Unfortunately, there isn't such a thing as a CIO manual. (Is there? -- please share.) But there does seem to be an endless supply of self-help-style, personal-productivity tomes for busy executives. What are the best ones for time-challenged tech execs?Wired magazine this month has an article about David Allen, the author of a best-selling book entitled " Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity." Allen is a corporate productivity consultant -- the modern-day equivalent of an efficiency expert with a little New Age self-actualization training thrown in for good measure.
How Allen got to where he is, is a strange tale involving heroin addiction, secular spiritualism, and karate. But that's not the point.
The point is this: are there books out there that might help a CIO do a better job and realize his or her potential: manage effectively, think innovatively, and learn to align technology strategy with business imperatives? Because if there's a more demanding executive position, one pulled in more and different directions, subject to more second-guessing and varying interpretations of responsibilities and intent, than that of the CIO, I don't know what it is.
Wired says the emphasis in Allen's book on schemas, workflows, and systems has made it appealing to the tech savvy crowd. "The very complexity of Allen's method -- its relentless, small-scale cleverness -- is doubtless one of the things that recommends it to the many technical people among his fans."
Of course, there's always "The 7 Habits Of Highly Productive People," a perennial best seller. The authors of "7 Habits" merged their operations with the people who created the Day Planner franchise to launch a corporate productivity training juggernaut known as FranklinCovey. On the other end of the spectrum are Anthony "Firewalk With Me" Robbins and his best-selling book, "Unlimited Power," a popularization of an approach to psychotherapy called neurolinguistic programming that is the basis for many corporate productivity training groups operating today.
I'm not interested in spiritual journeys, though; I'm interested in the most effective books for CIOs. What are you reading? And what would you recommend to help your fellow CIOs handle the existential vagaries and incessant demands of their chosen careers?