- IT Soft Skills for Top Executives & Leaders
"Managers don't need IT Skills, they need Behavioral IT Skills"
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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.
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 IT is 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
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"
Heads/ Managers with Behavioral
contrast, Department Heads/ Managers who lack Behavioral IT skills
up well with the IT folks
the capabilities and limitations of IT and IT folks to get the best out
their own key role that they play in the transition process and don't
just leave everything to IT departments
manage people in their department reeling under IT-Driven change during
that turmoil and turbulence are imminent during the implementation
phase and are well prepared to handle the transition with maturity
successful implementation and thus reap the benefits of IT to improve
processes in their own department
less stressed as they have the right information and control
most likely to grow in the organization
complaining. "These IT folks just don't understand my business"
more concerned about saving their skin just in the eventuality that the
for the moon and then complain that IT folks can't satisfy their
use most of the features having asked for very advanced features in the
shocked to know that IT is not all that smooth sailing as they expected
(particularly during the implementation phase)
asking for changes and expect that their demands for changes should be
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
their own key role of driving and managing the change within their
department. They think everything about IT is IT department
miserably in the implementation or IT transition phase and start the
is true for CEOs.
Traits of CEOs who have "Behavioral IT" Skills
IT aware CEOs:
who are not Behavioral IT aware:
that IT implementations almost create an upheaval and ensure
that IT and the user department heads work as a team during this
ensure that the situation as described above for the non-aware manager
does not arise.
understand that IT implementation is not all technology, but a people
and change management game.
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.
- Avoid active participation in IT implementation and delegate it to COOs or
- 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.
react to complaints from user departments. For every issue reported,
they think technology is the problem and start blaming IT department.
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".
their functional specialization, this seminar brings to the top
just what they need to know to become effective managers in their own
chosen field. After all, no business or department can run without
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
it benefits your company, this training benefits you personally
too - both in terms of your success in your company and your personal
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
through. You will be able to interact with the IT folks with more
thereby use technology more effectively to your advantage.
You will be ready for the new age as an IT Savvy Manager
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.
You will experience less stress as you would better understand the dynamics of the Changing environment
You can help the CEO cope up with the change and win his or her confidence.
As Department Heads and CEOs, this skill will help you to be a successful catalyst of change
What will Change for You
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
anything of this. I don't know what to do when there is a problem, so I
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
department is not doing its job and Finance department thinks IT is not
its job. Things just aren't working out. You know that as a CEO you
it head on and call for a meeting, but sub-consciously, you keep
this meeting because you just do not know what to do after you call for
meeting. After all this technology stuff doesn't make sense to you.
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
know what to do. You don't at all feel that you are in control since it
so confusing. Finally, you say, "You are both senior managers, I leave
you to sort out the problem, but I don't want it escalated to me. You
whatever you want, but I don't want to see any conflict there." You
pain and frustration because you are not in control.
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
approach sometimes to delegate and let the managers sort out the issue.
so in this case. Because CEOs have to lead the IT-Driven Change from
Do you want to change this? Do you want
to be in control? Do you want to know what is causing the problem? Do
to know what should be your action in such a situation? Do you want to
as to what actions on your part can make or mar the situation? Do you
clearly see the possible causes of the confusion so that you can more
confidently address the issue and not feel frustrated about your
Or do you just want to leave it saying, "I just don't understand this
It is too technical"?.
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.
will know what to monitor, what actually causes problems (as against
what appears to cause problems) and how to address these problems. In
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.
are incurring heavy losses on account of failed
implementations - leave alone the opportunity cost and the impact of
and frustration among senior managers.
place implementation failures to anything between 60% and
80%. The cost of ERP implementation is not the software cost alone, it
hardware cost, training cost, cost of senior people's time and most
the consultant fees, which are very high.
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
around Rs. 45 million (Source: Aberdeen Group, August 2006). With cost
services having shot up, the cost will be higher.
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
contribute actively and effectively to make it a success? After all
computerization success would impact your success more than it would
IT folks. After all success in your field depends on how you can
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
Participants can cut across all
functions. Whereas the program is useful for non-IT managers from all
like Finance, production, materials, procurement, HR, Admin, etc., it
equally useful for IT managers like CIOs, Sr. Mangers, Project
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
planning to implement it in the near future, it will be useful also for
who have already implemented applications.
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Prem Kamble is a Computer
Professional with MBA from IIM Calcutta and B.Tech. from IIT Bombay. He
passed Advanced Management course called "Energo Cybernetic Strategy"
flying colors from Germany. He has also attended self-development
Est, Forum, Advanced Course, SELP (Self Expression & Leadership
etc. organized by Landmark Education Foundation, USA (earlier Centers
which have helped him to develop a broader outlook and a different way
He has successfully
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.
shares his rich experience and learning with Top Professionals like
He has very
interacted with people and lived with them during
the struggle of
technological changes. He, therefore, knows their fears,
and frustrations as they go through the implementations. He also knows
exactly they think they need to know of this technology, and what they
He has worked
both as Software
Delivery head in SEI Level 5 companies and as Head of Technology in
companies. As Software Delivery Head in SEI Level 5 company, he
Delivering all projects on time
Highest Repeat Orders
Highest Resource Utilization
Head of IT in
companies like Essar, Sutherland, Pidilite, Modi Rubber, etc. he has
extremely successful in conceptualizing and implementing computerized
systems in the
toughest of situations. He has expertise right from high-level IT
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.
major contribution in introducing computers for business applications
reputed companies. His areas of interest are business orientation and
orientation in Information Technology, study of the psychology of
from industrial era to information age, etc.
With a right mix of People, Process and
Technology (PPT) expertise, he specializes in Business Process
focused on business objectives and people. Having managed IT on behalf
IT user companies and SEI CMM Level 5 software manufacturing companies,
expertise right from high level IT Strategies, Change Management,
for IT implementations, upto down to earth system architecture and
delivery. With his close study of the businesses and people, he brings
insight to develop business solutions that work for businesses and
He has published articles on InfoTech
management in the country's leading magazines. Most of the articles
'out-of-the-box' thinking and a knack to see what is not so obvious. He
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
very closely related - both are a study into the human psychology of
Stories/ Real Life Case Studies
On Business Orientation in
Prem Kamble's IT
Strategy to get
maximum Business Benefit was published in Times of India. This is an
life case study of ways to maximize your business benefits in
here to Read
On People Orientation in IT
Prem Kamble created a record
SEI Level 5 company by delivering all projects on time and to specs, to
utmost delight of his overseas customers. He penned down the success
an article. Click here to Read.
On Successful IT
His Implementation Strategy
People orientation which led to the success was published as a cover
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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