Friday, October 1, 2010

Collaborative Leadership in Driving Innovation

Listening to these four dynamic women as moderator, Rebecca Norlander, right, asked them to share their paths taken and the roads not taken, there were commonalities between them that has led to success in their respective fields:
  • Mentoring was a critical component
  • Perseverance when things got tough
  • Resilience when things took the wrong turn
  • Setbacks were viewed as learning opportunities
  • Widened their perspective by reframing the experience
  • Reinventing themselves became part of their "human fabric"
  • Accountability for the personal and professional risks they took
  • Savvy career transitions and adaptability to changing condition

Amy Alving, Chief Technology Officer, SAIC


Pivotal Moment in her Career

"I decided to give up tenure to keep my job in government that I loved. It was risky, but it was a commitment to a new path."

What Amy Looks for When Hiring

She looks for people who can recognize a problem instead of waiting for an invitation to solve it--they step up and own it. People stumble at the lack of initiative.

Reflection: What She Would Do Differently

I would get out of my comfort zone more often.

Kalpana Margabandhu, Director of WebSphere Development, IBM India Software Lab

Pivotal Moment in her Career

Being recognized and awarded for her accomplishments as a woman setting an example in her organization for for reaching beyond what she had considered a limit.

Reflection: What She Would Do Differently

I would take more risks.

Kelli Crane, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Thomson Reuters

Pivotal Moment in her Career

When a woman at the company walked up to her and said "We've never had a senior technology leader who was a woman - ever."

What Kelli Looks for When Hiring

Grounded and balance between work and life. I look for a good technologist with good communication skills and the ability to collaborate in driving innovation. People will watch how you handle diversity more than how you handle success.

Reflection: What She Would Do Differently

Have the courage to do the right thing more often and be true to herself all of the time.

Romea Smith, Senior Vice President, CA Technologies, Support

Pivotal Moment in her Career

When she moved from Texas to Virginia with three children - a big personal and professional risk.

What Romea Looks for When Hiring

You have to want to learn. Someone who is capable without blinders on and who looks for different ways to solve problems. Learning from failure is key. [Dee McCrorey's "Collaborative Risktaking" workshop suggested 15 days to "lick your wounds" and then get back in the game].

Reflection: What She Would Do Differently

I would delegate more.

Panelist Career Tips
  • You don't need to be the best at everything - it's about breadth and depth
  • Love what you do and success will follow
  • Crucial conversations: define governance upfront
  • You need teams at home and at work. Delegate. You need a team to support you
  • You have to make your own choices and that include personal and professional boundaries.
  • Influencing skills are different for everyone - try different approaches, if one thing doesn't work, try something else
  • Mentors help you when your more junior and when you're more senior you mentor others
  • You can't wait for companies to come to you - you need to manage your own career

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