Have you asked for funding towards leadership development in your company recently? Were you laughed out of the CEO's office? Truth is, the economy isn't affording anyone the chance to put money in anything other than daily, money generating work, even if that money would go towards making the company more efficient in leadership and in optimization. So how do you develop your IT leadership when the board isn't willing to put up the money? This post found in the CIO Journal by Deloitte features a few suggestions on how to identify the critical roles in your organization to drive more value. It comes down to identifying the critical areas in IT that provide the most value to the business. Knowing those areas lets you know what employees are involved, and which ones you should be focused on for leadership development. Citing the insight of Neil Neveras (U.S. leader of Deloitte Consulting LLP's Leadership Development and Succession practice), the article expresses the importance of also focusing in on business relationship managers. Since they are the face of IT to business, they need to be as sharp as possible in communication and consensus-building. They also need to talk the talk of business in regards to understanding strategy and how IT can help them achieve that strategy. CIOs, according to Neveras, need to then help their top performers in getting sponsorship from the senior teams:
Once CIOs have used assessments to identify their high performers, Neveras recommends that CIOs assist top performers in getting stretch assignments and sponsorship from the senior team. “It's important not to focus exclusively on training programs,” he says. “Experience is the preferred method for development, and experiences are assets already on your balance sheet, so there's little additional cost to CIOs, provided they are systematic and deliberate about which experiences will offer the right development opportunities for each individual.
“ Finding the right employees, the highest performing and the most engaged, can make expenses on leadership development pay of much more than just generalized, non-specific training for all employees. In this way CIOs can get the most measurable return.