CIO Beauty Contests


A couple weeks ago I posted in my blog The Venture Technologist that I HATE music and programming competitions.


I also hate

  1. ‘The Best Companies to Work’, and
  2. ‘The Best CIOs’

Now, I’m not going to point out particular contests, you can search for them yourself.  I’m just going to nicely talk about why they are so LAME and if you participate, well, no one is fooled.

I was asked a couple years ago to help improve the standing of a company I worked with in the “Best Companies” category.  Since the voting was only a couple months away, I decided to search out people in other companies to find out ‘how they did it’.  I was horrified.  I was advised to start an ongoing internal marketing campaign to convince people to help ‘juice’ the surveys for best results.  Since I was under time-constraints and the thought of running a marketing campaign repulsed me, I simply asked everyone in my staff of 1,500 to ‘be nice’ when they participated in the survey.  Well, it worked good enough to raise our standing, but we still were outgunned by a company who is expert at this type of thing.  (Yes, I’m wimping out by not naming names.  If you want me to spill my guts you’ll have to buy me a Scotch or two).


OK, CIO’s, your turn. Here’s how you nominate yourself, no swimsuit required, thank goodness.

“Give us examples of how your nominee has substantially helped his or her company. How has this person used IT in innovative ways to create competitive advantage, optimize business processes…. and on and on.”  Nice words, but AS A COMPETITION?  PULEEZE.

They usually categorize based on age, experience, company size, community work, all good reasons to celebrate success.  But,


The true metric on the performance of a CIO is the success of the company.  If a CIO is truly at the ‘big table’ and plugged into  the business, then the success of the business is reflected in the success of the CIO.  These ‘contests’ may sell magazines, but they’re really not useful when attracting good employees or selling product.  They’re just too self-serving to me.  What’s next?  The world’s greatest CFO?   Wait, there’s competitions for that, too.


Yes, be the best CIO you can be – BE BULLISH! Don’t take stuff  from anybody and push your company forward.  As a technologist, you have the power to propel your company to new heights, and if you’re not getting the support you need to do it, LEAVE and find a company progressive enough to recognize the value you bring to the boardroom.

Now, where’s my trophy?!?