Sunday, February 18, 2007

Evolving Executives

Jim Collins points out that entrepreneurs often mature into excellent executives:
"It's simply a myth that entrepreneurs can't evolve into company builders. Our research shows quite the opposite: In great companies the entrepreneurs generally grow as the company grows.

Here is a short list of those who evolved into company builders: Henry Ford, Sam Walton, Hewlett and Packard, J.W. Marriott, Sony's Akio Morita, Walt Disney, Intel's Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, Southwest Airlines' Herb Kelleher, and of course Gates and Phil Knight. They made the shift from time telling to clock building - to seeing their primary creation as the company itself: what it stands for, its culture and how it operates." [Fortune, Feb 19, 2007]

The same should be true for evolving technology executives. As companies mature, so must the CTOs. One path of positional evolution is described in the paper "CTOs in Transition".

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pick up the phone


CTOs can become totally consumed with meeting the executives and interacting with partner companies, and meeting customers. It is easy to forget to delve into the personal, technical, and organizational side of your own business. If you do not know what is going on inside the company, you cannot know when you find something valuable on the outside.

Pick up the phone and call your business leaders, engineers, and scientists. Make an appointment for lunch or to drop by their office or lab. Going to where they are is important - (1) it shows that you are interested in their environment, (2) it proves that you know where they live, and (3) you will run into a number of other people that are interested in seeing you.

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