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Stories by Divina Paredes

Our panel of ten

Garth Biggs is the executive director of HiGrowth Project, which has just released the first ICT Industry Map, a survey of 400 ICT companies in New Zealand. The survey, carried out by IDC, was a joint initiative with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Microsoft New Zealand.
The map will provide the "reality" in which business and government can underpin strategic and policy decisions for the sector in the next two years, says Biggs, who has over 30 years in IS leadership roles. He was chief executive at Gen-i and CIO of Air New Zealand, Progressive Enterprises and Sky Television.

Written by Divina Paredes30 April 06 22:00

Are you a 'synthesising leader'?

It refers to a leader who has the ability to "decide which data to heed, which to ignore, and how to organise and communicate the information". HBR says it is one the most important traits for business executives in the 21st century.
But haven't we known this all along? Are we not referring to the "skill of synthesis", as HBR puts it, when we talk about wading through the information overload, separating the wheat from the chaff or seeing the forest through the trees? These are all clichés now so this particular skill is something we have been aiming for quite some time now.

Written by Divina Paredes30 April 06 22:00

Reading room

Steve Johansen, chief information officer, Port of Napier, explains why you should read Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People's Minds by Howard Gardner (Harvard Business School Press, March 2004).
"Every one of us, not only in our roles as IT leaders, but as valued members of society, occasionally find it necessary to try and talk colleagues, customers, friends and family around to our point of view. And it's not easy. So, how does a leader change the mind of employees, customers or other stakeholders? Or, more importantly, how does a leader change his or her own mind?

Written by Divina Paredes31 March 06 23:00

Diversity at work

Sumit Arora migrated to New Zealand in 2002, hopeful of landing a job in IT. He had completed a computer technology course in India, and was an Oracle certified programmer.
Prior to coming to Auckland, he applied for jobs online through recruitment firms and was told they needed to interview him personally. "But when I came over, it was totally different. Not even a single consultant interviewed me."

Written by Divina Paredes31 March 06 23:00

Bridging a disconnect

"Marketing has ideas and wants to react immediately. IT likes to plan and need time to do things."
"Marketing often doesn't consider the costs."

Written by Divina Paredes31 March 06 23:00

On the leading edge

Scott Houston laughs when asked whether he is a "power hungry executive". "Power processing hungry," he clarifies.
These words aptly describe Houston, who heads the New Zealand Supercomputing Centre (NZSC), now one of the largest commercially available supercomputing clusters in the Southern Hemisphere.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Jan. 06 22:00

Facing the upstarts

"It gives us a lot of flexibility," says Simon Hull, managing director of the labour hire firm. "We open new branches pretty quickly and it has given us a reasonably seamless changeover. It is just running in the main server and all you need is to get another computer up and running and there it is."
Hull strongly supports a web-based approach for a multi-site business like Allied Workforce. "With this system, we can run our business from almost anywhere, using just a web browser."

Written by Divina Paredes30 Jan. 06 22:00

The CIOs of tomorrow

These days it has almost become a mantra for networked organisations to be nimble, ready to adjust to the ever changing needs of the marketplace and stakeholders, while ensuring the foundations for long-term growth.
But how about transposing this philosophy to another area close to the hearts and minds of today's contemporary IS executives - their career?

Written by Divina Paredes30 Jan. 06 22:00

Acts of compliance

By 2007 at the latest, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) will take effect in New Zealand.
IFRS, developed by the London-based International Accounting Standards Board, is a major step to globally harmonise accounting standards.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Oct. 05 22:00

Leading the way

Deconstructing leadership - what constitutes it, who has it - is a subjective process.
But four months ago, at the Wellesley Club in Wellington, this writer experienced leadership personified.

Written by Divina Paredes30 Sept. 05 22:00

No holds barred

Marcel van den Assum says the meeting starts middle of the afternoon, ends two hours later, and "concludes with a few drinks if it works out, [as] it normally does".
"We present to them collectively our direction, our priorities, our road map." An open forum follows, and sometimes a debate.

Written by Divina Paredes31 Aug. 05 22:00

Putting IT together

On acquiring and being acquired

Written by Divina Paredes31 Aug. 05 22:00

The new agenda setter

Marcel van den Assum, Fonterra: One of the most important aspects of governance pertaining to IS, is alignment within the organisation through different governance structures.
Or, to put it more specifically, alignment of governance structures. For example if you're developing a corporate culture, corporate values, it's vitally important that that culture, those values, are understood in the context of IS governance.

Written by Divina Paredes31 July 05 22:00