Leadership & People

Positive change starts from the top. Great leadership drives teams to succeed, defines a positive culture and inspires the leaders of tomorrow. 

Much is written about what makes a good leader, and no one recipe or formula exists. The challenges facing our current and upcoming leaders vary wildly.

How teams thrive while dealing with internal politics, external ideas and failure are complex challenges every leader must learn to manage. You don’t have to do it alone.

IBRS is comprised of many ex-CIOs with a wealth of knowledge that can provide mentoring and advice to current and aspiring leaders. Our career development, networking and thought leadership resources help leaders solve problems and create workplace cultures geared towards success and satisfaction.

Conclusion: Whilst many organisations in Australia cite the lack of available IT skills to be a threat to their future growth or ability to complete digital transformation initiatives, Australia has a large often untapped pool of potential employees in candidates on the autism spectrum.

It is estimated that around 60 to 80 per cent of employable adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle to find full time or steady employment, and those that do find employment are often underemployed, that is, employed in roles below their educational or professional level1. Recently tech companies have recognised this opportunity, and programs underway in Australia are successfully identifying, recruiting and supporting individuals on the autism spectrum with the potential to excel particularly in testing, data science and cyber security roles. All are high growth areas for employment.

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Related Articles:

"Future-proofing your ICT team: Predictions and mitigation" IBRS, 2018-02-01 10:12:40

"Get serious and make IT staff upskilling a reality" IBRS, 2018-07-05 03:08:00

"Key skills to develop" IBRS, 2018-05-04 18:53:57

Conclusion: The differences in roles and responsibilities between an IT professional and line manager are many and need to be understood quickly by the new managers and their peers. Not only will the understanding help both parties make the appointment work but it will also reinforce the selection panel’s appointment decision.

A new line manager must remember that the behaviour and strategies adopted in the IT professional role are unlikely to guarantee success in the new role. This is because the new role is typically a multi-dimensional one in which there are more stakeholders, outcomes are elusive and feedback is minimal.

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Related Articles:

"Helping technical team leaders succeed" IBRS, 2018-02-01 10:09:58

"Inspirational leadership core qualities and behaviours" IBRS, 2017-11-02 04:18:41

"Leadership is critical to innovation" IBRS, 2017-12-02 06:06:05

Conclusion: The role of being a supportive follower is overlooked as compared against the literature of being a leader. Everyone is a follower, yet by a factor of over 1,000 to 11, information is overwhelmingly written about how to be a better leader rather than about being a follower. As a leader, there are many benefits in identifying traits of what is required in a follower. There is also a strong overlap in the behaviours of being an effective leader as there is in being an effective follower. Both roles are just as important as each other and yield significant benefits to the organisation and individuals when realised.

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Related Articles:

"How to select the best candidate using behavioural interview questions and techniques" IBRS, 2018-03-31 06:59:01

"Inspirational leadership core qualities and behaviours" IBRS, 2017-11-02 04:18:41

"Traits of a successful Chief Technology Officer (CTO)" IBRS, 2017-07-03 23:28:58

Conclusion: Organisations planning to transform their business operations using IT must develop a shared vision of how to use IT to enable the transformation. Failure to provide a vision will frustrate attempts to implement the transform agenda, demotivate employees and, if false starts occur, could adversely impact business relationships with suppliers and clients.

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Related Articles:

"Digital Strategy Part 1: What are the traits of digital leaders?" IBRS, 2018-02-01 10:26:23

"Innovation: Taking action in 2018" IBRS, 2018-08-01 09:14:16

"IT management leadership role in risk management" IBRS, 2018-05-04 18:43:08

"Know how to sell ideas and support the digital strategy" IBRS, 2018-08-01 09:46:03

Conclusion: Being able to deal with workplace conflict quickly and effectively reaps many rewards. There are different strategies that can be used to deal with the differing types of conflict in the workplace. Being mindful that personality classifications are fluid states of being, i. e. there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert1, in a recent survey2, slightly over 50 % of IT professionals classified themselves as introverts, another 20 % as extroverts and a quarter as “ambiverts” (neither one nor the other). So there is also a requirement to be mindful of what strategies work well (or not) with the differing personality traits of all involved at the time.

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Related Articles:

"Benefits of a great working relationship with the CIO" IBRS, 2018-06-01 04:12:19

"Future-proofing your ICT team: Predictions and mitigation" IBRS, 2018-02-01 10:12:40

"Virtual Teams need new skills and behaviours" IBRS, 2017-03-04 16:53:02

 
IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.
 

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Conclusion: Strategic thinking, planning and problem solving often involve bringing together a team of knowledgeable contributors who need to analyse, debate, discuss and decide on key issues around the topic they are trying to address. Mind mapping can be a powerful technique for helping to stimulate the ideas, plan actions, and even communicate the output of the thinking.

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Related Articles:

"Digital transformation: More than a technology project" IBRS, 2018-06-01 04:04:24

"Mind mapping at work Part 1: Core business skills" IBRS, 2018-07-05 03:15:19

"Mind Mapping Practitioners Course" IBRS, 2018-03-04 05:45:02

"Mind mapping software: Going beyond pen and paper" IBRS, 2017-11-02 04:20:45

Conclusion: Organisations are complex and diverse and do not change direction or a business process just because a manager or the Executive think it is a good idea. To sell the idea, managers and staff need insights into the politics, or influence patterns, in the organisation and can align it with a corporate direction, such as the digital (transformation) strategy.

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Related Articles:

"Digital Strategy Part 1: What are the traits of digital leaders?" IBRS, 2018-02-01 10:26:23

"Digital transformation: More than a technology project" IBRS, 2018-06-01 04:04:24

"Innovation: Taking action in 2018" IBRS, 2018-08-01 09:14:16

"Preparing for the shift from digital to AI-enabled transformation" IBRS, 2018-06-01 04:10:21

Conclusion: Innovation is top of mind for many CEOs across Australia. In fact, more than 86% recognise that they need to invest more in R&D and innovation as part of the company strategy. However, there is a significant gap between the aspirations of organisations and the reality of innovation within these companies and entities. Knowing what behaviours should be demonstrating and having a plan will improve the alignment betwee.g.als and achievements. Most CIOs are being asked to drive innovation for the business, yet innovation is still more rhetoric than substance.

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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.

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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.

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Conclusion: Mind mapping is a tool that facilitates “whole-brain” thinking. It is a technique that can be applied to all forms of the thought process, particularly to memory, creativity and learning. Within an organisation, the use of mind mapping as a visual and graphic thinking tool can help improve business processes and practices, solve problems, improve decision making, rethink strategies, set goals or simply improve the day-to-day efficiency of working within the organisation.

By encouraging and training individuals and teams within organisations to utilise mind mapping, organisations can benefit by improving thinking processes and developing daily habits that improve productivity and outcomes.

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Related Articles:

"Mind mapping as a tool for collaboration" IBRS, 2017-10-02 22:48:29

"Mind Mapping Practitioners Course" IBRS, 2018-03-04 05:45:02

"Mind mapping software: Going beyond pen and paper" IBRS, 2017-11-02 04:20:45

Conclusion: The program to upskill IT professionals and managers must be intentional and the results measurable. Unless the program is actively supported by participating line managers and affected staff, it may not meet the vision set in the IT strategic or business operational plan. The IT upskilling program’s initiatives should be presented by the CIO, to the executive or its talent management committee so the results can be applied elsewhere in the organisation.

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Related Articles:

"Demystifying IT workforce planning" IBRS, 2017-11-02 03:50:29

"Future-proofing your ICT team: Predictions and mitigation" IBRS, 2018-02-01 10:12:40

"Helping technical team leaders succeed" IBRS, 2018-02-01 10:09:58

"Recruiting today for tomorrow’s workforce" IBRS, 2018-01-03 05:52:33

Conclusion: Maintaining a good relationship with the CIO provides many benefits to their direct reports. It is more than just being given the opportunity to shine and leading exciting and new innovative initiatives, it is also essential to the well-being of the direct report and keeping them motivated. According to Gallup1, the number one reason why people leave jobs is to escape their manager, so strive to keep the relationship as positive as possible and maintain that trusted engagement with the CIO.

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Conclusion: IT teams across government and industry are facing resource challenges including hiring the right resources with the right skills to add value to the team and support the organisation’s future needs.

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Conclusion: Successful business analysts adapt their working practices to ensure they aid in delivering the best solutions to fit business needs in their pivotal role working with IT teams. This is crucial in small delivery teams and in working with the newer Agile methods of delivery.

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Conclusion: Selecting the most suitable candidate is a critical responsibility. Take the time upfront to prepare for hiring the person required. Choosing the right person will reap rewards in many ways, such as improving the workplace, increasing revenue and a host of other goals.

Conversely, the pain and effort in employing the wrong person can have disastrous consequences in terms of loss of productivity and loss of reputation to the business, and it creates many issues for the team or individual who made that recruitment error.

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Conclusion: Driving cultural change and managing the impact of change across an organisation when implementing a new business application is a key challenge for the leadership, including the CIO. By adopting change management practices, a business can increase its projects’ rate of success and user adoption of the new technology and business processes from 16 % up to 96 %1.

With the implementation of business applications or tools such as a new ERP finance system, HCM/HRIS payroll system or a new CRM system, the business users’ roles and day-to-day business processes can be significantly changed. Assessing and addressing the change impact with the employees during the planning phase and during the project implementation will increase the user adoption rates.

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Many organisations are wanting to drive innovation, encourage creative thinking skills and boost productivity. Mind
Mapping is a proven technique that helps individuals and teams improve their creative thinking skills.
 
This course will help you understand Mind Mapping Skills and how to apply them for work purposes. 

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Conclusion: Growth in ICT remains strong in the foreseeable future in a very competitive market. Successful CIOs and ICT leaders responsible for staffing and sourcing need to adopt multiple strategies to successfully recruit, retain and plan for the resource challenges of tomorrow.

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Conclusion: One of the least understood contributors in implementing IT projects successfully is the leadership provided by competent TTLs (Technical Team Leads). Their ability to steer projects in the right direction, maximise the contribution of team members and cement the relationship with sponsors, is pivotal.

IT professionals, with potential to act as TTLs, must manage their careers by seizing leadership training and mentoring opportunities so they have a head-start when assigned to a TTL role.

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Conclusion: Business and IT professionals struggle with how to frame their message so it engages the reader and has immediate impact. To get the reader’s attention, it is important to pose a business problem, or an unacceptable situation that is pre-occupying the reader, and provide a solution on the same page.

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Conclusion: Most change management processes focus on the traditional approach of identifying problems then analysing the causes of the problems, followed by the identification of possible solutions then arriving at the solution and implementing the same. APIQ focuses on what the organisation does well, then explores and identifies how those strengths and values can be further improved. The results can be dramatic in terms of improving quality of services and products produced, employee satisfaction/engagement and it is also sustainable.

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Conclusion: Organisations are under pressure – pressure to keep limited budgets in check and pressure to deliver more in short time frames. Full time headcount is down and a significant amount of the work undertaken by organisations is project based. This has driven many recruitment practices including the engagement of skilled professionals to deliver on those projects. Induction processes are limited as this is seen as an overhead when it is critical to focus on the desired outcomes. As a result, organisations are limiting their resource pool and the benefit that experience in other sectors can bring. In addition, there is limited focus on what longer-term contribution or skills transfer can be provided for the broader workforce as they transform towards a digital workforce. Unless recruitment and resource management practices change, staff and skills shortages will continue to dominate the CIO risk list.

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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.
 

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Conclusion: The initial gathering of momentum for change is difficult enough to generate, but letting that momentum lapse will make it even more challenging next time to generate the passion and endeavour to improve the modus operandi for the long haul.

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Conclusion: It is difficult to plan when innovation will occur. It is particularly difficult for established organisations to be innovative – they have been successful through sound business practices and an ability to execute, not innovate. Nearly all organisations, both public and private, understand and accept that innovation and the ability to change is critical to success and ongoing viability. However, the very structure of organisations could be killing ideas and management processes can slow change down to a glacial pace. Budget cuts and efficiency measures have largely been focused at the operational level which means that there are less resources to do the same or more work, and then there is the added pressure of being innovative. Real change is effected when the change is applied throughout the organisation, starting at the executive level.

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Conclusion: Mind mapping is a popular technique to assist with the thinking ability of an individual or team, and to help generate ideas and thoughts. Mind maps literally involve “mapping” out thoughts, using associations, connections and triggers to stimulate further ideas.

Whilst traditional mind maps have been drawn on paper, the availability of mind mapping software provides platforms that can be used within organisations to improve the productivity and creativity of individuals and teams. Additionally, it is possible to do things with digital mind maps that are not possible with a hand-drawn diagram, especially in the area of team collaboration, dynamic links and exporting to other formats such as presentations, websites or project plans.

Standardising on a particular mind mapping application can provide a powerful collaboration tool for all employees in the organisation1. With so many choices available, organisations should define their needs and select an application that best integrates with how they expect to deploy mind mapping.

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Conclusion: The ability to inspire as a leader is becoming more recognised as a core management and leadership skill. What does not change overnight are the most innermost core values of how an inspirational leader behaves. Through their leadership they inspire others to perform and succeed, making a positive difference not just internally within the organisation, but also with every employee who has been touched by their inspirational abilities.

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Conclusion: One of the objectives of an IT workforce plan is to maximise the use of the skilled IT professionals and project managers and minimise their idle time. Managing the IT workforce plan is a complex task in most organisations as skill levels required may vary by project and by operational support roles.

To be successful, the manager of the plan must maintain a current and accurate skills inventory to assign the right IT professional(s) to the role. The manager also needs to ensure the role is correctly specified so an inexperienced IT professional is not assigned when an experienced one is needed.

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Conclusion: IT professionals who operate in a structured and predictable environment could find the role change to that of an IT manager more challenging than they had anticipated, as it typically requires a mind-set change from completing one or two tasks to managing people. To avoid disappointment, senior management must help new IT managers make the transition and cope with the nuances of the role.

To help them succeed, assign other IT managers, who have made the transition, to coach them. In this way they can learn how to act out the new role and come to grips with the politics of the organisation, or spheres of influence, and know how to interpret business priorities.

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Conclusion: Mind mapping is used broadly throughout the world as a technique for improving creativity, problem solving, organising, planning, learning and collaborating. It can be used effectively to help an individual with their personal productivity, and importantly it can help teams and whole organisations.

If organisations are going to embrace mind mapping and encourage employees to utilise this proven technique, then it should manage the rollout like it would for any other major new initiative. A specific training program needs to be utilised, and if software is to be used to enable collaboration via Mind Maps, the organisation will need to determine an approach and evaluate potential applications from the growing list of mind mapping applications becoming available.

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Conclusion: Effective ICT project managers are essential to the successful running of any ICT-led change initiative. They provide a necessary level of trust and confidence to the CIO and are a key resource for any effective CIO running a large mix of ongoing and change initiatives.

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Conclusion: In organisations across Australia, there is a push for digital and business transformation. Many of these same organisations utilise business analysis in a traditional way which results in the standard capture of requirements and the conversion of requirements into system specifications without really challenging business processes. In addition, there is often a trend of allocating too many responsibilities to a single role and not providing appropriate authority to the role of rigorously analysing processes, systems and requirements, which will impact on many digital transformation activities.

Business Transformation needs comprehensive analysis and a complete reassessment of the process or analysis with a capital “A”. Failure to objectively and fearlessly review and remove outdated processes and system functions will result in a failure to appropriately transform the business for the future.

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As technology executives in councils drive to innovate services in their communities they face specific challenges. 

Over 2016-2017, IBRS surveyed CIOs in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria in order to understand how the winds of change are affecting local government’s frontline professionals.

The results are in this 22-page report, together with IBRS’s recommendations. Additionally, this report reveals the potential for ICT vendors in the local government sector.

This is a must read report for IT stakeholders involved in local government

 What you will discover in the report:

  • IT Management Priorities of other CIOs and skills needed to transform client services
  • Innovation and digital transformation initiatives being pursued by Councils
  • Why focusing on reducing IT costs is a low priority and potentially counter-productive
  • Why it is important to identify and grow the capabilities of business analysts and their line managers
  • And for vendors: how to establish mutually beneficial relationships with Councils

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Conclusion: CTOs need to balance natural technical strengths with traditional leadership skills such as strategic thinking and empathy with others to be initially recruited and then remain as successful CTOs.

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Conclusion: User Centred Design (UCD) and Design Thinking are terms that are often used interchangeably. However, each approach is better suited to different scenarios and understanding the strengths and focus of each approach enables organisations to build capability and processes that leverage the opportunities presented by each to maximise service innovation and new product service design. While often used as approaches to identify and design products and services with a technology focus, they are in no way limited to technology elements. Not only is it important to leverage the most appropriate approach but organisations also need to build and apply skills and knowledgeable internal resources in the most effective manner to yield the expected results from these experiential methods.

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Conclusion: It is not enough to just work hard and deliver results, although these are essential qualities to get noticed. To obtain that elusive CIO job and then keep it requires more ongoing effort and vigilance negotiating, monitoring and engaging at executive levels.

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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.

Read more ...

Conclusion: Leaders play an integral role in setting the team or office culture which, if positive, improves the effectiveness and performance of that team. Be patient as it takes time to turn around a suffering team, even if they are recruited to transform and instil positive cultural change.

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