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"If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got." – John C. Maxwell
Ask most CEOs what they want from IT, and they will tell you they want the CIO's organization to drive innovation, fuel growth, enable change, and create competitive advantage. In fact, "leading innovation" was rated No. 3 on the 2016 Wall Street Journal list of CIO strategic priorities.
So why aren't most chief information officers transitioning to become chief innovation officers, as Daniel Burrus suggested in Harvard Business Review? My guess is that part of the problem is that CIOs and their organizations are stuck in a hiring pattern that doesn't select for innovative behavior. Here are three suggestions for hiring—and getting the most from—innovative employees.
IT folks tend to hire other IT folks. We tend to look for the same qualifications (BS in computer science or related discipline, X number of years of experience, etc.). Finding innovative employees requires looking in unconventional places.
Ask questions designed to elicit insights into a person's ability to think and act creatively. Here are some examples:
Notice that these are all open-ended questions that require more than a simple yes or no answer. Encourage the applicant to elaborate, and be sure that you listen carefully as they speak. You are looking for evidence of creativity, prudent risk taking, and learning from failure. If someone tells you they have never failed, stop the interview and move on! Someone who has never failed has never tried anything new.
As a general rule, IT organizations tend to be rigid and process-driven. To get innovation, you will need to get out of that box. Here are a few suggestions:
Don't expect innovation to happen on its own. Finding, hiring, and keeping innovative employees will require leadership and unconventional thinking.
This article/content was written by the individual writer identified and does not necessarily reflect the view of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.