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  Seminar on

Behavioral IT® - IT Soft Skills for Top Executives & Leaders

"Managers don't need IT Skills, they need Behavioral IT Skills"

By Prem Kamble

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About the Seminar

It is important for all managers today to be tech savvy. The key to your success as business managers is how effectively you use technology for improving efficiency, cutting cost and providing innovative services to both internal and external customers. Moreover, few will dispute the fact that the biggest driver of change in businesses today is information technology. Rapid IT-driven change is impacting people. No one likes change. People naturally and strongly resist change. But since change is permanent, it creates stress and impacts people behaviour.  You as managers need the skills to manage this IT-Driven change.

Today there is a big divide between managers who know IT and those who do not. At the same time there is little awareness as to what makes a manager IT Savvy. The younger generation is more prone to fall into a trap of believing that they are IT savvy since they are proficient in using laptops, using internet and the technology gadgets. But being extremely proficient with using latest gadgets and using laptops for PowerPoint presentations and MS Word is certainly not what it takes to be an IT savvy manager. There is a lot more for a manager to know - not only about technology, but also knowing how to pull the right strings to successfully manage technology within his or her department. The manager needs to successfully manage the people and their behaviour under IT-Driven Change. It is the manager who has all the right and wrong strings in the hands. You do not need to go far to hear stories of IT failures. It is not the IT department alone which plays a role in the success or failure of IT. When you as a manager of any function try to automate operations in your department, you will be the key to success or failure. And success of automation can mean your success.

Your success depends not on how well you know technology, but how well you can use the IT folks to get the best IT solutions for you. Your road to success does not end there. having got the best solution, it is YOU who can ensure that the solution gets successfully  implemented and optimally used in your department to give you all the fruits of automation. These two skills are the key to success for managers, not the technology skill.

Behavioral ITis a term coined by Prem Kamble to define just this skill which functional managers need to succeed in this IT Driven World. This seminar on Behavioral IT covers all those skills which make a manager IT Savvy and IT Aware. To understand what exactly is Behavioral IT, it is easier to actually understand the characteristics of managers and CEOs who have BEhavioral IT skills and those who do not. 

Knowledge of Behavioral IT, in fact, is the key to success for all managers. To understand what are the Behavioral IT skills, let us look at the typical behavior or traits of "Behavioral IT Skilled" managers in contrast to managers who do not have the same skills. Behavioral IT skills are particularly important for Department Heads and CEOs who are the primary drivers of change in IT Projects.

Traits of Top Managers who have "Behavioral IT" Skills

Department Heads/ Managers with Behavioral IT Skills: 
  • Team up well with the IT folks 
  • Understand the capabilities and limitations of IT and IT folks to get the best out of both 
  • Understand their own key role that they play in the transition process and don't just leave everything to IT departments
  • Successfully manage people in their department reeling under IT-Driven change during implementation 
  • Understand that turmoil and turbulence are imminent during the implementation phase and are well prepared to handle the transition with maturity
  • Ensure successful implementation and thus reap the benefits of IT to improve processes in their own department
  • Are less stressed as they have the right information and control 
  • Are most likely to grow in the organization 
In contrast, Department Heads/ Managers who lack Behavioral IT skills
  • Keep complaining. "These IT folks just don't understand my business"
  • Are more concerned about saving their skin just in the eventuality that the project fails
  • Ask for the moon and then complain that IT folks can't satisfy their requirements
  • Don't use most of the features having asked for very advanced features in the system
  • Are shocked to know that IT is not all that smooth sailing as they expected (particularly during the implementation phase)
  • Keep asking for changes and expect that their demands for changes should be immediately met
  • Get worked up due to the complaints and restlessness of their subordinates as they struggle to cope up with the change. Immediately start pointing fingers at IT.
  • Do not understand their own key role of driving and managing the change within their department. They think everything about IT is IT department responsibility.
  • Fail miserably in the implementation or IT transition phase and start the blame game

The same is true for CEOs.


Traits of CEOs who have "Behavioral IT" Skills

Behavioral IT aware CEOs:
  • Understand that IT implementations almost create an upheaval and ensure that IT and the user department heads work as a team during this difficult time.
  • They ensure that the situation as described above for the non-aware manager does not arise.
  • They understand that IT implementation is not all technology, but a people and change management game.
  • They understant their own key role in steering and driving this change.
  • They do not over-react to complaints and counter-allegations during the turbulent phase of implementation knowing pretty well that people's frustrations are more due to change rather than real technical issues. (see my bolg "The Best and the Worst CEOs for Computerization").
  • They will not hesitate to personally oversee the IT implementation.
CEOs who are not Behavioral IT aware:
  • Avoid active participation in IT implementation and delegate it to COOs or CFOs.
  • Do not appreciate that IT Implementation is highly collaborative activity involving not only active participation from IT and user department, but active involvement from the CEO too.
  • Over react to complaints from user departments. For every issue reported, they think technology is the problem and start blaming IT department.

Most seminar on IT stress on technology. This seminar uncovers a new field of study called Behavioral IT. It does a judicious balance between technology and management of technology. This seminar recognizes that it is not enough for managers to know about IT, it is in fact more important to know the psychology of change brought about by IT - cultural change, behavioural change, procedural change and change in relationships of people. In other words, it is not important to be "IT Literate", it is more important to be "IT Aware".

Whatever be their functional specialization, this seminar brings to the top managers just what they need to know to become effective managers in their own chosen field. After all, no business or department can run without IT.   

This seminar makes you aware of the technological, organizational, behavioural and psychological issues in technology, and thereby helps ensure your own success and your growth in organizations.

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Why this Seminar?

Benefits for You

While it benefits your company, this training benefits you personally too - both in terms of your success in your company and your personal growth as a professional. Managers with IT awareness are in greater demand in the market.  There is already a great digital divide, Managers who are IT Aware and those who are not. Which side would you like to be on? 

On your personal front, you will be able to better use technology without the frustrations and pains which most go through. You will be able to interact with the IT folks with more empathy and thereby use technology more effectively to your advantage.

  1. You will be ready for the new age as an IT Savvy Manager
  2. While others struggle with IT and IT People, you will be able to get the best out of both and succeed through better utilization of IT.
  3. You will experience less stress as you would better understand the dynamics of the Changing environment
  4. You can help the CEO cope up with the change and win his or her confidence.
  5. As Department Heads and CEOs, this skill will help you to be a successful catalyst of change

What will Change for You

Computerization has been a pain in the neck for most CEOs and Department Heads. A lot of it has to do with their ignorance - "I just don't understand anything of this. I don't know what to do when there is a problem, so I just leave it to my managers."

Imagine you are the CEO overseeing say a Financial System implementation in your company. The system implementation is in shambles. The IT Head thinks Finance department is not doing its job and Finance department thinks IT is not doing its job. Things just aren't working out. You know that as a CEO you must take it head on and call for a meeting, but sub-consciously, you keep postponing this meeting because you just do not know what to do after you call for a meeting. After all this technology stuff doesn't make sense to you. Finally, you call them for a meeting and listen to both, but all this sounds so complicated. You sense the strange pain in the belly because you just don't know what to do. You don't at all feel that you are in control since it is all so confusing. Finally, you say, "You are both senior managers, I leave it to you to sort out the problem, but I don't want it escalated to me. You do whatever you want, but I don't want to see any conflict there." You feel the pain and frustration because you are not in control.

You might as well have come on heavily on one or both of them. Either way, your inaction or your over reaction can cause havoc. It may be a good approach sometimes to delegate and let the managers sort out the issue. But not so in this case. Because CEOs have to lead the IT-Driven Change from the front.

Do you want to change this? Do you want to be in control? Do you want to know what is causing the problem? Do you want to know what should be your action in such a situation? Do you want to be clear as to what actions on your part can make or mar the situation? Do you want to clearly see the possible causes of the confusion so that you can more confidently address the issue and not feel frustrated about your helplessness? Or do you just want to leave it saying, "I just don't understand this IT stuff. It is too technical"?.

You will learn in this seminar that after all it is not so technical, and all within your purview.

What will change for you is the following:

  • you have been consciously or subconsciously avoiding to address the problem head on. After the seminar you will feel confident to address it head-on.
  • there will be a marked change in the way you see the problem, leave alone address this problem
  • you will be more clear in your mind and will have no hesitation, or goose bumps in your belly.
  • you will not avoid but make positive contribution - just the right one - not too less to let it drift nor too much to interfere and de-motivate the team
  • you will be able to direct the project with a purpose.
  • you will be able to intelligently look at your team and make the right choices of people with the right frame of mind to make the project a success.

You will know what to monitor, what actually causes problems (as against what appears to cause problems) and how to address these problems. In short, you will know what are the right strings to pull.

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What Do You Gain as a Participant

You will know

  • People and how they behave under the impact of changes taking place in your organization due to automation
  • The characteristics of information technology itself, some inherent flaws and pitfalls which makes it so painful to implement it
  • How to safeguard against these pitfalls
  • Major misconceptions which are the root cause of employee stress, friction between peers and frustration in companies.


Benefits for your Company

Corporates are incurring heavy losses on account of failed implementations - leave alone the opportunity cost and the impact of friction and frustration among senior managers.

Statistics place implementation failures to anything between 60% and 80%. The cost of ERP implementation is not the software cost alone, it includes hardware cost, training cost, cost of senior people's time and most important the consultant fees, which are very high.

The cost of average ERP implementation for a medium to large enterprise with 100 to 250 users is about Rs. 25 million and the total cost of ownership around Rs. 45 million (Source: Aberdeen Group, August 2006). With cost of services having shot up, the cost will be higher.

With average 70% failure rate, you know what to expect. Would you like to only blame it on the IT folks for this failure and wash your hands off or contribute actively and effectively to make it a success? After all computerization success would impact your success more than it would affect the IT folks. After all success in your field depends on how you can effectively use cutting edge technology to your advantage.


Who Should Participate?

Participants can be CEOs, Entrepreneurs, CXOs, Business Heads, Department Heads, Line Managers,  etc. In other words, any managerial staff at any level.

Participants can cut across all functions. Whereas the program is useful for non-IT managers from all functions like Finance, production, materials, procurement, HR, Admin, etc., it is equally useful for IT managers like CIOs, Sr. Mangers, Project Managers, Analysts, implementers, program managers and team leaders.

Whereas it is particularly useful for companies which are at an early stage of implementation or those who are planning to implement it in the near future, it will be useful also for those who have already implemented applications.


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Why Us

Prem Kamble is a Computer Professional with MBA from IIM Calcutta and B.Tech. from IIT Bombay. He has passed Advanced Management course called "Energo Cybernetic Strategy" with flying colors from Germany. He has also attended self-development programs like Est, Forum, Advanced Course, SELP (Self Expression & Leadership Program), etc. organized by Landmark Education Foundation, USA (earlier Centers Network) which have helped him to develop a broader outlook and a different way of thinking.

He has successfully overseen technology transitions for over 25 years. During his career, he has been a keen student of IT Management, Change Management, particularly the people and psychological issues of IT transformation. Here he shares his rich experience and learning with Top Professionals like you.

He has very closely interacted with people and lived with them during the struggle of technological changes. He, therefore, knows their fears, discomforts, anxieties and frustrations as they go through the implementations. He also knows what exactly they think they need to know of this technology, and what they should actually know.

He has worked both as Software Delivery head in SEI Level 5 companies and as Head of Technology in manufacturing companies. As Software Delivery Head in SEI Level 5 company, he created records of

*    Delivering all projects on time

*    Highest Repeat Orders

*    Highest Resource Utilization

As Head of IT in companies like Essar, Sutherland, Pidilite, Modi Rubber, etc. he has been extremely successful in conceptualizing and implementing computerized systems in the toughest of situations. He has expertise right from high-level IT Strategies and Management of IT-Driven-Change to down-to-earth software delivery.

He started his career as an analyst/ programmer and in less than five years was heading the IT function for a group of companies. He has major contribution in introducing computers for business applications in reputed companies. His areas of interest are business orientation and human orientation in Information Technology, study of the psychology of evolution from industrial era to information age, etc.

With a right mix of People, Process and Technology (PPT) expertise, he specializes in Business Process Automation focused on business objectives and people. Having managed IT on behalf of both IT user companies and SEI CMM Level 5 software manufacturing companies, he has expertise right from high level IT Strategies, Change Management, Strategies for IT implementations, upto down to earth system architecture and software delivery. With his close study of the businesses and people, he brings the insight to develop business solutions that work for businesses and people.

He has published articles on InfoTech management in the country's leading magazines. Most of the articles display an 'out-of-the-box' thinking and a knack to see what is not so obvious. He has also written on an objective analysis of God and Religion. Though these two areas of IT Management and Religion may seem to be poles apart, Prem believes that they are actually very closely related - both are a study into the human psychology of change.


Success Stories/ Real Life Case Studies

*  On Business Orientation in IT

*  Prem Kamble's IT Strategy to get maximum Business Benefit was published in Times of India. This is an excellent real life case study of ways to maximize your business benefits in IT. Click here to Read

*  On People Orientation in IT

*  Prem Kamble created a record in a SEI Level 5 company by delivering all projects on time and to specs, to the utmost delight of his overseas customers. He penned down the success factors in an article. Click here to Read.

*  On Successful IT Implementation Strategy

*  His Implementation Strategy and People orientation which led to the success was published as a cover article in Computers Today. This makes a good case study in key success factors of IT Implementations in companies. Click here to Read.


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