The Importance of Mentoring to CIOs and IT Managers Supporting sustained, positive transformational change in IT and Organisations Rob Livingstone Principal Not for profit CIO Forum 16th March 2011, Sydney, Australia Copyright Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
Agenda Something about my practice RLA Mentoring: Stats, Framework IT Trends and career perspectives Some emerging questions and trends from RLA Mentor program thus far… Can mentoring drive sustainable transformational change? Internal mentoring Multiplier effect RLA mentor program in 2011 and beyond Wrap-up and Q&A
2. Something about RLA What does RLA offer? 2 core aspects to my practice:
What are the medium term implications for yourself and your staff?
7. A perspective of current IT careers Technologies have a half-life of maybe 5 years & decreasing? Implications for those IT career professionals working their way through their career It is therefore important for IT professionals to maintain a clear (and objective) perspective over their careers, and routinely validate their assumptions Will ‘global warming’ shrink your IT career options?
8. Questions and trends arising from RLA Mentor program thus far Sharing some emerging trends and thoughts arising from the RLA mentor program thus far: Can you recognise change in the business environment, before it impacts your career? Can you promote an idea to non IT stakeholders? Can you differentiate Transactional skills vs. Transformational skills: What’s your mix? What’s got you this far may not work for you in the future. Seek objective, trusted opinions to help steer you towards an outcome that YOU want. Who is responsible for your career? Let’s expand on each of these briefly …..
8. Questions and trends arising from RLA Mentor program thus far Can you recognise change in the business environment, before it impacts your career?
Gain knowledge outside of your core area of expertise
Read widely in your industry, watch for technology and business trends
Sort the dross from respected sources for opinions
Present a realistic cost / benefit for all ideas, or the costs will be presented to you.
Objection handling and managing implied criticism: Never speak or send emails when angry or out of control!
Display self confidence. Practice public speaking …
8. Questions and trends arising from RLA Mentor program thus far Can you differentiate Transactional skills vs. Transformational skills: What’s your mix?
If you do your job really well at the transactional level, it may one day just be outsourced to the lowest cost provider, as you’re not ‘adding a lot of value’.
Efficiency = lowest cost , or highest output for lowest input is where you don’t want to be (for too long).
Each IT career professional should be continually re-investing in their supplemental skills, but NOT just reinforcing skills in their area of specialty.
Exceptions to this may be a firefighter, medical specialist or airline pilot where continual ‘deep-dive’ skill refresh on a regular basis is very important.
Successful outcomes often depend more on relationships between people than pure process or technology.
8. Questions and trends arising from RLA Mentor program thus far What’s got you this far may not work for you in the future.
Repeated past behaviours that have historically worked, are often the reason you are where you are.
Just repeating these behaviours are no guarantee of future success
Working hard and achieving results will (or should) automatically result in recognition. Myth??
Achieve visibility - Be responsible for your own marketing? Some IT professionals are uncomfortable about displaying their own strengths in a positive way. Not innate to some individuals
Adaptability and ‘having valued and well considered options’ are crucial to your continued success in your career of your choice, not someone else’s
8. Questions and trends arising from RLA Mentor program thus far Seek objective, trusted opinions to help steer you towards an outcome that YOU want.
At some key points in your career, seek out a truly independent person who has preceded you in your chosen or targeted area of expertise, or at least have a solid understanding of your skills in the context of organisations.
If they don’t, then it’s all theory – just like someone sitting in the lodge describing how you can climb the mountain having never done it themselves.
Follow the experienced mountaineer as you climb the mountain, is what I’m trying to say.
8. Questions and trends arising from RLA Mentor program thus far Who is responsible for your career? The good news is you are!
Lifetime employment is a thing of the past
Your life and career is more important that that of the organisation
Consciously take some time to actively set your own goals, then
put some time and effort into managing your career.
Realise the power of ‘personal branding’ – after all you ‘run your own business’, that is …..
‘your business is deciding who you wish to work for!’
9. Can mentoring drive sustainable transformational change? Modern thriving and vibrant organisations require confident, competent, high performing career professionals and managers in their core service support functions…… Imagine for a moment your working environment where people still ‘did their job’, however also demonstrated effective skills in areas such as:
being able to see both their jobs and their own contribution from other’s perspectives;
more able to professionally handle objections from non IT stakeholders
confidence and capacity to thrive in stressful situations;
improved ability to cope in ambiguous or uncertain environments;
being able to work more collaboratively with stakeholders outside their own area of expertise ;
being able to communicate more effectively in a range of unfamiliar situations; as well as
Being able to communicate complexity effectively, to non-IT stakeholders
10. Soft skills for soft people? Without these appropriate soft skills, interpersonal working relationships become fractured, ineffective and sometimes counterproductive, with adverse impacts on teams and the organisation as a whole. ‘Soft skills’: The oil in the engine of organisations. The RLA mentor program’s approaches in changing behaviours
Refer to the brochure on the suggested competency attributes that would are the focus of the 3 variants of the RLA mentor program
11. The multiplier effect of effective mentoring: Change one, benefit many Focussed and effective mentoring of important staff and managers that sit at the intersections of different teams, departments and functions can have a positive multiplier effect through the organisation. Each time such people interact with others across the organisation (including customers and external stakeholders); there is the potential to either have a positive or negative impact. Successful, thriving organisations have an abundance of effective interpersonal skills in key people Where key IT staff lack specific supplemental soft-skills, effective and appropriate mentoring, coaching and training can have a very positive impact.
12. Internal Mentoring of key staff Internal mentoring can be effective in certain situations, however some of the common difficulties are: The manager does not always have the time to devote to the mentoring process The manager may not have the contextual experience outside of their current industry / employer The power relationship is not conducive to open honest communications by either the manager or the employee There is not always a clear delineation between a mentor session, and a ‘meeting with the boss’ The employee’s confidentiality is not always assured Internal mentoring tends to be informal, and does not always have a clearly articulated framework There may be no objective measures of success