Are Management Training Courses Valuable for IT?

Are Management Training Courses Valuable for IT?

"We spend about 20 per cent of our time on these tools. They are important, but they are more about training than -development. However, there are still a lot of people who don't know about them -- about 60 per cent of those who attend."

Broader-based leadership skills are also on the agenda. McKean introduces delegates to scenarios involving teams, co-workers, innovation and change, crises, corporate governance and strategy. Trainees are instructed in emotional intelligence and corporate politics and are introduced to management techniques such as the balanced scorecard and the McKinsey 7-S model.

"Very few people have the skill of developing strategy in a step-by-step way," says McKean. "You have to align your IT strategy with the business. We tell people what they should be asking from the business."

One of those requests is for the CIO to have a seat at the top table. "The reason IT should be on the board is that constant alignment needs to be made between IT and the business. IT's role is not to lead, but we teach CIOs the interaction points along the way," he adds.

McKean has had his successes. One CIO, who was keen to exert more influence in his organisation, recognised that his problem lay in being physically too remote from other executives. After three or four weeks of discussing his predicament with his trainers, he spotted an opportunity to move his desk to the top floor.

"It's about confidence," says McKean. "You need to look for small victories that will build your confidence. It is still as political as ever and there are still the same number of places in the inner sanctum. If IT is in there, someone else is out."

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