by Colleen Barry

What We’re Reading from the Sept. 1, 2011, Issue of CIO Magazine

Aug 29, 20113 mins

Books, blogs and research about technology and leadership

The Innovator’s DNA

Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators

By Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen and Clayton M. Christensen

Book Christensen, author of the 2003 bestseller The Innovator’s Dilemma, returns to the topic with this follow-up. This time, he and co-authors examine how individuals, not companies, come up with successful innovations. He finds that the skills required to generate ideas can be learned, and identifies five behaviors that allow this creativity. Among them, carefully observing others’ behavior, and drawing connections between seemingly unrelated problems. Harvard Business Review Press, $29.95

The 11 Secrets of Highly Influential IT Leaders

The Critical Path to Accessing and Succeeding in the Executive Suite

By Marc J. Schiller

Book After all these years of struggling for recognition, Schiller points out, many CIOs still don’t feel like other executives are really listening to them. To help change that, he lays out a road map for getting your ideas heard and your opinions respected. He gives tips on how to build credibility, then advice on how to avoid some common communication pitfalls, and finally strategies for how to share your vision and get the company to act on it. The book also comes with a pointer to an online influence assessment test, to help you see how well you’re doing and learn what your strengths are. Rain Partners, $49

Social Media Analytics

Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting, and Using Metrics

By Marshall Sponder

Book Your company can’t afford to ignore what people are saying about it on social media, but the marketing department can’t do anything with all that data without IT’s help. To help you make this partnership effective, Sponder shows you how to figure out which services and individuals to pay attention to, how to pull out the relevant information, and what kind of analytics to apply to get your desired result. McGraw-Hill, $35

Defend Your Research: What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women

By Anita Woolley and Thomas Malone

Research Professors Woolley and Malone (of Carnegie Mellon and MIT, respectively) found that when people are sorted into groups by IQ and asked to perform certain tasks, putting smarter people in the groups didn’t make as big a difference as ensuring the groups included women. This research report, published online by the Harvard Business Review, theorizes that since women tend to be more socially sensitive than men, perhaps women are ensuring everyone’s ideas get heard, which maximizes the benefits of working as a group rather than individually. And, they add, the more women in the group, the more pronounced the effect.

The Two-Second Advantage

How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future—Just Enough

By Vivek Ranadivé and Kevin Maney

Book It will come as no surprise to you that data, when properly processed, provides a huge competitive advantage. This book breaks down how people and technology process information to figure out what will be the exact right thing to do a second from now and execute in time to take full advantage of the moment. Crown Business, $25