Resilience on the CIO menu

Resilience is already a buzzword in the computer hardware market and increasingly it's coming to be heard in the world of CIO recruitment.

Resilience is already a buzzword in the computer hardware market and increasingly it’s coming to be heard in the world of CIO recruitment.

That’s according to Cliff Teasdale (pictured), a Wellington-based consultant who says the word is showing up on more and more executive CVs. In uncertain times, Teasdale says, resilience is a quality that’s in growing demand.

“A resilient organisation is one that is stuffed with improvisers,” he says. Post-Y2K, with cynicism about costly IT projects running high, improvisation is being forced on IT departments.

Teasdale was serving up a course in people management to audiences in Auckland and Wellington, at the latest in the CIO magazine lunch meeting series. Far from technical fare, his presentation was rich in terms like “sensitivity”, “trust and respect” and “fulfilment”.

The message might have sounded touchy-feely, Teasdale acknowledged, but he was trying to offer CIOs pragmatic advice.

“CIOs, above all else, are facilitators of teams,” he says. When those teams are under stress, it’s impossible for them to deliver creative output.

While conditions in New Zealand IT departments are nothing like as dire as in the US, where there have been massive job cuts and clamps on spending, change is a dominant influence on the local scene. Teasdale says the instinctive response to such pressure is denial; but the appropriate course of action is to accept change and integrate it into the way you operate.

Mark McElroy, IT head at Auckland company Cavalier Bremworth, says the message was a useful memory jog and the absence of techno-speak was refreshing. However, when it comes to motivating staff in support and infrastructure roles, examples would have been useful.

“There’s high turnover of staff in PC and network support, for example; it would be interesting to know what stategies can be put in place to minimise that in the industry as a whole.”

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