapidly changing world of work.

However the static visual can be hard to interpret on its own, so we have now created a short video that delves into and narrates the framework.


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Business transformation: an ongoing process of shifting to more open organizations

A recent article in CMO.com titled Telcos Undertake Customer-Focused Transformation shared some of my thoughts on the realities of business transformation. The article opens:

Transformation isn’t so much a process as a modus operandi for successful businesses in the digital age, according to Australian futurist and digital strategist Ross Dawson.

Dawson said that successful, ongoing transformation comes from a fundamental change in business culture–away from secrecy, hierarchy, and fear, and toward greater openness in which failure is embraced as a learning tool.

“There needs to be a real shift in the culture of the business–not just at the top levels of the organization–and this requires greater risk taking, as well as greater transparency,” Dawson said. “This transparency and visibility around what is being done in the transformation, and the successes as well as failures, are vital to any business transformation.”

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The future of offices: facilitating interaction and making work fun

Last week I was interviewed on the Daily Edition TV program about the future of offices.

Click on the image below to see a video of the interview.

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Presentacion: Creando un Futuro Excepcional para su Negocio

A couple of weeks ago I gave the keynote at sCRM-CEM y Redes Sociales conference in Bogota, Colombia, on the topic of Creando un Futuro Excepcional para su Negocio (Creating an Exceptional Future for your Organization).

Below are my slides translated into Spanish. I used these slides and presented in English with simultaneous translation. I was very pleased to get to Colombia and Peru on this trip as it helped me to begin to revive my rather rusty Spanish, but I’m still quite a way from being able to do a presentation in Spanish. I will work at it, and hopefully get more opportunities to get back to Latin America before long.

Many thanks to Rafael Rodriguez for the excellent translation and all his help for the conference!

More Spanish content coming soon…