How can IT leaders create the conditions for digital business innovation\u2014from fostering effective collaboration with business partners to establishing the right processes, frameworks, and culture?\n\nThat\u2019s the central question CIO contributing editor Julia King posed to Avery Dennison CIO Nick Colisto in their conversation at the\u00a0CIO 100 Symposium and Awards, where Colisto was inducted into CIO\u2019s Hall of Fame.\n\nColisto describes his role at the Glendale, California-based Fortune 500 materials science and manufacturing company as \u201cpretty traditional.\u201d He is responsible for driving and executing an enterprise-wide IT strategy, including technology-enabled initiatives that drive growth and efficiency.\n\nFollowing are edited excerpts of Colisto\u2019s conversation with King on how IT leaders can best support business innovation. To hear directly from Colisto and get additional insights, watch the full video embedded below.\n\nOn collaborating with business partners:\n\n[When] you first join a company in a leadership role or any role really, it\u2019s important to take the time to conduct what\u2019s referred to as a listening tour. You do that to orient yourself to the business itself. You build stakeholder connections by doing that, and you can align on expectations for the role, more than what you\u2019ve learned maybe through the interview process. \n\nYou can also start working to adapt to the culture\u2026. And as you go through that process, you will inevitably identify themes by the interviews. \n\nOn enabling a culture of fearless innovation:\n\nI think having the right culture can really ignite creativity and agility and learning to innovate at the speed and the scale that we\u2019re experiencing in these really uncertain times. So, we came up with during\u2014even before\u2014COVID we came up with this four-step innovation cultural process and we call it LEAD. It\u2019s a call to action. \n\nThe acronym is LEAD, to represent the process. The L is for learning. It\u2019s about shifting from a know-it-all culture to a learn-it-all culture. And companies can (and should) encourage employees to chart this course by educating themselves on breakthrough technologies and practices. The E is for engaging, and it\u2019s having those ideation sessions \u2026 to identify really creative ideas to help either optimize the company or transform the company and translate those ideas into prototypes and then those prototypes into minimal viable products. The A is for being an advocate and making this cultural transition a real personal priority. Then the D is about discovering the needs of the customers with a beginner\u2019s mind and then creating solutions that delight and surprise them. \n\nOn IT\u2019s role in digital business: \n\nI think many companies, or even divisions within companies, have this ambition to become a digital business\u2026. But they don\u2019t really know how to get started. It\u2019s our job as IT leaders to help them. \n\nFirst, it\u2019s about setting a clear direction. [At Avery Dennison,] it\u2019s about having this ability and desire to exploit emerging technologies to optimize and transform our business. That may not be the same for every company, of course, that was just something that we came up with to be able to explain, to define our vision and our strategy and our mission and the initiatives. \n\nThe second is building digital dexterity, very important, and we do that with the [digital innovation center of excellence] team [and] with our company-wide learning program. \n\nAnd then, third, identifying and assigning responsibilities so that there\u2019s clear ownership and accountability for the outcomes\u2026. \n\nAnd finally, developing a very strong communication program. \n\nOn how CIOs can position themselves to be leaders on data and analytics:\n\n[Data and analytics] can no longer be just afterthoughts. They are fundamental to digital business transformation. And being a data-driven enterprise, having that DNA, is not just about encouraging the use of data for decision making\u2026. But now it\u2019s about introducing new data science competencies, such as advanced data visualization and AI, and diffusing these competencies throughout the organization. \n\nIt\u2019s not about IT having to own all this. I\u2019m big on democratizing IT innovation into the different business units. And data science doesn\u2019t have to be part of the IT organization. So, it\u2019s diffusing that into the organizations, developing this analytics culture, and providing the supporting technology standards.