Network of IDG contributors: training future IT managers


As I explained in "How to Choose a Leader", leadership in the digital age is a necessity. But how can CIOs train and train leaders able to break the silo's overly common thinking and enable tangible commercial change?

Identify leadership potential early

As I learned by moderating an incalculable number #CIOChat During sessions, CIOs feel that it is necessary for IT managers to know and understand the broader context of their work environment. This includes a willingness to listen to and integrate the ideas of others in their own views. Leadership clearly has many characteristics. However, CIOs say they are looking for people who take initiatives, who do not fear new challenges, and most importantly, who do not blame others.

For this reason, CIOs need to create systems that reward good behavior. Knowledge of the situation is essential, especially in the field of technology. Are you optimizing? To be disturbed? Undertake the digital transformation? Each requires different skills.

More importantly, you need people who can learn, unlearn and relearn. I like to tell my students, as much as they wish, that they must be "learners for life" to remain relevant to the digital age. IT managers need to look for people who are continually learning and always looking to improve processes. For this reason, CIOs need to identify opportunities for their team to be early in the career, not only technically, but also through opportunities for communication and collaboration with business units.

Managing a career must be a two-way street

A potential leader must be interested in his career and go on his own. It's their career and they must be successful as much as the people who help them. If they are already in the labor market, then it's all about why they fight and who they fight for. Future leaders need an open mind. They need the ability to listen. And they need a lot of soft skills.

IT managers must be looking for people who want to learn, take responsibility, and be curious. In general, future IT managers need skills to listen, communicate, encourage, support and motivate. CIOs need to take the time to train future leaders.

Grooming and development of potential leaders

If you are a good leader, you should not be afraid to grow other members of your team. In other words, you must have an attitude of "abundance in relation to scarcity". For this reason, IT managers must entrust future managers with the tasks that extend them and give them greater responsibility. At the same time, make sure it's not too much. Once identified, CIOs must involve future leaders in their meetings with the operational units. They also believe in establishing a two-year "personal roadmap" that strengthens the skills, education and experiences of every potential leader. It may also be useful to give them CIO-level tasks for research or further assignments that give them the time and chance to shine with the existing leadership team.

A career path must include leadership challenges and provide the future leader with a process to determine if there is a technological advance or increased leadership. In any case, future leaders must expand mentally to become more balanced as a leader. If possible, IT managers should ensure the rotation of people throughout the company. In the meantime, it is important to show future leaders how important the role they are trying to achieve is. It's not just about talking to them. It is important to be completely transparent during this process.

Do not worry about the fact that a potential leader is moving to another company. CIOs should allow a "one-team" approach in which the team includes all roles, regardless of department / unit, and everyone engages together to achieve goals, pace and priorities, and is empowered accordingly.

What is the importance of mentoring to train new leaders?

It depends on the individual. Some people are good at mentoring and others are training better. In addition, forcing and naming mentors can be considered a negative element. Relationships are better when they develop and ripen organically. Mentoring outside of the organization is also a good thing, especially mentoring in business.

Mentors are the most important aspect to train new leaders. Partners understand what they need from a mentor at specific points in their careers. The best leaders are looking for mentoring relationships to exploit.

Growing IT leaders also need to have formal and informal mentors. An information systems manager suggested trying to pick out informal people from outside the company so that they could watch and learn. Choose an area of ​​activity that they feel has the best leadership and ask them for advice. The approaches taken may depend on the learning styles of the mentee and the mentor. Pairing a visual mentee with a lecturer mentor may not be very beneficial. Of course, nothing can replace an old-fashioned practice. However, many CIOs think that you are never too advanced in a career to need mentors

The right match is the key. You want to get a very active mentor who will spend quality time with the person and will involve him in his areas of activity. Active mentoring can also be fun for the mentor. Some CIOs say that they like mentoring young people early in their careers. It helps them stay young and involved in today's world.

Those who have been mentored during their careers say that mentoring is essential and extremely important. Having more than one mentor is important. Focus on mentors not only from other areas of your organization but also from outside. In fact, no mentor will be able to answer all the mentoring functions you need. They also suggest with the pace of technological change; Mentoring, apprenticeships and hands-on training (experiential learning) will become the means to access "new collar" jobs. Technology learning is an untapped opportunity that YearUp is trying to solve. If only my youngest son was not six months too old for this opportunity.

Break the stovepipe thought

Future IT managers can solve the problem in silos by solving the root cause of problems, especially when they are tied to silos. It is important to focus on business. It is not the US (ie IT) and THEY (ie the company). That's us.

It is a good goal for IT to help eliminate IT silos. Here, IT organizations can set the example and ask their team to follow the same behavior. One way to do this is to rotate staff through a series of experiments. Bring them to understand business and technology strategy and architecture by teaching them yourself or sending them to external courses. Involving them in peer groups can also help. IT is one of the few areas of business activity. As a result, CIOs have a duty to avoid silos. In the same way, the IT department has to move people to avoid its own internal silos.

Encourage leaders willing to change inside and outside IT?

IT leaders need leadership and growth. An IT manager said one of his career leaders was "Work out of a job and find a better job." This mentality can help reduce fear. change.

The fact is that leaders willing to change do not need encouragement. They are either ready for change. The key is to communicate regularly with them during informal discussions and to gather their comments to allow a discussion. Nothing better than sitting in a room with a white board and discussing a subject.

Encouraging leaders willing to change can however be a goal depending on the organization. As a CIO, change is more than just computing. Unless your leaders lead to change, how can they hope to succeed? CIOs must clearly take the first step. Get out of your chair and build relationships / trust, ask questions and take a "how we can" attitude and not "why we can not".

CIOs need to encourage leaders willing to change to challenge the status quo. Clearly, the most dangerous thought to persist in an organization is "we've always done it that way!" Solving this requires a lot of communication. This requires a leader who can give the example. It requires the empowerment of people. This can be enabled by regularly meeting the activity areas and several times a day within the organization. CIOs should open the discussion by asking questions about future experiences and opportunities.

Departure remarks

It's amazing what you can learn from listening to #CIOChat. We have learned here ideas that are important for IT managers but are equally important for all business managers. I hope this information will guide you in your career and that of your team.

This article is published as part of the Contributor IDG network. Vouloirjoindre?