Innocence as a Virtue, or the Five Questions: Conversation with Eric Denna Part 3

In today’s segment of my conversation with Dr. Eric Denna, we cover Eric’s Five Questions for a CIO, developed over Dr. Denna’s five times serving as CIO, helping organizations understand customers, service, measurement, delivery and organization.

Consider for a moment how you would add value to your organization if you had to change jobs? When you come into a new situation, how do you provide value?

In these and similar situations I have found innocence to be a particularly valuable virtue, and more so if paired with confidence.

Eric has found that not being an expert in the business’s core functions hasn’t hindered him in helping to significantly improve the IT functions, through the use of these questions. In fact, not having that expertise likely makes him listen more closely to those in the organization he is working with.

The questions are:

  1. Whom do we serve, and what do they (those we intend to serve) want / need / have to do?
  2. What services do we provide so that those we serve can do what they want / need / have to do?
  3. How do we know we are doing a great job?
  4. How do we provide the services?
  5. How do we organize?

Notice how fundamental these questions are. They begin with being people focused, and what service can be given.

The order of the questions is important. If one is not clear about who the customer is, then how the team organizes will never matter.

Note that these questions are also focused on the now. Next week we’ll discuss the second phase of asking these question, the should versions of them.

These questions aren’t just helpful as a CIO; anyone providing service (which is all of us hopefully) could likely profitably try to answer these questions for themselves.

>>> More on Eric’s Questions available at EDUCAUSE Review <<<

This is Episode 202 of Conversations with Kip, the best financial system vlog there is. Literally learn more–about ledgers and financial systems–at Click here to view the full interview with Eric.

Watch all episodes in order at the Conversation with Kip Playlist

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