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Succession planning is important for several reasons.
  • 100% of us will get sick - no human is exempt.  We may suffer an injury.  We need to know that we've adequately prepared someone to step in our shoes should we need to be out for an extended period.
  • We can prepare people for the CIO job on our campus - or the campus down the road.  It doesn't matter.  The campus down the road may be training our next CIO.  It is an industry responsibility.  The effort is never wasted.
  • If my campus believes that a successor is better than me and is ready to take my place, I need to make sure my skills and abilities have prepared me to get the next job.  I can't rest on my laurels.  Many of work in environments where our positions are "at will" anyway, and we can be asked to leave any time.    I need to be prepared to land successfully; you need an exit strategy and an landing plan regardless of your succession plan.
I do think this is easier where succession planning is part of the full campus culture.

Theresa

Comments

The recently released ECAR Report, The Higher Education CIO: Portrait of Today, Landscape of Tomorrow provides some guidance on succession planning, e.g.,

 

64% of CIOs say they have identified a successor (up from 54% in 2008). However, 42% of these and only 4% of CIOs who have not identified a successor believe that their successor will be recruited from within their own organization.

 

The hub for this study is available here: http://www.educause.edu/ECAR/TheHigherEducationCIOPortraito/236114.  You can find statistics on sitting CIOs, aspiring CIOs and IT staff who do not aspire to be CIOs, recommendations for both sitting and aspiring CIOs and includes a video called “Our CIOs Speak”.

 

Thanks,

Pam Arroway

Senior Statistician

EDUCAUSE

 

From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Theresa Rowe
Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2011 1:58 PM
To: CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
Subject: [CIO] Succession planning

 

Succession planning is important for several reasons.

·       100% of us will get sick - no human is exempt.  We may suffer an injury.  We need to know that we've adequately prepared someone to step in our shoes should we need to be out for an extended period.

·       We can prepare people for the CIO job on our campus - or the campus down the road.  It doesn't matter.  The campus down the road may be training our next CIO.  It is an industry responsibility.  The effort is never wasted.

·       If my campus believes that a successor is better than me and is ready to take my place, I need to make sure my skills and abilities have prepared me to get the next job.  I can't rest on my laurels.  Many of work in environments where our positions are "at will" anyway, and we can be asked to leave any time.    I need to be prepared to land successfully; you need an exit strategy and an landing plan regardless of your succession plan.

I do think this is easier where succession planning is part of the full campus culture.

Theresa

CIO Digest - 18 Nov 2011 to 19 Nov 2011 (#2011-303)

For a long time, I have used the following model for succession planning and encouraged my management team to do likewise.

Three (or more)  individuals are identified in the following possible categories;

1)      The person(s) that could step in immediately if the position is vacated suddenly, either due to illness, incumbent leaving to take a new position or other reasons; knows how to keep the operations going.

2)      The person that is being groomed for the position in a more deliberate mode.  Likely someone with both operational and strategic capabilities;

3)      The wild card; typically an up and coming person that may not be quite ready for leadership yet simply because of experience gaps. [Note:  someone that shows up on more than one leader’s #3 slot is a likely future leader]

It is not uncommon for the people identified in 1 and 2 to already be in the organizational unit.  #3 can be from any part of the institution.  

Clearly this methodology needs to be regularly ‘exercised’ J as people come/go, emerge and grow.

Not a perfect process but a useful exercise to encourage open and strategic thinking.

Barry Walsh

 

Hi All

     This is an interesting and timely topic because we have been talking about this at Wellesley. Many of what has been discussed is relevant and here are some of my own views on this subject.
  • Whatever the term we want to use - avoiding single point of success or succession planning - we cannot run our organizations where continuity suffers because that one person decides to leave or is ill etc.
  • I would argue that this issue is more severe in some of the technical areas than at the managerial level or even the CIO level. This is not to minimize any one position, but in reality, an organization's progress can be slowed down tremendously if that one person with deep knowledge of the campus network or the SAN leaves than the CIO.
  • We are therefore preparing a responsibility matrix for every critical service where a primary and secondary is identified and where there are gaps, serious commitments be made by managers to fill te gaps.
  • It is next to impossible to do this in some areas - for eg. in academic computing support, asking that someone be secondary to a GIS specialist is very unlikely to work.
  • In terms of CIO, I have a very strong administration team where we strive for a high level of transparency where pretty much everyone in the team is aware of all the issues, major conversations I have with the president's cabinet and academic departments, tracking of all major initiatives, budgets etc. I try to do the same with my direct reports (except personnel issues). My goal is to make sure that they collectively learn from all of these to provide the continuity necessary in the event I am not there.
  • As has been pointed out many times, we all face a serious problem - that the succession planning may result is the assumed successor moving on. I believe that we have an obligation to provide growth opportunities and should try to retain the best staff. However, many times, this is not possible. In those cases, we should not be shy to help them find other suitable opportunities - this is what I have done. 
  • I think grooming a single person for a CIO position is extremely tricky - it can create a morale issue amongst others who also believe they are ready, for one. It is quite possible that the person being groomed may be the right person to provide continuity and lead after the CIO leaves, if the separation is amicable. However, if the CIO were to leave in unfriendly terms, it puts that person in very awkward position. In many cases those who have been close associates of the CIO who left have been asked not to even apply for the job, in which case, all the effort of preparing the person specifically for providing continuity to the institution may be wasted.

-- Ravi
CIO, Wellesley College
Google Voice - 860-631-RAVI



I'm just curious. How many of us work on a succession plan to help make it = possible for someone within to take our place? This is difficult question. If we do a good job, we may be replaced sooner = than we want. Or the person leaves for another job and our work is wasted. = On the other hand, if we don't the institution is not gaining the necessary= resources for business continuance and sustainability. What do you all do? ______________________________________________________________________ I presented at CLAC recently about CIO succession planning and development. He is a quick list of items that might help: 1. Create a position that says you will take my place if something happens. a. Deputy CIO is what I decided worked at Bowdoin. 2. Provide leadership and technical development opportunities. a. Since three of my developing CIOs are woman I really like HERS. http://www.hersnet.org/ b. Two of my staff have attended the Leadership Training for Higher Ed CIOs and thought they were great. http://www.excelsior.edu/895 c. There are other programs... 3. I hire individual business, public speaking and personal coaches for them as needed. 4. I provide time and funding for individuals in IT to finish their education. a. Last year we had two bachelors, one MBA, one Masters and a PhD. Two of these individuals will be CIOs at some point. 5. Give the ones that are working towards being a CIO the opportunity to run other parts of the organization. This means funding and decision making power. You have to let people fail or struggle a bit to learn how to succeed. 6. Once they are ready, help them determine the right positions for them and support their efforts to find a CIO position, if you haven't died or moved on yet ;) 7. Find consulting opportunities that let them learn what it means to be on your own and leading an organization. My CSO just filled in as the acting CIO for a local community college. This opportunity gave him insight into how difficult and time consuming being a new CIO can be. He did a great job and they tried to hire him but it just wasn't the right time for him to take such a position. 8. Push them to challenge your authority and fight for their ideas and projects. 8. Give them your time when they need it and commit your energy into their success. If they succeed and do well, celebrate their success. Mitch Davis CIO Bowdoin College 207-725-3930 ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
Hi Mitchel, This is an incredible plan. I'm in awe. God bless, Sam Young Chief Information Officer Point Loma Nazarene University Individualization ~ Achiever ~ Learner ~ Belief ~ Activator > From: Mitchel Davis > Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv > > Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 08:36:28 -0800 > To: "CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" > Subject: [CIO] Succession Planning > > I'm just curious. How many of us work on a succession plan to help make it = > possible for someone within to take our place? > This is difficult question. If we do a good job, we may be replaced sooner = > than we want. Or the person leaves for another job and our work is wasted. = > On the other hand, if we don't the institution is not gaining the necessary= > resources for business continuance and sustainability. > > What do you all do? > > ______________________________________________________________________ > > I presented at CLAC recently about CIO succession planning and development. > > He is a quick list of items that might help: > > 1. Create a position that says you will take my place if something happens. > a. Deputy CIO is what I decided worked at Bowdoin. > 2. Provide leadership and technical development opportunities. > a. Since three of my developing CIOs are woman I really like HERS. > http://www.hersnet.org/ > b. Two of my staff have attended the Leadership Training for Higher Ed CIOs > and thought they were great. http://www.excelsior.edu/895 > c. There are other programs... > 3. I hire individual business, public speaking and personal coaches for them > as needed. > 4. I provide time and funding for individuals in IT to finish their education. > a. Last year we had two bachelors, one MBA, one Masters and a PhD. Two of > these individuals will be CIOs at some point. > 5. Give the ones that are working towards being a CIO the opportunity to run > other parts of the organization. This means funding and decision making power. > You have to let people fail or struggle a bit to learn how to succeed. > 6. Once they are ready, help them determine the right positions for them and > support their efforts to find a CIO position, if you haven't died or moved on > yet ;) > 7. Find consulting opportunities that let them learn what it means to be on > your own and leading an organization. My CSO just filled in as the acting CIO > for a local community college. This opportunity gave him insight into how > difficult and time consuming being a new CIO can be. He did a great job and > they tried to hire him but it just wasn't the right time for him to take such > a position. > 8. Push them to challenge your authority and fight for their ideas and > projects. > 8. Give them your time when they need it and commit your energy into their > success. > > If they succeed and do well, celebrate their success. > > > Mitch Davis > CIO > Bowdoin College > 207-725-3930 > > ********** > Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group > discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/. ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
Hi all, I posted the following question last week. There were some very insightful responses. Here is a summary of all the responses that I found in my mail box. If I missed your comments, please forgive me. QUESTION: I'm just curious. How many of us work on a succession plan to help make it possible for someone within to take our place? This is difficult question. If we do a good job, we may be replaced sooner than we want. Or the person leaves for another job and our work is wasted. On the other hand, if we don't the institution is not gaining the necessary resources for business continuance and sustainability. What do you all do? ----------------------------------------------- SUCCESSION PLANNING IS IMPORTANT FOR SERVERAL REASONS: · We started doing succession planning internally for IS some years ago when a key person had a heart attack. Now we talk about "if you call in rich who takes over for you". (Mary Lou Hines Fritts, UMKC) · 100% of us will get sick - no human is exempt. We may suffer an injury. We need to know that we've adequately prepared someone to step in our shoes should we need to be out for an extended period. (Theresa Rowe, Oakland University) · We can prepare people for the CIO job on our campus - or the campus down the road. It doesn't matter. The campus down the road may be training our next CIO. It is an industry responsibility. The effort is never wasted. (Theresa Rowe, Oakland University) · If my campus believes that a successor is better than me and is ready to take my place, I need to make sure my skills and abilities have prepared me to get the next job. I can't rest on my laurels. Many of work in environments where our positions are "at will" anyway, and we can be asked to leave any time. I need to be prepared to land successfully; you need an exit strategy and an landing plan regardless of your succession plan. (Theresa Rowe, Oakland University) HOW DO WE FAIR? The recently released ECAR Report, The Higher Education CIO: Portrait of Today, Landscape of Tomorrow provides some guidance on succession planning, e.g., (Pam Arroway, EDUCAUSE) 64% of CIOs say they have identified a successor (up from 54% in 2008). However, 42% of these and only 4% of CIOs who have not identified a successor believe that their successor will be recruited from within their own organization. (Pam Arroway, EDUCAUSE) The hub for this study is available here: http://www.educause.edu/ECAR/TheHigherEducationCIOPortraito/236114. You can find statistics on sitting CIOs, aspiring CIOs and IT staff who do not aspire to be CIOs, recommendations for both sitting and aspiring CIOs and includes a video called ³Our CIOs Speak². (Pam Arroway, EDUCAUSE) SUCCESSION STRATEGIES: · Every director has a second. (Mary Lou Hines Fritts, UMKC) · Professional development at all levels is expected and I protect a part of my budget no matter what for training and professional development. Not all of it is technical in nature either. (Mary Lou Hines Fritts, UMKC) · Annual evaluation identifies what is next in the learning curve. (Mary Lou Hines Fritts, UMKC) · We also started a leadership group for identified mid-level folks that meets with me and three of my other directors. It isn't big -about 10 or so but already we have had several folks emerge as our next generation. (Mary Lou Hines Fritts, UMKC) · Three (or more) individuals are identified in the following possible categories; 1) The person(s) that could step in immediately if the position is vacated suddenly, either due to illness, incumbent leaving to take a new position or other reasons; knows how to keep the operations going. 2) The person that is being groomed for the position in a more deliberate mode. Likely someone with both operational and strategic capabilities; 3) The wild card; typically an up and coming person that may not be quite ready for leadership yet simply because of experience gaps. [Note: someone that shows up on more than one leader¹s #3 slot is a likely future leader] It is not uncommon for the people identified in 1 and 2 to already be in the organizational unit. #3 can be from any part of the institution. (Barry Walsh, IU) · We are therefore preparing a responsibility matrix for every critical service where a primary and secondary is identified and where there are gaps, serious commitments be made by managers to fill te gaps. (Ravi Ravishanker, Wellesley College) O It is next to impossible to do this in some areas - for eg. in academic computing support, asking that someone be secondary to a GIS specialist is very unlikely to work. · In terms of CIO, I have a very strong administration team where we strive for a high level of transparency where pretty much everyone in the team is aware of all the issues, major conversations I have with the president's cabinet and academic departments, tracking of all major initiatives, budgets etc. I try to do the same with my direct reports (except personnel issues). My goal is to make sure that they collectively learn from all of these to provide the continuity necessary in the event I am not there. (Ravi Ravishanker, Wellesley College) · I am working on the improvement of my whole management staff. That means providing opportunities to deal with different issues and discussing critical decisions with the staff. (Sam Young, PLNU) · Create a position that says you will take my place if something happens. Deputy CIO is what I decided worked at Bowdoin. (Mitch Davis, Bowdoin College) · Provide leadership and technical development opportunities. (Mitch Davis, Bowdoin College) o Since three of my developing CIOs are woman I really like HERS. http://www.hersnet.org/ o Two of my staff have attended the Leadership Training for Higher Ed CIOs and thought they were great. http://www.excelsior.edu/895 o There are other programs... · I hire individual business, public speaking and personal coaches for them as needed. (Mitch Davis, Bowdoin College) · I provide time and funding for individuals in IT to finish their education. o Last year we had two bachelors, one MBA, one Masters and a PhD. Two of these individuals will be CIOs at some point. · Give the ones that are working towards being a CIO the opportunity to run other parts of the organization. This means funding and decision making power. You have to let people fail or struggle a bit to learn how to succeed. (Mitch Davis, Bowdoin College) · Once they are ready, help them determine the right positions for them and support their efforts to find a CIO position, if you haven't died or moved on yet ;) - (Mitch Davis, Bowdoin College) · Find consulting opportunities that let them learn what it means to be on your own and leading an organization. My CSO just filled in as the acting CIO for a local community college. This opportunity gave him insight into how difficult and time consuming being a new CIO can be. He did a great job and they tried to hire him but it just wasn't the right time for him to take such a position. (Mitch Davis, Bowdoin College) · Push them to challenge your authority and fight for their ideas and projects. (Mitch Davis, Bowdoin College) · Give them your time when they need it and commit your energy into their success. (Mitch Davis, Bowdoin College) Wise Advice: · We also are particular about life balance and so I track who is losing vacation or close to it. And I pay attention to how I model life balance. (Mary Lou Hines Fritts, UMKC) · Whatever the term we want to use - avoiding single point of success or succession planning - we cannot run our organizations where continuity suffers because that one person decides to leave or is ill etc. (Ravi Ravishanker, Wellesley College) · I would argue that this issue is more severe in some of the technical areas than at the managerial level or even the CIO level. This is not to minimize any one position, but in reality, an organization's progress can be slowed down tremendously if that one person with deep knowledge of the campus network or the SAN leaves than the CIO. (Ravi Ravishanker, Wellesley College) · As has been pointed out many times, we all face a serious problem - that the succession planning may result is the assumed successor moving on. I believe that we have an obligation to provide growth opportunities and should try to retain the best staff. However, many times, this is not possible. In those cases, we should not be shy to help them find other suitable opportunities - this is what I have done. (Ravi Ravishanker, Wellesley College) · I think grooming a single person for a CIO position is extremely tricky - it can create a morale issue amongst others who also believe they are ready, for one. It is quite possible that the person being groomed may be the right person to provide continuity and lead after the CIO leaves, if the separation is amicable. However, if the CIO were to leave in unfriendly terms, it puts that person in very awkward position. In many cases those who have been close associates of the CIO who left have been asked not to even apply for the job, in which case, all the effort of preparing the person specifically for providing continuity to the institution may be wasted. (Ravi Ravishanker, Wellesley College) · While different people improve in different rates, my hope is that they will all improve to a much higher leadership level. We have worked very hard in the past few years and I am seeing some results. (Sam Young, PLNU) o My directors and I are starting to make similar decisions on matters. Our internal communication and understanding is much better. Our trust level and accountability levels have drastically improved. o If, for some reason, I am no longer the leader of this ship, it is my dream that the university will have a difficult time deciding which of my managers are best suited for the position as they are all qualified. I don't think we are there yet, but give it a little more time... o As the level of leadership improves, I am finding that I have less and less to do. I have more time to think and do my own research. This year, I have used a lot more time on my three-five year ITS strategic plan than the past two years combined. o We are also moving the department into a much more structured project management mode of operation. I am hoping that this will also free up my management team's time to better plan at their level. Have a great Thanksgiving break. God bless, Sam Young Chief Information Officer Point Loma Nazarene University Individualization ~ Achiever ~ Learner ~ Belief ~ Activator ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
As an extension of Mitch's points regarding succession planning and other programs, I'd like to suggest the framework outlined in the EDUCAUSE Professional Development Committee Opportunities Grid (http://www.educause.edu/PDOpportunities) . The grid was developed by the Professional Development Committee to serve as a guide for a career pathway and for fostering career development to your staff. EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities are listed on the grid, providing suggestions to individuals from the early to advanced stages of their career. And to reinforce Mitch's notion regarding success---when you reward and recognize the behavior and performance that will help your organization succeed, you will cultivate similar activities and contributions from your team in the future. Jeffrey C. Cepull | Vice President for Information Resources and CIO | Philadelphia University | 215-951-2516 | 215-951-6852 - FAX Chair, EDUCAUSE Professional Development Committee Please consider the environment before printing this email

Very valuable discussion…

Within my organization, we are completing three scenarios  in an exercise that mixes succession planning and emergency planning.  Starting late summer, we asked each director to develop 3 sets of plans: on the assumption they were  completely out of communications for 2 weeks,  3 months, and finally, golden sunset.   It turned out that everyone focused very much on the 3 month planning (because it was hard, but less personal) and that really allowed a lot of good things to be discussed openly.  We asked directors to work with their managers on similar plans.   No one expects to be out 3 months, but we all know of staff with illnesses or family emergencies that stress the organization; anything longer than a week or two may force critical changes in roles across the organization.

The whole process strengthened our emergency response capabilities, because directors began to think about which of their direct reports could fill their shoes under different circumstances; in doing so, they thought about staff development more holistically.

The original work product was a set of plans from by each director (and above), with each member of the management team sharing succession plans and getting feedback.  The next step is a confidential plan, where each director gives her or his supervisor advice on their own reports (e.g. manager A is a great leader, but doesn't have much experience with faculty), as well as their development plans for each manager (let's get manager A to present at Senate meetings) for the coming 18 months.

Finally, the directors all decided a key part of their own planning would be to write a memo to their successor on key issues, who plays what role, and so on.  We added this to our work product going forward.  The final versions of those will be confidential to each director and their supervisor.  

In short, we linked this to short- and medium-term emergency / organizational planning and this really strengthened the team.  The challenge is keeping things up to date-- we all agreed to make part of our regular management process to review the documents twice a year and to update one of those two times, e.g. with perf. Appraisal schedule.

We are eager to learn about other approaches that integrate succession planning into other aspects of career development and organizational planning.

Best,

Pete Siegel
UC Davis
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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