Saturday, 1 January 2011

A helicopter view of the MIL

First of all, happy new year and hoping for a great 2011!

As should be obvious to readers of this blog, the Master of Information Leadership (MIL) is an executive masters degree specifically designed for experienced IT and information professionals who aspire to leadership positions such as Chief Information Officer.  The challenges that information leaders face cross traditional disciplines; the role is more than purely technological or managerial: it also brings in issues from law and social sciences.  The content of the MIL can be arranged around five themes (below). More information on the details can be found on the official MIL webpages.
  • Role and Context (2 modules, 4 weekends)
  • Strategic Change and Transformation (2 modules, 4 weekends)
  • Delivery (2 modules, 4 weekends)
  • Stewardship (2 modules, 4 weekends)
  • Leadership (one module, 4 weekends)
The capstone is an Individual Project usual in a masters degree. We feel that generalist management offerings such as MBAs, though excellent in their own right, do not cover the specific range of skills needed for a CIO position (I'll write on this more in the future).

The design of the MIL is focused on combining professional experience and academic theory - I'll probably discuss this further in later posting but suffice it to say that the MIL includes aspects of both executive masters delivery and coaching.

The two cornerstones of the course are the study weekend, and the syndicate groups. The group is the base unit of learning in the MIL (we induct students as groups). These groups allow exchange of experience as well as a tight-knit peer support network. We also share across groups in the feedback sessions each weekend.

The MIL study weekends are delivered in London – Europe’s IT capital – at the Cass Business School, making it a convenient venue for professionals who may have to work on multiple sites (except for the September Professional Training weekends that take place outside City). The MIL is part-time over 28 months, over 10 weekends each year, so allowing students to fit it in with their work commitments.

So what happens during a typical study weekend?  Just over half the time comprises seminar presentations from experts within City and the CIO community to provide a theoretical underpinning, and how information leaders put this into practice. Each weekend will also feature a syndicate group task to give a firm grounding of the issues covered based on a practical case study; groups report back by presentation at the end of the weekend. We give feedback to all groups together and record the presentations for later reflection.

We support the MIL between the study weekends by online (and sometime on-site) tutorials, discussion boards and a dedicated course director to assist you with a take-home assignment to complete for the next residential weekend. The typical 2000-word take-home assignments comprise a list of assignment titles (students chose one) that requires students to focus on an issue raised in he weekend in depth, research and incorporate the academic and professional literature, and reflect that upon their experience. The blending of the evidence base with professional experience to produce a focused argument aims, with the academic support, to drive learning and its immediate application in the MIL student's current role.

Hopefully the postings later will make more sense now!

No comments: