New CIOCAN/SFU Leadership Program in IT gets High Marks from First Graduates

VANCOUVER, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - The first graduates of an IT leadership certificate program jointly offered by the Learning Strategies Group of Simon Fraser University's Segal School of Business and the CIO Association of Canada report high satisfaction with their experience, according to a report released today. Evaluating eight aspects of the program as compared with other professional development courses taken, from quality of instruction to program structure, graduates gave ratings ranging from 80%, to 93%. In summing up their overall experience, one hundred percent (100%) of graduates said they would recommend the program to others.

The highest rating (93%) was given in the "opportunity to meet new people" category. "This is much more than an endorsement of the social aspects of the program", says CIOCAN's Vancouver Chapter President Ian Banks. "This is evidence that aspiring leaders need contacts and peer support to be successful, and they need sophisticated collaboration skills. The networking element was critical to the shape of our program."

Program graduate Shawn Zanganeh, president of SimPoSys and Senior IT consultant at Teck Cominco says, " To make the leap to leader and strategic partner in any business you need a broader mind set and a more sophisticated set of tools. In my first project after the course, I was able to put on the lenses of other C-Suite executives - to see the project from the points of view of the CFO and the VP HR, for example. This course really cured me of the tunnel vision that can happen in IT. It also helps that I stay in touch with several of the other graduates - in the few weeks since our term ended, we've linked up regularly to share ideas and reinforce what we've learned."

The inaugural program, offered to senior IT directors and fledgling CIOs from B.C.'s lower mainland, comprised intensive evening sessions led by SFU's top business faculty, plus individual and group assignments. Major course modules included: The Talent Advantage: Six Strategies to Win the War for IT Talent; The Economic Laws of IT; Project Management and Building Better Business Cases; Aligning Business and IT Strategies; The Role of Outsourcing: Build, Buy, or Partner; Governance of the IT Function.

Blaze Reich, one of SFU's senior professors on the project, says "this program gives participants frameworks and theories to help them lead within their organizations. Decisions about innovation, outsourcing, alignment and governance are classic business issues - it's not about technology at this level."

"By joining forces with SFU Business' Learning Strategies Group to offer this program, we were able to meet demands both of individual learners, and of business and industry", says CIOCAN's Vancouver Chapter project spokesperson, Carmen Plesch, Director of Business Applications at Teekay Shipping. "At the CIO Association, we're committed to helping develop the next generation of IT leaders. Like everyone else, we're concerned with succession planning within our ranks - but we're looking at grooming successors across the entire CIO profession."

Adam Cotterall is Associate Director of the Learning Strategies Group and Program Director for the CIOCAN Leadership Development Program. He describes the program as "a shared success achieved through the visionary leadership of the CIOCAN's Vancouver Chapter and the many years of experience SFU Business has in stepping up to the challenge of developing custom programs that bring together excellent instructors and talented leaders. We are proud of this partnership and are excited about kicking off the program again in September 2010."

For more information, please contact Lisa Bateman, CIOCAN Administrator, Vancouver Chapter, at (604) 461-0246, or at


For further information: For further information: Lisa Bateman, (604) 461-0246 or

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