Saturday, September 09, 2006

CIO Mind Moved

CIO Mind moved to new home:

Please update your bookmarks, feeds, etc.

Enojy and see you there!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Top CIO business priorities for 2006 in Romania

According to the “Romanian CIO Agenda” the top CIO business priorities for 2006 are improving business processes (top priority for 62% of CIOs); to attract, retain and grow customer relationships (selected by 48%) and to improve enterprise competitiveness (selected by 43%).

“Improving business processes” remain a priority up to 2009. ”Attracting, retaining and growing customer relationships” will have a slip in 2006 but will be back on top in 2009.
Interestingly enough “Faster innovation (shorter product/service cycles)” will enter the top for 2009.

2007 will be the year of “EU Accession” projects. Due to unclear legislation and regulations CIO will run most of the related projects during 2007.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Strategy versus Execution

As a final project to my MBA, a team of six young and enthusiastic people created a strategic plan for a Romanian company. It is a very good plan (excuse my lack of modesty :-) )

We presented to the owner. And he told us:
“I did not ask for a strategy. I may not know all the nice words and theories, but you told me nothing new.
I knew my industry it is good, I know I have to produce custom structures and expand to halls. I know I should have financial reporting, I know I should have good people, I know I should have forecasts.
I am trying to get them since two years now. But nothing happened.
You show me a nice plan. Where is the rest? I need the execution!”

We still have to do the remaining 98% of the work!

“Never forget implementation, boys. In our work it's what I call the 'missing 98 percent' of the client puzzle.”
Al McDonald, former McKinsey Managing Director

Ok, ok… We are young MBAs without a lot of experience; the owner is a self-made man without any formal business education.
No big problem, we learn some more, read some more books and go back to implementation to execution…

Tough luck. It looks like we are not alone.

Everybody is good at planning and everybody fails at implementation.

“82% of Fortune 500 CEO's surveyed indicated that they feel their organization did an effective job of strategic planning. Only 14% of the same CEO's indicated that their organization did an effective job of implementing the strategy.”
Forbes Magazine

Because we watch TV
Because we read business journals
Because we read management books
Because we took an MBA

And all this create preconceived ideas

“Strategy is for C-level. Let the ‘Grunts’ handle execution.”
Lawrence Hrebiniak

The great glamorous strategic planning is for larger-than-life figure heads. They do strategy, vision… all the sexy things.
And the dull manager do the boring execution.
If one can make a GOOD plan any half brain manager will be able to implement it.


Strategy… come on…

Great strategists, give me a name.. Jack Welch right?

Jack Welch had a strategy? #1, #2, fix or sell… This a strategy? Surely that isn't a strategy, but a call to ACTION or else...

“We have a ‘strategic’ plan. It’s called doing things.”
Herb Kelleher, CEO of Southwestern Airlines

Let's see another strategies. And a very successful one:

“The last thing IBM needs now is a vision.”
Lou Gerstner

“The only way to whip an army is to go out and fight it.”
General Grant

So, boys go out and do some REAL work. Start EXECUTION!

PS: This is heavily indebted to Tom Peters post.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stupid Idea of the Decade

Tom Peters:

Managers do things right.
Leaders do the right thing.

PS: I'll be back on this.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Google vs. Yahoo! - Best Bucharest Map

Update: Blogger eat my HREFs! Please copy and paste URLs in brackets. Thanks Sergey for pointing this out.

Take a look at Sergey Chernyshev (,26.1|5|2)page. At this zoom level we already lost Yahoo!.

Play a litle with zoom and see what Google maps can handle. Search for your home

May be you can see may car?

And think about it: those are freely available images. Wonder what military can see...

Vista price leaked - Forecast for Romania

US$233 for a basic home edition? Auch! I wonder how much for the corporate edition.

I have to think seriously to replace some of my desktop operating systems.

Probably not for the power users, but I should really check some of the task stations.

Update: Found some more price points on blog:

Windows Vista Ultimate is listed at $499 Canadian which translates into
$450.36 in USD.

Home Premium is listed at $299 or $269.86 USD, Vista Ultimate Upgrade is
priced at $299 or $269.86 USD, while Home Premium Upgrade is $199 or $179.60

Some more info from ZDnet:

On the business side, Microsoft listed Windows Vista Business at a price
that equates to $341 in U.S. currency, 7 percent less than what Microsoft
charges in Canada for Windows XP Professional.

Ok, now back to Romania. Using the same method as Ed Bott (i.e. comparing Romanian and US prices on XP and appling the same precentage to Ed's prices on Vista) I expect Romanian list prices for Vista to be (in US dollars):

  • Windows Vista Ultimate $379/$219

  • Windows Vista Business $292/$197

  • Windows Vista Home Premium $263/$159

  • Windows Vista Home Basic $219/$113

Happy shopping!

New Blog: Scifi & Fantasy Romania

I started a new blog and I’ll move all science fiction post there.

Friday, August 25, 2006

My MBA - 999 steps from 1000

Today my team hand in our final report. Next week, on 30th we have the presentation and that’s it!

Two very long years and finally I will finish my MBA program. I took an “in action program” and I kind of miss the weekends with my family.

PS: The site of the program is here. Not a very good program but one can still learn a lot.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

In 2006, 70% of large Romanian companies reported an increase of 10% or more in IT budget

Bucharest, Romania: 70% of Romania largest companies’ CIOs reported 10% or more increase of their 2006 budget in comparison with 2005. According to “Romanian CIO Agenda”, the annual CIO Survey for 2007, business budgets growth is expected to continue, but IT budgets increase is expected to slow down.

The “Romanian CIO Agenda” survey is based on answers from 21 top IT executives. The respondents managed an aggregated 2006 IT budgets of EURO 220 millions and their companies have and aggregated revenues of EURO 15 billion EURO.

The survey finds that Romanian top IT executives have bigger budgets, but with pressures to contribute more to enterprise growth and effectiveness.

According to the study the top CIO business priorities for 2006 are to improve business processes (top priority for 62% of CIOs); to attract, retain and grow customer relationships (selected by 48%) and to improve enterprise competitiveness (selected by 43%).

According to the survey the 2006 technology priorities will be: business intelligence applications (BI), business process management (BMP) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) upgrades. 62% of CIOs selected BI, 57% selected BMP, and 48% selected ERP. Very close to the top three is customer relationship management (CRM) with 43%.

For the 2007 and 2009, the trends continue but the survey makes an interesting reading, most notably regarding the need for revenue growth [that raises to second place in 2007] and faster innovation, shorter product/service cycles, [that raises to third place for 2009]. In 2009 technology priorities raises corporate performance management (CPM) to first place.

About CIO Council: CIO Council Romania is the only industry association representing the interests of corporate IT clients. Members are top IT executives from major companies like British American Tobacco, CEC, ALRO, ING Bank, National Bank of Romania, Nestle, Pepsi, Petrom, Posta Romana, Raiffeisen Bank, Rompetrol, Romtelecom, Selgros, Shell Gas, Tuborg, Vodafone Romania.

The main objective of CIO Council is to promote and protect interests of IT&C corporate clients.

CIO Council will address the challenges that CIOs face professionally, including the creation and use of IT&C to achieve our companies' business objectives, the development of technically capable staff, and the promotion of IT&C as a resource in Romania.

The Change Formula

The Change Formula has been stated in a variety of ways by several writers on change. One of these writers, Michael Beer, in "Organizational Change and Development" expressed it as follows:

"The difficulty of creating readiness for change, may be thought of in terms of the cost of changing to organizational members. Change will occur only when these costs are outweighed by a number of factors which can create positive motivation to change. This relationship between positive forces which support change, and the cost of change, may be expressed in the following change formula.

Ch = D x M x P > C

Ch = Change
D = Dissatisfaction with the status quo
M = A new model for managing or organizing
P = A planned process for managing change
C = Cost of change to individuals and groups

The article presents another view on the change. One should take care of “vision”, “process”, and “discomfort”. I personally prefer the process view: “unfroze-move-refroze”. It allows me to view the change as a living process to as a “frozen” formula.