Change Management / Interviews

A union I.T. transformer

Overcoming the disparity in the IT literacy rate among members of an organisation is a challenging issue. Would having various applications for differing IT proficiency levels be the best solution in the long run? Improving internal user satisfaction ranked as a key management priority in our State of the Asian CIO 2007 study, and the NTUC's Martin Tsang outlines some key strategies to achieve this.
Overcoming the disparity in the IT literacy rate among members of an organisation is a challenging issue. Would having various applications for differing IT proficiency levels be the best solution in the long run? Improving internal user satisfaction ranked as a key management priority in our State of the Asian CIO 2007 study, and the NTUC's Martin Tsang outlines some key strategies to achieve this.

Written by Melissa Chua09 Jan. 08 22:00

High performing CIO

Perhaps the most striking thing about Sabrina Walsh's achievements at Queensland Health is that her chief information officer role there was her first job in IT.
Most CIOs work their way up through the ranks of their IT departments to get to the top, but Walsh took an alternative path. Originally trained as a psychologist, she worked in Queensland Health for a number of years and ended up managing hospitals and health districts rather than following the clinical path.

Written by Renai LeMay05 Jan. 08 22:00

A change agent and I.T. business builder

Waleed Hanafi, as a CIO, is an agent of change and definitely way more a businessman than a technician. When he came into the Global Refund Group, it did not have a specific IT department and he has since been focused on building one from the ground up.
Global Refund is an international supplier of financial services for the merchant market and its interactions with foreign customers. The Group now has local presence in 37 countries, with more than 200 international Cash Refund offices on four continents, supporting clients in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Written by Ross O. Storey and Jack Loo31 Dec. 07 22:00

Profiles in leadership

Leading change effectively
Andrew Diver, manager, systems development and programme management, Vero Insurance

Written by Divina Paredes29 Dec. 07 22:00

A bright future

It has been said that the hallmark of a good executive is the ability to create a department so effective and well run that he or she ultimately becomes redundant. While that may be a depressing thought for some, it was an approach that led to Richard Deck taking the step up into a chief information officer role in early 2007, and he hasn't looked back.
This time last year, Deck was coming to the end of his tenure as chief IT architect and strategist at AGL, where he worked for a former MIS CIO of the year, Cesare Tizi (MIS is a sister publication of CIO New Zealand). Charged with the responsibility of taking a lead in developing a long-term IT strategy and solving AGL's complex billing and call centre problems, he successfully implemented a new direction that was strongly focused on outsourcing.

Written by Paul Smith15 Dec. 07 22:00

Patience is key to lasting solutions

Vodafone's chief technology officer, Andy Reeves, has been looking forward to this Christmas for a long time. Early in 2005 he set out to conduct a comprehensive overhaul of the company's billing, financial, provisioning and mediation systems.
Having been through similar projects previously, Reeves was keen to set a realistic deadline, and Christmas 2007 was locked in as the date by which everything would be done.

Written by Jeanne-Vida Douglas07 Dec. 07 22:00

Changing spaces

When the New Zealand Defence Force moved to a new building in Wellington after 60 years working from its former premises, three people walked off the job on the first day. Richard Hitchcock, senior project manager for IT and Telephony, says when changing premises and associated ICT systems it pays not to underestimate the effect on individuals.
“We had some big HR change management issues from day one. Sixteen people had to take time off within two months as a result of hip problems caused by the move from a wooden-floored workplace to carpet and concrete. And as a result of the new open plan office and a new interaction of military and civilian staff, three people simply didn’t turn up for work again,” says Hitchcock.

Written by Vikki Bland and Ulrika Hedquist05 Dec. 07 22:00

Change for the better

Round the table
* Michael Harte, CIO, Commonwealth Bank

Written by Edited by Paul Smith07 Nov. 07 22:00

The way back for Big Blue

How do you zap some energy back into a fading giant?
IBM Australia and NZ chief Glen Boreham reckons it calls for an unconventional approach. His collaborative style of leadership has been instrumental in IBM's recent turnaround in Australia. But he also disavows the long-held management mantra that you should avoid change for change's sake.

Written by Emma Connors26 Oct. 07 21:00

CIOs chug through bankruptcy

Bette Walker wouldn't wish corporate bankruptcy protection on anyone. But by managing her team during Delphi Corp.'s, two years under Chapter 11, Walker, the company's CIO, now knows more about her people and herself. She learned who she can count on. And her education began with frank talk from one of her toughest competitors.
Delphi, a US$26 billion spin-off of General Motors, entered chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2005, with costs up and profits down for several years after 9/11.

Written by Kim S. Nash07 Oct. 07 21:00

A tale of innovation and disruption

It was the best of times. And then, all of a sudden, it wasn't.
"We had just gotten over Y2K. And the dotcom boom and bust. And then came...the disillusionment," recalls John Doucette, CIO of United Technologies. "It was a depressing couple of years to be in IT," says Doucette, who took over the high-tech and aerospace conglomerate's IT helm in 2000. "There wasn't that much innovation in software and hardware. Security wasn't there. People weren't focused on the business." And CIOs, who had surfed so high on the frothy Internet-driven economic waves of the late 1990s, had come crashing back to earth.

Written by Thomas Wailgum06 Oct. 07 22:00

Puttin’ on the Ritz

The hours were long, and the work was hard. Attention to detail was very important. Our clients paid a lot for our services and they knew it. They expected the best from us.
They expected us to know their names, their favorite things - even their allergies. The customer never had to ask for something twice. Anticipating their needs always meant extra points! In fact, when we knew one of our best clients was coming over, we knew exactly where to seat him, if he preferred bottled or tap water and whether or not we should let our senior manager know so he could come over and greet him personally. Those were the days when customer service mattered. Quality management (QM) wasn't just jargon but was part of every step in the process. You could literally live it. Those were my good old days bussing tables at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago.

Written by Edgar I. Sanchez30 Aug. 07 22:00

Complements can pay

Talks by writers, artists and thinkers are now common. But 17 years ago, bookseller Dymocks broke ground by hosting lunches and wine-and-cheese evenings fronted by popular authors spruiking their newest release. Their initial appeal has endured, with each event today attracting between 300 and 1000 fans, according to Dymocks chief executive Don Grover.
Literary events are an example of what economists call a "complement" to books: The more literary events people attend, the more books they tend to buy. Grover agrees this link is behind the Dymocks program. "It is absolutely a commercially sensible thing to do," he says. Discount chains such as Kmart and Target will always offer bestsellers at a lower price, so literary events help to build a class of book buyer who values the wider range available at Dymocks.

Written by Anthony Sibillin29 Aug. 07 22:00

CIOs impress with change focus

Keeping the data flowing and the BlackBerry devices working is no longer enough for chief information officers. They now also have to engineer organisational change to impress the boss.
Research by MIT's Sloan School of Management has discovered links between a company's financial performance and the way its executives view the CIO role.

Written by Emma Connors29 Aug. 07 22:00

Leading IT down the road to change

Although I was hired by YRC Worldwide nearly two years ago to create a strategy to drive innovation, I quickly realized that there was more work to do within IT than just creating a strategy. In the wake of the merger of Yellow Freight, Roadway and USF, the IT groups from our three companies operating in multiple locations had been merged into one unit but had yet to jell into a cohesive team. Adding to the stress from its change of identity, the group had to develop an application road map for the merged organisation that would modernize and simplify the application portfolio. Only then would we be able to free up the resources needed to focus on innovation and driving growth. The IT transformation is the biggest change effort ever seen within IT, ultimately involving hundreds of people.
The size and scope of such a task requires change leadership from the CIO. I have to be actively involved, and it's a tough balancing act. I've been spending between 20 to 30 per cent of my time as the hands-on manager of our change initiatives during the past 18 months while at the same time fulfilling my strategic role.

Written by Michael Rapken19 July 07 22:00