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Competing Business Priorities are Challenging Decision Making?


Striking the Balance between Innovation & Operational Excellence.

A recent survey of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) echoes a broader dichotomy I hear a lot.

Balancing investment and focus between competing business priorities, strategic objectives and operational performance, is often like walking a tightrope.

75% of CIOs confirm that it is challenging to find the right balance between business innovation and operational excellence.

They are not alone.

There is no bright future without a healthy present, hence the challenge.

The increasing emphasis on digital transformation and artificial intelligence (AI) is driving the demand for innovation.

In 2024, over a quarter of CIOs reported that their primary CEO-driven objective was to lead digital business initiatives, a significant increase from the previous year.

This push towards innovation often competes with the imperative to develop and sustain operational excellence.

There are 3 pieces of advice offered by the authors of the survey;

  1. Embrace a Dualย ๐€๐ ๐ž๐ง๐๐š: Get used to it! Equally prioritize operational excellence and innovation.
  2. Strengthenย ๐๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐‚๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐š๐›๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง: Strengthening the collaboration and shared vision between units remains a top priority.
  3. Developย ๐š ๐…๐ฅ๐ž๐ฑ๐ข๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐‘๐ž๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐œ๐ž ๐€๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐Œ๐จ๐๐ž๐ฅ: Create an agile environment to manage the dynamic demands of both innovation and operational tasks effectively.

I would add two other strategies, critical for success;

  1. Start with end-to-end Business Processes:ย Both innovation and operational excellence have their hearts in your 4 or 5 key business cycles. Leading with the business and process opportunities before technology innovation accelerates the path to genuine value.
  2. Balance strategy with short cycle initiatives:ย For each end-to-end process, develop a series of 100 day P&L impacting plans, based on prioritised initiatives, delivering tangible, short term business and financial outcomes.

Together, these 5 steps help untie the โ€œGordian Knotโ€ that locks so many organizations into the โ€œno-mans landโ€ between innovation and operational excellence.

You can read the โ€œState of the CIO Study 2024โ€ from Foundry (IDG) here . . .

Thanks for reading . . . .