Next week I'm being introduced to the team that supports one of our high flying CIO 100 members to discuss their development towards becoming the next generation of CIO. Over the coming months CIO UK plans to once again look closely at the importance of ensuring there is always new blood coming into the CIO community.
As well as a feature on this team that are just inches away from becoming CIOs we will be releasing a set of videos featuring Tom O'Brien, the young winner of a hack day put on by the former CIO of Suffolk County Council, Mark Adams-Wright.
Travelling the CIO community I get the impression there is a demand in all organisations for increased productivity and activity; I shy away from calling this a return to economic health as there are too many threats to its stability on the horizon. Increased activity means organisations are going to find they need a wealth of talent, especially in leadership roles to meet new challenges. This is why it’s important for every organisation and CIO to ensure the next generation of CIO is ready and waiting to take up the cudgels.
Recruitment is one of my least favourite activities in my role as an Editor. Finding new members of your team is time consuming, often expensive, draining and incredibly damaging if a mistake is made. When I look back at my career as an Editor, all my most successful editorial recruitments have been through an internal process. That is not to say external recruitment has been a failure, rather that internal recruitment enables both parties to know about the culture and strategy of the team you are leading and therefore begin contributing value from the outset. Part of that value contribution is also building a narrative that your organisation offers potential personal development. As senior leaders in organisations it is not our place to protect our roles - despite our personal needs of mortgages, kids and expensive hobbies! Our role is developing the organisation so that it is sustainable to the point of offering new challenges and opportunities to those that report to us.
One of the fascinating challenges for me is communicating to teams that their opportunity is not a linear process of replacing me when I shuffle off the mortal coil, but for their horizons and skills to expand. In the media that no longer means progressing from reporter to Deputy Editor and then Editor, but instead developing skills in audience creation, analysis, event management and interviewing.
Just as CIOs need to be constantly aware of the changes to consumer behaviour as a result of technology and be ready to adopt new applications and processes, so too must our teams and the skills within them change to the needs of the time. We have a chronic shortage of business and data analysts, mobile and App developers are thin on the ground and some sectors are desperate for agile project leaders.
Developing the next generation of leader isn't just about the youth within your team, important though that is – it’s about spotting the skills and attitudes that deliver benefits and ensuring they are promoted and prosper. Diversity in the workforce is also incredibly important as your organisation's customer base will feature increasing numbers of ethnicities and women. The next generation challenge is one we all face and have to play a part in.