It’s amazing what you can learn when you take a moment to look beyond your own industry for inspiration. As someone at a Seattle-based company, it’s not too hard to look across town to our defending Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks, for that kind of perspective. Coach Pete Carroll’s brilliance in empowering players, from quarterback Russell Wilson on down, with a certain amount of freedom to play their own style of game on the field, changed the game. He did this while still keeping everyone focused on the collective goal of winning as a team.
I view Pete Carroll’s winning playbook as a perfect balance demonstrating how individual autonomy and collective organizational goals are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the best business plans are those that harmonize both concepts to foster individual creativity in the service of shared goals.
Just as Carroll recognized this and forged a new model for what the next generation sports coach should be, CIOs need to become next generation IT leaders in an era where business users are increasingly self-sufficient and entrepreneurial around the technologies they use.