CIOs and the Challenge of Organisational Leadership Development

CIOs have a clear vision for there is organisation but lack confidence in the ability of their department to deliver the plans, new research reveals. CIO Connect, the networking organisation representing the majority of CIOs at the UK's top 250 FTSE companies, carried out the research to understand the development challenges facing today's IS organisations.

More than 83% of CIOs said they had excellent or good clarity of vision for there is organisations but only 58% felt they had the same clarity of plans to deliver the vision and only 45% reported they were in an excellent or good position to deliver on the plans.

The commitment to training and development was clear with 100% of CIOs stating it was important to have plans in place for both the CIO and their team and 68% reporting that their teams had benefited from previous development programmes. However, the gulf between intention and action became clear when just 52% rated their existing plans as very good or good and 14% said they were inadequate.

CIOs believed that the most critical elements in delivering the IS organisation's vision were building a team with excellent leadership capabilities (79%), good relationships with other parts of the business (79%) and a leadership team that functions as an effective team (68%). This was backed-up with 79% of CIOs voting that having an adequate budget was also very important.

CIO's believe the priorities for development in their team should be the next generation of CIOs (53%) followed by those taking on leadership roles for the first time (35%). When it came to their direct reports, the CIOs felt their number one development need was the ability to improve results delivery (52%).

None of the 28 CIOs questioned believed they were a priority for development, with 62% saying they were the lowest priority level. However, when they did consider their own development needs, 46% believed influencing their senior boardroom colleagues and building commitment to IS across the organisation was the priority for their personal development.

"Our research identifies an important issue for many of the respondents that whilst clear on direction there is a lack of confidence in the ability of the IS team to deliver on that vision", commented Alistair Russell, CIO Connect Development Director. "Also, given that the behaviour modelled by the leader has a very powerful influence, it was worrying to see so many CIOs putting themselves at the bottom of the priority list when it came to leadership development. In our experience, the Vanguard CIOs recognise that there is a clear link between an IS strategic vision, training and development and a high performing CIO team. Our profession must embrace this philosophy and put it into practice if we are to deliver on the potential of the opportunity that we have."

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