With the rhetoric around the IT skills crisis reaching a crescendo, one thing remains clear: Today’s CIOs must take an active role in developing their star performers into real business leaders.
Until recently, that was easier said than done and would-be CIOs lacked a certified career path. A little over a year ago, however, that situation changed when the CIO Executive Council launched its core Pathways learning and development program.
Today, more than 90 participants are enrolled in Pathways in Australia, a 12-month program designed around two areas of professional development — business and leadership. It focuses around networking and mentoring and, in its second year, the offering has been extended to help build the skills of more senior ICT professionals.
In March, the CIO Executive Council launched ‘Pathways Advanced’ and ‘Pathways Business’, designed in conjunction with Rob Livingstone Advisory.
Both programs are designed to equip senior ICT executives with the skills and competencies to more effectively manage the rapidly increasing demands, expectations and complexities of contemporary businesses.
“As CIOs, we come from many different places — some of them weird and wonderful. So we need to define a career path for people to become a CIO,” said ACMA CIO and Executive Council member, Carsten Larsen. “It matters, because it’s part of being accepted at board level.”
The Pathways programs are based on nine universal core competencies identified to have to the greatest impact on an executive’s success.
“One of the very first things that I realised through my involvement in the professional Pathways program is that a CIO performs a different function based on the size and maturity of the organisation,” said former participant and executive manager at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Christopher Van Eenoo.
“A CIO taking up a role at a new company must adapt their goals and targets to match the needs of the company.” Van Eenoo said the course also widened his view and understanding on IT management concepts.
The program can also help CIOs retain key staff by providing the skills and confidence to manage the increasing demands of IT leaders.
“I’m currently in an environment that is undergoing much change, and the knowledge obtained on IT fundamentals such organisation structure, understanding the IT capability model, the business capability model, both internal and external customers and the role of CIO have helped me immensely,” enterprise systems manager at Salmat, Maria Hugo, said.
Participants measure their progress over the program and develop their business acumen to improve alignment and drive innovation within their enterprise.
They also learn skills such as objection handling, business case development, presentation styles, managing uncertainty and communicating with non-ICT managers and other business staff.
A series of workshops allow participants to share experiences and build a strong peer network.
Pathways program universal core competencies
- Change leadership
- Collaboration and influence
- Commercial orientation
- External customer focus
- Market knowledge
- People and organisational development
- Results orientation
- Strategic orientation
- Team leadership
The competencies have been identified by the CIO Executive Council in partnership with Egon Zehnder, based on the assessments of more than 25,000 C-level executives.
For more information about the Pathways program, contact Caroline Bucknell, general manager, CIO Executive Council Australia: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.