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Running technology and people

Jack Loo | June 24, 2011
CIOs need to deal with not just technology, but also how to cultivate their staff.

SINGAPORE, 24 JUNE 2011-CIOs today are tasked to deal with both technology and talent management issues. Yaarit Silverstone, managing director, talent and organisation performance practice, Accenture, shares with Jack Loo of CIO Asia the challenges CIOs face in managing and leveraging talent in their companies.

What are some of the challenges CIOs face as leaders?

One of the most important challenges is to be able to connect with multiple generations. This ability develops the employee value proposition which helps attract and retain the right people.

The result of such capabilities is that CIOs can develop a sufficiently deep leadership pipeline where they have people who understand how technology is an enabler, but more importantly, it develops inspiring leaders who are able to corral the diverse groups of people within IT (from application developers to system operators and infrastructure and network designers) towards a common vision. Such leadership capabilities will help manage more complex operating models which spread across geographies.

What is Asia's talent and leadership management landscape like?

ASEAN has a unique talent landscape. There is a very limited talent pool and the best employees are concentrated in multinationals; large Asian conglomerates. There is a lot of competition for talent across all levels and countries. As a result, a person is often the same target for many companies and they would have many offers at a fairly young age.

India and China have large talent pools although companies are finding that some graduates are not immediately employable. The top talent is extremely highly educated, entrepreneurial and can be found in many different companies. Indian companies are investing in leadership development while China companies are both bringing back Chinese talent and starting to look at more aggressive local development. Meanwhile, Japan is looking to expand outside of Japan and as a result, will need to look at creating globally relevant talent and leadership practices.

Are CIOs here paying proper attention to talent and leadership management?

This was traditionally not an area of focus; however, given the talent shortage and attrition, CIOs are starting to focus on talent and leadership management.

We continue to stress the area of deepening leadership capabilities as an area for them to improve on to help attract and retain the right type of talent, and also develop the type of leadership suitable to take the organisation forward.

What happens when organisations do not pay enough attention to talent management? 

Where companies have not focused sufficiently on talent strategy and leadership development, there are consequences that include high turnover of talent that was "hard won". Recruits are attracted to companies that offer development and opportunities to stretch and grow, do meaningful work, and be developed as well as appreciated.


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