Thursday, 6 January 2011

MIL: The Information Leader in Organisations and the Opening Talk (Sat 2 October 2010)

The MIL is designed to allow modules to be delivered in any order. However since we are starting with a first cohort we commenced with The Information Leader in Organisations (ILO). This is one of two modules below consider the role of the information leader in context, both with organisations and in wider society.

The aim of this module is to examine the role of the information leader past present and future and to provide a conceptual framework to understand how the role of the leader has evolved. We look at the CIO and their role and how the information function works in organizations in both strategic and operational terms. As the MIL is thematic, this means at supporting issues such a financial accounting, boards, as well as look at the CIO’s team and talent management (more on that in later postings).

As I was staying with the inducted MIL students I met them for breakfast and then we arrived at the Cass Business School building together and got coffee...:-)

The MIL weekend starts with a course director's session that sets the scene for the weekend. It is also where the syndicate group task is handed out and any logistics/announcements happen. I won't go into detail about what I said but suffice it to say it involved a Dirty Harry clip and the fact that in the early 20th century 'information officer' meant propagandist!

The opening talk was somewhat of a surprise. I wanted the students to appreciate one important fact: there is now right to the CIO/information leader role and if information leaders don't deliver value to their organisations then their role will become redundant. Needless to say I feel the role has an important future in society, but it is one we need to earn.

Therefore we were glad to host Jem Eskenasi, CIO of Groupama. Jem has written on whether the CIO will become an endangered species. This talk looked at the changes going on in the industry, the commoditisation of technology, and drew on the work of Nick Carr and others. I think the students were surprised at the choice of first speaker, but they quickly saw what David Chan and I were trying to achieve. The debate was lively; I wanted to make sure that the MIL students were aware and could respond to the arguments against information as a source of competitive advantage.

One thing I want to achieve is for students to be exposed to a range of evidence, concepts and ideas and for them to critically evaluate this and make up their own minds. As such this was a good start to the MIL weekend.

More on this MIL weekend in later posts.

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