Are you planning to return your full IT staff to the office post-COVID or increase your percentage of remote workers, permanently?
Registration is open until June 30th - have you signed up? It’s clear that we won’t be able to have our annual wine dinner in person this year, but we’re not going to let that stop us from celebrating together! We are actively working with Chef Anna Rendon, owner of ChiquiChef, and Andy Meyrowitz, Manager at The Wine Harvest, to develop a menu of heavy appetizers and desserts, paired with 2 different wines. The food and wine will be enough for you and one guest, and it will be available for pickup at the Wine Harvest in Potomac, MD on Saturday, July 18th. We will come together virtually that evening, where Anna and Andy will guide us through the menu as we catch up as a community. This is open to all current members in good standing (if you still haven’t renewed for the year, we encourage you to do that ASAP so you don’t miss the registration window). Specifics around the menu and logistics will be communicated shortly. Be sure to register so you not miss this one. Register Now To Attend!
Join us for our next CxO breakfast in the summer series focused on re-starting business in the new "Post Pandemic Norm". This month we will be discussing End Point Management and End User Support as remote workforce is likely to be more than just a temporary situation. Leveraging each of our experiences will certainly spark some interesting conversation around technology and support moving forward. The concept of VDI as new IT norm is not so far fetched anymore. You won’t want to miss this discussion - register today!
1. Over the course of your consulting career, you've had the opportunity to guide technology executives and their teams as they strategically plan, manage change, build high functioning teams, and create the organizational alignment necessary to succeed. Could you share a little bit more about your consulting practice and the work you do?
Over the course of my career, I have had the privilege of helping executives, including technology executives, as they set their visions and strategies with their leadership teams and then built cascading high functioning teams throughout the IT organization and across the corporation. In some cases, the CIO received a mandate from the CEO to leverage technology leaders in highly decentralized and geographically dispersed organizations to gain efficiencies and greater synergies across the corporation. In others, new CIOs were hired to leverage IT capabilities to create new products and services that would enhance competitive positions. In yet others, executives sought to change their organizations' culture to be more customer-focused, results-focused, agile, and learning-based. I've also worked with executives who needed to change their product and service mix to better reflect and anticipate market developments.
2. The pandemic and sudden shift to remote work have changed the way we all work. In your opinion, does that make it harder for senior technology executives to lead their teams and peers? What are you telling your clients who are leading strategic change during this trying time? I'm surprised at how well executives and others are adjusting to remote work. Even those who thought it couldn't be done have found that productivity has risen. And that's despite the fact that so many people are faced with juggling work as well as family responsibilities, including helping with school assignments. Surprisingly, the pandemic is causing senior technology executives to get to know their staff better. There is a sense that we're all in this together that's bringing people who work together closer and keeping them more focused on how best to stabilize core operations while learning what works and anticipating future opportunities. Leaders who were previously reluctant to let people work from home are rethinking that concern. How do you really know how productive people are on site? Do those who look busy at their desks or in their offices show results? When it comes down to it, it's forcing us to define the outcomes we seek and measure people accordingly.
3. You are also the Director of SIM's APC and the Facilitator for SIM's Mid-Atlantic Regional Leadership Forum. For our members who aren’t that familiar with either of these offerings, could you provide a quick overview?
SIM's Advanced Practices Council is a special program for senior technology executives who believe they have the power to transform their firms by learning from the world's leading researchers and each other how to successfully leverage digital technology. Members value the unique group of members across industries who are very smart, experienced, and generous in sharing their good practices as well as lessons learned. Members also value the independent research conducted by the world's best researchers on topics selected by members. And members value the no-sales intimate environment we have created. Participants build deep and lasting relationships with each other and the researchers that strengthens the value they bring to their organizations as business leaders.
SIM's Mid-Atlantic Regional Leadership Forum is a 10-month program for high-potential technology leaders (already vice presidents, directors and managers in their organizations). They are selected by their sponsors to enhance their leadership capabilities through the program. They learn about themselves, their goals and strengths, their impact on others, how to initiate and execute change that succeeds, and how to build high-performing teams. The program is deeply introspective and interactive. I'm amazed at how many graduates say the program changed their lives. 4. As part of APC's Leading-Edge Research Series, we see that you’ll be interviewing Dr. Daniel Conway, Associate Director of the Blockchain Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas, on June 26th. Given your research, how do you think Blockchain will impact our world and organizations over the next 5 to 10 years? Also, what should technology executives be doing today to make sure their organizations are ready?
In the last year or so, the Advanced Practices Council has hosted two blockchain researchers - Dr. Mary Lacity and Dr. Dan Conway - both at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. The connection to Walmart shouldn't be overlooked. Dan sees us moving towards an Internet of Value that allows us to seamlessly transact value - money, goods, services and other assets - over the Internet across organizational boundaries without relying on trusted third parties. Blockchain provides a foundation for building the Internet of Value and has the potential not only to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of transactions, but to disintermediate industries in unforeseen ways.
The Covid-19 pandemic will likely push through current obstacles to blockchain adoption in the U.S. because the virus has revealed weaknesses in our supply chains, our inability to deploy resources where they are most needed to address the pandemic, and difficulties in capturing and sharing the data needed to make rapid decisions in managing it. Blockchain solutions that have been under development for years have been repurposed and unleashed to address these challenges. Mary Lacity pointed out in a recent article that many organizations involved with healthcare are partnering with tech companies to build the blockchain-based open data hub called MiPasa to detect Covid-19 carriers and infection hotspots around the world. By allowing global health organizations and companies to securely collaborate and share information while assuring robust privacy protection, MiPasa should become an important tool in helping to control the epidemic.
How can technology executives prepare for future uses of blockchain - possibly to gain future competitive advantage and even disintermediate their industry? They can begin by continuing down the path of creating adaptive, customer focused organizations open to possible strategic moves. They can also stay up-to-date on blockchain initiatives as well as the many other technologies that can leverage innovation by joining the Advanced Practices Council. 5. You have been a long-time SIM member. From your perspective, what is the primary value proposition of SIM membership, and what would you say to other senior technology executives that are considering membership (especially to those in the Capital Area)? I could never repay my debt to SIM. A large part of my career can be traced to SIM. A chance meeting in the Women's Room with the speaker at a local chapter event led to my first consulting assignment at The World Bank. It was a stepping stone to so many others at The World Bank for over 30 years. The mentorship of a few more senior SIM Capital Area chapter members led to my becoming chapter president, then SIM National board member, then SIM National chair of strategy planning, then Advanced Practices Council Director, and then facilitator of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Leadership Forum. And each of these positions led to so many other career opportunities. I've met and worked with wonderful people along the way.
SIM connections can be priceless if you put in the time to make a contribution to SIM and its members.
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