CIOCAN Leadership Development Program continues to boost careers

Jul 15, 2014
CIOCAN LDP 2013 cohort

The 2013 CIOCAN LDP cohort and instructors.

It is time again for the CIOCAN (CIO Association of Canada) 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 sixth year, supports IT leaders who want to take their careers to the next level and become true business leaders. All instructors are Beedie School of Business faculty members who bring both academic and professional expertise to the program.

According to Wendi Davies, a graduate of the 2013-14 cohort, the CIOCAN Leadership Development Program’s strength lies in the makeup of the cohort.

“When I met the other course participants I realized immediately that these are other people like me – people at my level who are facing the same challenges,” says Davies. “The trust factor within the cohort rose steadily during the online portion of the program and then jumped again when we met face-to-face. By that time we were sharing tangible items: templates for real businesses and best practices.”

“We work very hard to create a program cohort that represents a good range of industries from both public and private sectors,” says Anke Baker, Program Director at SFU Executive Education. “At this senior level, the interaction of the participants is a key part of the program’s value proposition.”

Since its launch, the program has evolved into a new blended learning format, combining the best of face-to-face instruction and peer interaction with online components and peer project support.

“I consider myself an experienced learner, and the caliber of the instruction in the program is very high,” says Davies, who has transitioned into a new role as Director of IT for Sinclair Dental Ltd. since completing the program. “The strength of CIOCAN’s partnership with SFU is key, and this is what makes the courses so rich in content and applicability – they challenge they way you think and approach problems.”

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 program taught me how to reposition my thinking from that of a functional IT manager to having a strategic business perspective across the organization,” says Davies. “I now know that I’m not alone, and I can use my CIO network for ideas and solutions. The other people on the program are so important to the learning – I could take the program again and still get lots out of it.”

Registration for the fall 2014 CIOCAN Leadership Development Program is now open. For more information, visit

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