Top Ten for 2010

A year ago I posted my favorite things of 2009. Here’s my top 10 for 2010. 

1) London. I’ve spent my business life slogging in and out of this city, never stopping to really take a look or know anything about the place. My family and I spent six days there in March: it’s clean, it’s historic, the people are hospitable, the shows are great, the walking is easy. High point was passing by Geddy Lee, the lead singer for Rush, in Notting Hill. Stay at the Covent Garden Hotel if you’ve got the bucks -- understated, comfortable, centrally located, stuffy-hip.

2) iPad. It won’t replace your laptop -- but I use it in all of my meetings to give me a continuous but unobtrusive window into the digital world. Best thing about it: battery life.

3) The movie The Social Network. Like all good art, critics and fans have interpreted this movie to represent the good and bad of our era. Here's my take: Yes, we are connected at unprecedented levels, but the moral content of those connections is declining. In other words, we can have many "friends," but we apparently have no obligation to do right by those friends. On a less serious note, I think it's cool that someone can still invent something in his or her dorm room that touches half a billion people...

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New Research On Social Sigma

OK -- shameless plug alert -- here's some fresh research from Forrester on social sigma. Social sigma is the use of digital feedback to improve products.

The boring graphic to the left shows that social is gaining traction on the product development front. Our most recent report, written for consumer product strategy professionals, will help your employees with the “how” of social sigma (which the report calls "co-creation"). It provides a social asset tracking scorecard and a social co-creation action plan to help your product strategists get started. 

The report identifies nine reasons to embrace social sigma. Chief executives should take special note of the following three: 
 
- Social Sigma humanizes the company, This is happening today at Domino’s Pizza, Ford Motor Co., and Starbucks. Transparency breeds customer loyalty.
- Risk is mitigated: 80% of products fail. Co-creation of  products with customers will improve this math.
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Death Of The CIO, Birth Of The CBTO

All CEOs worry that the CIO and staff are more interested in technology than in driving business results. Here are some simple but powerful changes you can make to get your technologists leaning in the right direction...
 
For the last three years, I've been advocating that companies drop the term "IT" to describe their technology efforts and replace it with "Business Technology" (BT). This signals the people who work in technology departments of large companies that they exist to drive one thing (business) and it signals the corporation that the technology department is serious about helping increase growth and profit. The graphic at left shows that firms are already on the road to building better linkage between technology inputs and business results.
 
Once you make the switch to BT, I propose that you drop the term "CIO" and adopt a new moniker for the head of technology: "Chief Business Technology Officer" (CBTO). I was in front a large group of Forrester's CIO clients in October and I asked them to describe the CBTO using a semi-comedic device: "You know you're a CBTO if..." Here are some of the better entries:
 
"You know you're a CBTO if your boss feels that you can step into the COO or CEO role."
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