Menu
Menu
Why succession planning should be on top of the CIO agenda

Why succession planning should be on top of the CIO agenda

Oliver Hawkley of Kerridge & Partners shares pointers on how to manage this critical part of the CIO portfolio

If I were a CIO and I had a really strong 21C, I would be making sure they are engaged and challenged to ensure they don't make a surprise exit leaving a hole in the team that is difficult to replace

Oliver Hawkley, Kerridge & Partners

For Oliver Hawkley, having a strong second in command (21C) is an indication of the quality of leadership of the CIO.

“When you look at how successful a CIO or a CTO has been, it is not just about what the individual has achieved. It is what the team has achieved and what they have got,” says Hawkley of executive recruiters Kerridge & Partners.

“When CIOs have developed the team to such a level that when they move to their next role they can promote from within, that indicates a very successful leader.”

“In the New Zealand market, from my experience, there is hidden leadership talent that is ready to add real value to the wider executive landscape,” says Hawkley.

“These are the individuals sitting in 2IC positions who have learnt their craft under established CIOs and CEOs.

“If I were a CIO and I had a really strong 21C, I would be making sure they are engaged and challenged to ensure they don't make a surprise exit leaving a hole in the team that is difficult to replace.

“It is sage advice to have open conversations early about career development and career planning together.”

“Ensure that a valued 2IC knows what the future holds and the value that they are adding to the business, and above all they know what they are required to deliver.

“Perhaps even consider time outside of the core technology team for the 2IC, this will enable to the 2IC to gather commercial experience and come back into the team with a wider skill base,” he says. “Then when the time is right they are better equipped to step up into an executive CIO/CTO position.

“It is much better for the stability of the organisation and the stability of the executive team, and the board’s confidence in the whole technology sphere, if you have a robust and natural succession plan for the CIO/CTO.

Oliver Hawkley of Kerridge & Partners
Oliver Hawkley of Kerridge & Partners

It is much better for the stability of the organisation and the stability of the executive team, and the board’s confidence in the whole technology sphere, if you have a robust and natural succession plan for the CIO/CTO


Next in line

He also recommends CIOs to engage in quarterly 'skip level meetings', with the direct reports of the 21C.

This will enable the CIO to provide the 2IC with more insightful leadership feedback, says Hawkley.

"It will help the 2IC grow as a leader and realise where they need to improve as well as value the mentorship of an experienced CIO.”

His message for CIOs? “Identify a successor or successors early.”

“Communicate proactively what you want to achieve out of a development programme. Create a broader succession process.”

He says CIOs should also create a clear leadership development programme within their own team.

So when the time comes, and the CIO wants to take on another role in the organisation or externally, “the board and the rest of the executive sees low risk with you leaving,” he states.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz

Sign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.

Join us on Facebook.


Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags leadership2ICCIO Agenda 2017C-Suitesuccession planningCIO roleOliver HawkleyKerridge & Partnersdeputy CTOstrategymentorsctodeputy CIO

More about FacebookTwitter

Show Comments

Market Place