LinkedIn and the CIO

JD Gershbein, CEO of Owlish Communications, is considered one of the world’s top thought leaders on LinkedIn strategy, and a pioneer in the design and delivery of LinkedIn education. JD’s Workshop, Connect to Prosper, on Thursday April 21st, 2016 at the CIO Peer Forum is a must-attend for those looking to amp up their networking game and LinkedIn engagement.

LinkedIn and the CIO

The Chief Information Officer is unique in the realm of corporate leadership. In the Digital Era, with so much riding on technology and innovation, the CIO becomes more than just a trusted liaison to the CEO. Good CIOs are well positioned to lead their organizations in generating leads and growing revenues by exploiting emerging social technology platforms..

LinkedIn has certainly driven home the importance of a strong, polished online representation. But for many years, senior executives, including CIOs, were reluctant to participate on the site, even on a minimal level. As LinkedIn has shortened the chasm between people and opportunities, resistance has diminished, and leaders are exploring the upside of a LinkedIn presence—for both themselves and their companies.

Throughout the years, as I have worked with leaders across a broad spectrum of industries and markets, I have learned how to best capture their message for inclusion in an online profile. Some messages transmit well; others are complex and ambiguous. The delicate nature of technology, its value to the organization and the marshaling of resources around it, necessitate strong branding of products and services and precise, well-targeted communication.

The Changing Role of the CIO

Many have noted that the role of the CIO within companies is on a path of relentless change. With respect to technology, and the movement of information across company lines, there is more at stake than ever before. Innovation continues to drive the metrics and shape the behaviors around the timely delivery of solutions and leadership of internal teams. That puts the CIO front and center in managing change and driving organizational culture.

CIOs straddle both sides of the fence when it comes to implementation and leadership. They address huge blind spots for companies, ranging from a quick fix to a global turnaround. The CIO is in on any corporate initiative, from consolidation to expansion, and must not only be accountable for the design of systems, but also inspire a level of performance to bring a project in on-time and on-budget.

The CIO and the LinkedIn Megaphone

The value of marketing on LinkedIn resides in its capacity to enlighten a community and reach a wider audience quicker and more effectively than traditional methods. The medium becomes an indispensable channel in communicating a company’s competitive advantage, while affirming its IT capabilities to strategic partners and shareholders. LinkedIn provides CIOs the opportunity to market quality content that engages customers, titillates prospects, and attracts top talent.

The development and expression of thought leadership within and external to the organization is also a core initiative of the CIO. Through its homegrown publishing platform, Pulse, LinkedIn gives its user base the opportunity to have a voice. This forum can be especially valuable to CIOs looking to step up, communicate their unique viewpoints, and meet the challenges of leading digital innovation. Top-flight content enables a company to at once capitalize on trends and generate ideas for new products.

As the CIO continues to reshape and reframe the dynamics of technology to suit the needs of the business, LinkedIn will surely play a more integral role. Today, the position mandates a collaborative mindset, a high level of emotional intelligence, and the ability to convincingly build consensus. This workshop is intended to show how senior IT executives can lead the way in exemplifying the new breed of CIO, and leverage LinkedIn to help their companies generate leads, capture new business opportunities and attract talent.


JD Gershbein, CEO of Owlish Communications, is considered one of the world’s top thought leaders on LinkedIn strategy, and a pioneer in the design and delivery of LinkedIn education. He is also a globally acclaimed social business psychologist, keynote speaker, a frequent broadcast media expert on LinkedIn for business, and a contributing writer for The Huffington Post and Forbes. Additionally, JD is adjunct professor of marketing communications at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business, where he is advancing social media marketing as an academic discipline. For more information on JD, please visit