CIO transformation: From order-taker to changemaker


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Many CIOs rose to the front lines of leadership during the COVID crisis, as they accelerated their organizations’ digital transformations to survive the pandemic and its economic fallout.

But not all IT leaders gained that prominence. Some remain stuck in an order-taker role, where they support their company’s initiative and enable its strategic agenda but aren’t driving much, if any, of the actual change.

There are various ways for CIOs to transform themselves and their roles from order-taker to changemaker, according to veteran IT chiefs and executive advisors. Here are six of their strategies for CIOs who want to step up to a more prominent role in leading their organization’s transformation.

1. Don’t wait for anyone to ask

Bryan M. Sastokas, CIO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is looking for trouble, pain points, and problems, as well as ideas on how to do better — so much so that he has programs to collect ideas from anyone seeking to share their thoughts.

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