Become a SuperCIO – Play CIO Superhero

smallish_CIOHero.pngI thought I would take a time out from my monthly series of posts “The CIO is Dead, Long Live the CIO” and instead of writing about “gamification”, we could all play a game. Let me set the stage:

CIO Superhero

Its a beautiful day as you drive into the city to your office. The sun is shining, its a perfect 72 degrees. The traffic is light so your commute is a breeze compared to most days. Your mind begins to wander to the day ahead of you. Business is great, sales are up. You plan to have a dialogue with the CEO about how technology can enhance an already booming business. After enjoying sharing insights with her, you will turn your attention to reviewing your data center operations with your leadership team, followed by a review of the latest version of bug-free software with your development staff. You plan to take a leisurely lunch at your favorite restaurant before returning to your office for your scheduled “Thinking Time”. Life as a CIO is certainly grand!

As you pull into the Employee of the Month parking space your spider sense picks up something amiss. The CEO meets you at the door. You can almost see the smoke coming from her ears as she mutters tersely, “Where have you been? Come to my office...NOW!” You follow her down the hall and notice, not one person is working, they are all at their desks, but no one is working.  You remember thinking, “this can NOT be good”.

The door is barely closed behind you when your CEO bursts into a litany of the days events. “I stopped receiving emails about 30 minutes ago none of our people can work  their screens just are blue the manufacturing lines are shut down because the robots are in a loop our entire sales staff missed their morning meetings with their clients our Las Vegas office is flooded and our Paris office is under a foot of snow secret service is calling about some credit card hack or something we can’t make outside calls AND our a new competitor just opened up across town with a product that makes me feel like RIM the day after the iPhone was launched AND ITS ALL YOUR FAULT!”

She didn’t even take a breath!

You know what you need to do...feigning sickness, you run from her office toward the nearest wiring closet. There you remove your glasses, rip open your shirt and transform from the mild-mannered CIO who spends their day in climate controlled data centers to SuperCIO, faster than a supercomputer, stronger than an Otterbox on your iPad, and able to optimize business processes in a flash.

To defeat your arch nemesis Complacent IT Guy, you must defeat his five henchman. Defeat all five and Complacent IT Guy himself and you become a CIO Superhero. Be the first to defeat them and earn the title of SuperCIO and win a fabulous trophy for your office.

Battle your first henchman by following @CIOSuperhero * on Twitter and sending a Tweet of “Game On! Send a henchman my way @CIOSuperhero” and include the hashtag #CIOSuperhero. Your first assignment will be sent your way within a few hours (hey, I have a day job to do!).

*Note: this is a separate Twitter account only being used for this game. I will not spam you with mindless tweets and I will close the account when the contest is over. If you REALLY want to connect with me on Twitter, see the links below.

This is a continuation of a series of posts looking at the confluence of changes impacting the CIO and IT leadership. Next up “The Results are In: Here are the CIO Superheroes”.


Jeffrey Ton is the SVP of Corporate Connectivity and Chief Information Officer for Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, providing vision and leadership in the continued development and implementation of the enterprise-wide information technology and marketing portfolios, including applications, information & data management, infrastructure, security and telecommunications.


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Jeff Ton

About Jeff Ton

Throughout his career in business, Jeffrey Ton has developed and fine tuned his leadership skills to become a business focused leader who drives results. Extending the role of the CIO to encompass a strategic view of the business, he identifies innovative approaches to achieve the business objectives by leveraging technology where and when appropriate. Adept at building and leading teams, both in-line and cross-organizational, he has been a catalyst for change across the businesses he has served. Ton has industry expertise in information technology, non-profits, commercial real estate development, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, supply chain, green/clean technologies, finance, insurance and consulting. Expertise: • Strategic Planning – Business & Technology • Organization & Management Reengineering • Merger & Acquisition Integration • Divestiture Decoupling • Business & IT Alignment • Enterprise Architecture Strategy • C-level Relationships • International Staff Management & Acquisition • Global Enterprise Implementations • Fiscal Management • Governance & Risk Management • Business Process Optimization • Vendor Relationship Management • Outsourcing(Offshore/Near-shore) & In-sourcing • Technology Portfolio Management • Regulatory and Compliance Management • P&L Management Specialties: Architecture, infrastructure, applications, application development, telecom, e-Business strategy, web development, knowledge management, integration, EDI, SAP, business intelligence, outsourcing, insourcing, contract negotiation, commercial real estate development, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, supply chain, green/clean technologies, finance, insurance and consulting, keynote speaker on leadership, green and other topics, LEED AP BD+C. Read his blog on RiversofThought.net, Intel's IT Peer Network and LinkedIn.