SFU Executive Education marks five years of developing IT business leaders

Jul 24, 2013

This fall marks the latest installment of the CIOCAN Leadership Development Program, an annual professional development program for senior IT leaders offered by SFU Executive Education at the Beedie School of Business in partnership with the CIO Association of Canada’s Vancouver chapter.

The program, now in its fifth year, supports IT leaders who want to take their careers to the next level and become true business leaders. “We are listening to the business needs of our learners as we jointly evolve our program,” says Anke Baker, Program Director at SFU Executive Education. “This makes the time-and-travel component of the program more manageable for busy executives, and makes it possible to offer the program across a broader geographic area without compromising on the deliberately paced learning and growth.”

“We teach aspiring CIOs how to ‘put on the lenses’ of their business partners – how to understand business issues from the perspective of the CEO and board, and of their C-suite counterparts in finance, operations, and marketing,” says Blaize Horner Reich, RBC Professor of Technology and Innovation at the Beedie School of Business, and a program instructor. “They learn how to work with these partners to develop strategies that enhance business results. It is no coincidence that applying this learning accelerates the careers of our graduates.”

All instructors are Beedie School of Business faculty members who bring both academic and professional expertise to the program. Last year saw a new blended learning format piloted which has since been further customized for the 2013 class, combining the best of face-to-face instruction and peer interaction with online components and peer project support.

Since its inception, the program has consistently received outstanding ratings, with graduates of the program now recommending their direct reports enroll, and has started to attract registrants from areas beyond the lower mainland such as Alberta.

“The Leadership Development Program meets the needs of new and aspiring CIOs, and of the business leaders who are looking for a new breed of IT executive in their organizations,” says Alex Buhler, CIO at Mountain Equipment and president of CIOCAN’s Vancouver chapter. “It provides excellent instruction, an outstanding program design, and allows for building lasting peer relationships within the cohort. We are seeing the results of this program within our organization, and we see the impact on the staff members whose participation we support.”

Graduates of the CIOCAN Leadership Development Program automatically become associate members of the CIO Association of Canada, a not-for-profit community of IT leaders whose mission is to facilitate networking, sharing of best practices and executive development, and to drive advocacy on issues facing IT Executives and Chief Information Officers.

The CIOCAN Leadership Development Program runs from September 2013 to February 2014. While applications are still being accepted, there are only a few spots left. For more information on the program, visit https://beedie.sfu.ca/execed/programs/individuals/CIOCAN.php

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