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The Practical CIO: A Common Sense Guide for Successful IT Leadership by Tony Scott, Jose Carlos Eiras

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INTRODUCTION

Rapidly Changing Markets Require Transformative Leadership

I always thought that I was lucky to be born in Brazil, but the real value of my ancestry became apparent to me only after I became Chief Information Officer (CIO) of General Motors Europe. As you can imagine, a lot of my energy was consumed by the process of managing a large, decentralized team that was both multinational and multicultural.

As a native Brazilian, I was considered a "foreigner" by everyone. That perception offered me a cloak of neutrality that came in handy whenever I had to resolve disputes. It also provided me with a unique perspective on the skills required to manage a busy IT shop in a global economy.

Now seems like a good time to share some of the insights that I acquired at General Motors and other global organizations such as DHL, General Foods, Philip Morris, and Kraft Foods. I hope you will find them useful as you confront the challenges of today.

One of the primary differences between today's CIOs and the previous generation of IT leaders is the idea of transformational change. Thirty years ago, nobody seriously believed that IT would be called upon to lead enormous transformational efforts affecting every aspect of a global enterprise. Today, in addition to making sure that IT runs smoothly, the CIO is expected to provide strategic leadership and high-level guidance. That is a big difference indeed.

Welcome to the "New Normal"

We are living in interesting times. Rapid shifts in market dynamics ...

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