A new voice in the blogging firmament – Abbie Lundberg of CIO

The conversation about technology and organizations has been enriched with a new blog, Difference Engine, by my long-time friend and colleague, Abbie Lundberg. Of course, as Editor in Chief at CIO Magazine, we’ve been benefiting from her perspective and insight for years. Now, we’ll get it a bit less filtered and a bit more personal. I’m looking forward to it. Here’s a quick sample:

As the debate over the CIO role rages on, we wonder which is the most critical skill set: business, technology or, as some argue, the ability to detect bullshit?
The debate about the best background for CIOs isn t new. It s been going on since the mid 90s, when Johnson & Johnson first appointed a CIO from the business, without hands-on IT experience. The argument goes something like this: Technology is becoming an increasingly integral part of business; ergo, CIOs have to be business strategists. So far so good. But then some people continue the argument to say that because business knowledge and ability is so important, technology knowledge isn t. False!

So what do you think? Can you be a truly great CIO without a pretty deep understanding of technology? Does the merging of business and technology make technology knowledge more or less valuable to the individual leading strategic IT?

The Most Critical Attribute of a CIO | Advice and Opinion.

Knowledge management and innovation

What’s the relationship between knowledge management practices and innovation? On first thought, you would think that effective knowledge management would contribute to more effective innovation as well. On the other hand, knowledge management has often been justified on the value of not routinely reinventing solutions to problems that an organization has already solved. This potentially puts knowledge management and innovation at odds with one another.

The sticking point lies in the measurement and reward systems put in place to encourage active use of the knowledge management system. Absent careful thought about the various ways in which the contents of a knowledge management system feed into business processes, the risk is a measurement system that actively inhibits rather than promotes innovation.

One Laptop Per Child: donation period from now through Nov 26th

I got an email on this from my old friend and colleague Chunka Mui. I was going to write it up and post it, but the lazy web comes to my aid once again and Ed Yourdon has done the heavy lifting for me.

One Laptop Per Child: donation period from now through Nov 26th

My calendar popped up a to-do item this morning, reminding me that the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) donation period begins today, and runs through November 26th. In a nutshell: you spend $400, which purchases two of the open-source, highly innovative machines known as XO . One laptop gets sent to you, and the other is donated to a child somewhere, in a developing country. Not only that, you get a $200 charitable contribution on your income tax (well, at least that s true in the U.S.; don t know about other parts of the world).

XO machine

I ve now ordered mine, and am eagerly awaiting its arrival (though the website makes it clear that I shouldn t expect overnight delivery a la Amazon). I ll let you know what I think of it once I get my hands on it; in the meantime, check out the OLPC website, and consider making a contribution of your own.

There are certainly lots of opportunities to make the world a better place. This is one of the ones I’ve opted to support. So, as Ed suggests, check out the OLPC website.