When James McPartland took on the CIO role at Torchmark Corporation in 2014, he had a big task before him: Show the rest of the business that IT could help drive growth.
Chief Lateral Thinking Officer
While the pace of innovation impacts everyone in the C-Suite, nobody lives it like the CIO. The rise of Big Data, context-aware apps, distributed roles enabled by technology, and more have pushed IT beyond its traditional role. That’s a good thing: you’re finally recognized as a full-fledged partner for productivity. Customer relations. Innovation. And, yes, profit. Today, the dream of having everyone at the management table understand how deeply IT is intertwined with every function of the enterprise has finally been realized. But, of course, that also means you’re responsible for more than ever.
Given all that, we at The Enterprisers Project have been feeling the title CIO isn’t entirely accurate anymore. So we reached out to people in the position to see if they agreed – and, if so, how they would replace “Information” to make the title more precise.
So what did we hear? Two areas that drew the most attention were Enablement and Business. “Chief Business Enabler.” “Chief Customer Enabler.” “Chief Business Technology Enabler.” You get the idea. These titles certainly cover the path many CIOs are taking – enhancing current services with emerging technology and strategic insights that enable the enterprise to meet and advance its goals, and drive more value to the bottom line. But we felt like they didn’t truly capture all that you do. So we took a stab at it ourselves.
Considering that you’re tasked with solving so many diverse issues, we decided to think big. All-encompassing, if you will. And here are a few titles we came up with:
- CLTO – Chief Lateral Thinking Officer. Interesting. But not quite right.
- CCSO – Chief Creative Solutions Officer. That’s a bit closer.
- CJO – Chief Juxtaposition Officer. You bring all the disparate departments together… Nah.
- CSO – Chief Synergy Officer. Hmm. IT does help it all happen, so maybe…
- CCO – Chief Catalyst Officer. Good, but still not big enough.
How about CSO – Chief Success Officer? Maybe. After all, so much of the enterprise’s success depends on IT, it is fitting.
Then we went to CEBTKSO – Chief Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Officer. Because in our minds, that about covers everything you do. But, admittedly, we’ve probably gone too far.
So what do you think? Are you ready to change your business cards? Let us know your C?O.