For all their vision, ambition and bombast, these giant market and technology builders would be nowhere without the practitioner leaders. Some of our honorees have used technology to bring about wholesale change in their industry. Hal Rosenbluth, CEO of Rosenbluth International, has used technology to simplify the complex interrelationships in the travel business, thereby guiding his company to its current status as a world champion in corporate travel management and forcing rivals to follow in his footsteps.
Taking risks?knowing when to be leading edge or even bleeding edge with technology?is another key trait for the honorees in the practitioner category. David Kepler, corporate vice president and CIO at Dow Chemical, has deftly shepherded Dow’s pioneering investment in a B2B electronic marketplace. Dow was also one of the first companies to successfully implement an ERP system. Another winning trait is being able to see clearly what is hiding in plain view. John Boushy, CIO and senior vice president of operations, products and services of Harrah’s Entertainment, saw a way to use CRM technology to help expand his enterprise. This at a time when competitor casinos were betting on flashy performances and amusement parks.
Finally, our practitioner honorees all have mastered the ability to lead, which they embed throughout their organization. “When you reach a certain level of management, your effectiveness can be measured on how well you spread and share your abilities with multiple people. You have to be able to educate others and disseminate best practices, both within and outside of your organization,” says H. Stephen Lieber, president of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, who served on the CIO 20/20 Vision Awards expert panel. One such example is UPS CIO Ken Lacy, who sees one of his main roles as building a team of high achievers who feel accountable and enabled to do their best. Dawn Meyerriecks, CTO for the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency, knew that her goal of having empowered employees had been reached when, right after Sept. 11, she called her staff upon finding herself stranded out of town and was told that she should concentrate on just getting home; her colleagues were taking care of business.
All of our honorees have the ability to dream?but to also dig deep to find the ability to follow through. Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, says that an IT visionary “needs to be looking over the horizon?but he has to be pragmatic. It’s taking the technological tools that are out there and trying to apply them most effectively to real-world experiences.”
Read on to find out how the CIO 20/20 Vision Awards honorees have managed to strike the balance between thinking big and delivering on their vision.