Showing posts with label Chief Executive Officer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chief Executive Officer. Show all posts

January 7, 2008

CEOs and COOs – Enterprise Architecture has Elements of Both

A Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or chief executive, is the highest-ranking corporate officer, administrator, corporate administrator, executive, or executive officer, in charge of total management of a corporation, company, organization or agency.

A Chief Operating Officer or Chief Operations Officer (COO) is a corporate officer responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the corporation. The COO is one of the highest ranking members of an organization, monitoring the daily operations of the company and reporting to the Board of Directors. The COO is usually an executive or senior vice president. (Wikipedia)

The Wall Street Journal, 22 October 2003, reports in an article entitled “A Different Animal Seeks the No. 1 Post; Often It’s Not No. 2” that the CEO and COO are very different “animals.”

CEOs have the vision and strategize; COOs manage day-to-day operations.

  • “The very talents that make a great chief operating officer—like finicky attention to detail—can get in the way when you are in the top seat. CEO’s are supposed to strategize, not micromanage.”

CEOs are outer-directed; COOs are inward-focused.

  • COOs “jobs focus them inward on the company’s problems, while CEOs spend much of their time convincing outsiders of the company’s strengths.”

CEOs function in the public eye; COOs play behind the scenes.

  • “CEOs talk about getting acclimated to the limelight. Chief operating officers say they are used to working behind the scenes and submerging their egos.”

CEOs are the company cheerleaders; COOs are more gruff and forbidding.

  • “It’s vital that a CEO consistently project a positive attitude to help keep up morale. In the No. 2 role, it was OK ‘to be more curmudgeonly.’”

User-centric EA is a hybrid of the CEO and the COO:

  • Functionally—EA is more like the CEO, in that it is strategic-focused and visionary in terms of new technologies, business process improvement, and setting the target state and transition plan.
  • Directedness—EA has elements of the CEO and COO. Like the COO, it looks internally to establish the as-is and to-be states of the organization based on capabilities, competencies, and strategies. However, like the CEO it looks externally to glean best practices and benchmarks.
  • Publicity—EA is like the CEO in being in the corporate public eye, advocating for enhanced IT planning and sound governance based on architecture principles and informed decision-making. At the same time, EA is like the COO, working behind the scenes with leaders and subject matter experts to capture pertinent information, analyze, categorize, and serve it up to the end-users.
  • Cheerleading—EA is like the CEO, a cheerleader for mission execution and results of operation, business process improvement, information sharing and accessibility, applications interoperability, technology standards, and confidentiality, integrity, availability, and privacy. EA is also like the COO gruff and to the point; taking EA information and using it to support incremental and transformative change initiatives.


September 5, 2007

CEO and Enterprise Architecture

An organization’s performance is closely linked to the lives and state of mind of its leadership.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), 5 September 2007 reports that based on a 10 year study of 75,000 Danish companies, profitability of companies declined after the CEO suffered from the death of a child (-21.4%), spouse (-14.7%), parent (-7.7%). [Further, the study reports that profitability actually increased when the CEO lost his/her mother-in-law (7%).]

These results are really not surprising nor or they hard to understand.

Leaders are people first—as human beings, we are all vulnerable to the tragedies of life and these affect us profoundly!

The WSJ puts it this way: “These are individuals…It’s important to understand they’re not automatons.”

The study called, “It’s All About Me” goes on to state the company’s profitability also typically fell after the CEO purchased a mansion. Researcher speculate that the leadership is either cashing out of the company (i.e. they no longer believe in the company’s future prospects) or that the leaders have become distracted by their own narcissism (i.e. enjoying their wealth rather than working hard).

For a quite a while, people have questioned the hefty executive pay packages, but as the WSJ states, perhaps these questions will be somewhat muted by these “studies [that] generally conclude CEOs do matter to their companies’ performance.”

In User-centric EA, people matter and leadership matters. If the leader is distracted or physically or emotionally wounded, the enterprise most certainly suffers. However, EA can help function as shock-absorber in the organization, since it provides for broad-based business and technical input, planning, and governance. By having the long-term mechanisms in place, such as a well researched and accepted EA plan and vetting mechanisms for how to invest corporate resources, the reliance on any single individual or individuals is lessoned. Leadership will always play a crucial part in organizational success (or failure) and as individuals we are all at the mercy of heaven above, but developing sound mechanisms by the which the organization can weather some of life’s shocks is a role EA can play.