Leading change effectively
Andrew Diver, manager, systems development and programme management, Vero Insurance
Stories by Divina Paredes
Leading change effectively
Leadership is a dance, in which leaders and followers jointly respond to the rhythm and call of a particular social context, within which leaders draw from wells of collective experience and energy, to engage followers around transforming visions of change and lead them in the collective creation of compelling futures.
Air New Zealand CIO Julia Raue cited this quote from The Dance of Leadership by Peter Cammock in her opening keynote at the CIO Conference 2007.
Former Prime Minister David Lange once said New Zealand's destiny was to be a theme park (and Australia's, a quarry). “We can surely think and act beyond that,” states Dr Paul Callaghan, the Alan MacDiarmid professor of physical sciences at the Victoria University of Wellington.
Callaghan, who spoke on the topic Beyond the Farm and the Theme Park during the recent CIO Leaders’ Luncheons in Auckland and Wellington, says if New Zealand is to generate more wealth without creating further impact on the land and the environment, a path we should consider carving out is “high technology”.
But even then, the man who led Team New Zealand to America’s Cup victory and selflessly used his high profile to champion the environment, said the things that make a leader are “probably undefinable qualities” and include the “little things” that rally the team to success.
I really liked what he said about looking at mistakes as part of learning. “That is the only way you can get better and better,” he said, “And if you are not prepared to make a mistake, well, you are not gonna make anything.”
The list of companies comprising the Strategic 100 — whether they are in the New Zealand 25, Global 50 or Rising Stars 25 — is an indication, even a barometer, of how competitive the ICT landscape is.
It also demonstrates how the key players have to be prepared to constantly reposition themselves, change course or be ready to acquire a rival firm — if they want to stay in the game and hold or increase their share of the market.
A growing number of IT executives find their role now encompasses focusing on the external customers.
This necessitates working closely with the other business units to ensure end customers have consistent, positive experiences with which ever channel they use to interact with the company.
A crucial aspect to women continuing to work in ICT is having a manager sympathetic to their needs, according to a new global survey on women in technology.
The respondents, including New Zealand ICT professionals, say even when an employer has the right policies, implementing them can be problematic. Says one respondent: “Flexible working and job share would help, but it’s up to the manager’s discretion after maternity and a lot of them say ‘No, you need to be here full-time and work extra hours’.”
Forrester says ‘invisible IT’ comes in two forms – shadow IT systems implemented in business units outside of IT’s sight; and the unplanned, untracked and unmanaged requests of IT.
Invisible IT results from a lack of process and discipline by both IT and end users when it comes to requesting and providing IT resources, notes analyst Craig Symons in a recent Forrester report. By extending IT governance beyond strategic requests to tactical requests, through service portfolio management and a service catalogue, IT can ensure all its efforts are tracked and managed, bringing a clear picture of IT demand.
At the height of its colonial power, with Queen Victoria on the throne, the sun never set on the British Empire.
In our modern times, in the era of a globalised marketplace, there are chief information officers who can correctly state the sun never sets on their domains.
“Walking to the office, the pub,” is how Donald Horsburgh describes his fitness regimen as IT manager at Number 10 Downing Street more than 10 years ago. “That was as good as it gets.”
These days, though, there is no escaping from the gym for Horsburgh, who now heads IT at health and fitness company Les Mills.
Doug Wilson had missed the iconic rite of passage for young Kiwi adults — the great overseas experience.
Eventually he did do an ‘OE’ of sorts, but he didn’t leave New Zealand and it took place in the middle of his career, just after he left Wang (now Gen-i) as chief executive.
For the fourth year, the University of Auckland is the biggest ICT user organisation in New Zealand.
As in previous MIS100s, government and defence and education services comprise more than half the organisations.
More than a year ago, Peter Burggraaff met the representatives of HCL as CIO of Farmers when the outsourcing company bid for a contract with the retail group.
HCL did not get the contract, but Burggraaff stayed in touch with them. “I felt they had a huge potential in a country like this.”
A company ‘disestablishes’ the CIO position and splits the role into two – both a rung lower than the CIO and reporting to the CFO, who once had the CIO as a direct report.
A CIO is made redundant, resigns or takes another position in the company and is not replaced. An IT director may be appointed but does not have the same access or strategic responsibilities of the former CIO. The company may or may not hire a CIO in the near future.
Greg James was on sabbatical following a year-long assignment in Europe with the New Zealand Dairy Board, when he was offered to head what he describes as a "small business initiative"called Jedi. The call came from an executive of the then newly-formed Fonterra, and the job was director of the dairy group's biggest business transformation program to date.