Related posts:No related photos. HR can help IT find its role in businessOn 21 Nov 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article The ‘them and us’ attitude towards technology personnel will soon be obsolete – we’ll all be in ITHR managers must create the right environments for IT departments to flourish if companies are to respond to the demand for innovation in the new economy, claims a report by management consultancy the Concours Group. “IT is currently seen as an inhibitor rather than an enabler,” says European managing director John Cooper. “Our report looks at the key processes in IT and how it can be activated in the right way.”The report, Making IT a Centre of Business Innovation, claims that if a business isn’t innovating, it isn’t in business, and that innovation is increasingly dependent on, if not driven by, IT.Cooper doesn’t place the sole responsibility of maximising the potential of IT on HR managers, but he points out that many company cultures are counter to IT taking a more strategic role. “In IT, you don’t get many Brownie points for putting the business at risk. You have to get on and do a job, while bemoaning the fact that nobody trusts you.”IT personnel must be leaders as well as enablers and followers, but it’s a fine balance. Organisations must create an environment in which it’s OK to fail and experiment but it must be sanctioned from the top.”The major findings of the report, carried out exclusively for Concours member companies, reveal that there are two main types of innovation: that which enhances existing skills and competencies and that which destroys or makes them obsolete. The latter, the actually positive competency destroying innovation, represents new kinds of technologies, products, processes or business models that deliver new value. It offers a challenge for established organisations because the economic and business logic for pursuing them often “flies in the face of the beliefs and values that are core to the success of the traditional business”. Often, such innovation will work better in new business set-ups, such as an offshoot dotcom or spin-off e-division. “Innovation demands a freedom of foot and sometimes this is best done in separation from the parent company, where HR polices can be different,” says Cooper.Whether as a spin-off or an integrated unit, there is much the HR department can do to help IT staff feel they can have a positive and innovational impact. Cooper admits the profile of an IT person can be one of a loner, and that they like order in their lives – which does not sit comfortably with being a major innovator. “HR must be nimble in accepting that these groups of people are different,” he says.The report places a challenge at HR’s door. “Innovation will not happen by merely tinkering with mission statements or changing incentive schemes and appraisal criteria. It requires a comprehensive and coordinated set of changes, starting with a re-examination of IT purpose and focus, a redefinition of roles, skills and organisational structures, and a reformulation of management and HR practices, values, behaviours and leadership.”Recommendations include encouraging IT leaders and staff to think and act like they are the heads of their own business and that formal and informal leadership development should be provided.Cooper sees a time when IT will be integrated in the mindset of the workforce. “It will no longer be ‘those blokes in IT’, because we’ll all be in IT – it will be the business.”A management summary of Making IT a Centre of Business Innovation can be obtained by contacting Tessa Ryall at the Concours Group on 020-7535 2805, e-mail: [email protected]up.com, www.concoursgroup.com Comments are closed.
Senate Pro Tem Shumlin and Speaker Symington appoint Arnie Gundersen and Peter Bradford to Public Oversight PanelMontpelier, Vt (July 1, 2008) – Senate Pro Tem Peter Shumlin and Speaker GayeSymington today made their appointments to Public Oversight Panel forthe Comprehensive Vertical Inspection of Vermont Yankee. Senate Pro TemShumlin appointed Arnie Gundersen of Burlington, Vt and SpeakerSymington appointed Peter Bradford of Peru, Vt.The Oversight Panel was established by the legislature to ensuretransparency and public involvement in the independent inspection of theVermont Yankee nuclear power plant required by the S.364 of the 2008session. The Panel will provide its assessment of the inspection andcondition of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power station to the VermontLegislature by January 30, 2009, prior to a key vote on whether theplant should be allowed to operate for another 20 years beyond itsscheduled closing in 2012.”Arnie Gundersen is one of very few people in the state withon-the-ground, inside-out understanding about how a nuclear power plantruns. This knowledge comes from more than 20 years of working at asenior level in the industry, overseeing operations, engineering, andsafety,” said President Pro Tem Shumlin.Arnie Gundersen is an energy advisor with thirty-eight years of nuclearengineering, operations, and safety oversight experience. Mr. Gundersenearned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in nuclear engineering at RPIwhere he had an Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship and was a licensedreactor operator. During his nuclear industry career, Mr. Gundersenreviewed projects at 70 nuclear plants and was frequently called upon totestify to the NRC and by congressional and state officials on nuclearpower operations.”Peter Bradford has both the expertise and the experience with thenuclear power industry to provide the legislature with an objectiveanalysis of the vertical audit of Vermont Yankee,” said SpeakerSymington.Peter Bradford has formerly served as a Commissioner to the U.S.Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Chair to the New York State PublicService Commission and Maine Public Utilities Commission. Currently, headvises and teaches on utility regulation, restructuring, nuclear powerand energy policy in the U.S. and abroad. He has been a visitinglecturer in energy policy and environmental protection at YaleUniversity and has taught courses in utility and nuclear law at theVermont Law School. He is vice-chair of the Board of the Union ofConcerned Scientists.### read more