Personally I've never stood on the edge of greatness (although I have had the odd good day or two), but I think I'm smart enough to know when I'm in the proximity of greatness. Of course, in the IT space these days it's tough to find even a smidgen of greatness. So when you do get a whiff of it, you kinda feel like someone has smacked you upside the head. That's exactly how I felt last Thursday when the local chapter of the CIO Executive Council was launched. Gobsmacked.
And it wasn't like I didn't know what was going on . . .
So I guess first off, some disclosure is called for: the Council is a global initiative of IDG, the publisher of this magazine. In fact, the Council was founded in the US as a direct result of discussions in late 2003 between CIOs and the various editors of CIO editions around the world.
Okay, now that we've got that out of the way, second, and more important as far as I'm concerned, is that Australia is the first country outside the US to establish a council. Yep, while Canada will launch soon, with Germany, the UK, Japan and China waiting in the wings, we Aussies got the old ball rolling and were number one, numero uno, first cab off the rank (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi! Oi! Oi!).
And ladies and gentlemen, this is a group with an agenda that begins with a capital "A" and is bigger than Ben Hur. (In fact, I think bigger than the US Council's, but don't tell them because they do like to think they're always the leaders.)
The Council, which is headed up by executive director Con Colovos (ex-CIO of Moraitis), was flying a bit below the radar for the past couple of months, while Con was looking to nail down the Council's Advisory Board and gauging overall interest in the Council. His unflagging energy saw, over an eight-week stretch, the formation of an Advisory Board to die for and notable member sign-ups. On July 28, at a lunch for some 140 senior IT executives, the Council was officially launched and CIO Executive Council information kits distributed. The next day Con and his team were fielding phone calls, e-mails and the membership applications coming through the fax machine.
So why, with other options available, is interest in the CIO Executive Council so keen? I think it's because it's a group of CIOs, run by CIOs, in the best interests of CIOs. In talking to members, words like advocacy and empowerment pepper their discussions. Again and again they point out the need to shape standards and drive relevant industry, legislative, and academic agendas that impact their organizations and the future of IT. They have made this their charter.
But don't take my word for it. You can check it out further at www.cioexecutivecouncil.com.au or drop Con a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And finally, because the Council is run independently of this magazine, the magazine's participation will be solely at the request of the Board.
I am sure there will be naysayers. But you know, naysayers never make a difference, do they?
And ultimately, you ladies and gentlemen are the captains of your fate. I think it's time you stopped letting other people steer your ship. Bon Voyage!
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.