Selecting a CIO


As Dave Fletcher points out, HB109 has passed and the process of selecting a CIO for Utah has begun. This is a tricky process because the is a huge job. In my opinion, the new CIO has to have a few indispensable characteristics:

  • Most importantly, the new CIO must understand that this is a two year job and then you're out. Don't apply for the job if you want to be the CIO of DTS after the transition. The job skills necessary to transform the organization and the skills necessary to run it are very different and not likely to be found in the same person.
  • The new CIO has to be willing to be hated and despised because there will be plenty of that. There is no way to do this and make everyone happy. There will be a very unhappy, and very vocal, group who will try to derail this process from the start. If you have to be loved, don't apply.
  • The new CIO should be someone high profile who understands how to make nice with the legislature and earn the respect of the other department heads. There will be a lot of skepticism, and rightly so.

Make no mistake--this fight has just begun. The legislature has spoken, but the real tough work has yet to begin. That's not to say it won't be fun, but there will be some below the belt punches thrown before this is all done. There are some real attitude cess pools that will have to be cleaned up.

My recommendation be to not hire anyone from the inside for the CIO. That won't work and the Governor can't afford to have this fail. The Governor should look to the outside and bring in someone who can make the changes and then is willing to get out. I have a few suggestions I'll be making.