Project management

Results of Corporate Entrepreneur Poll

Posted on December 9, 2014. Filed under: Big Data, Career Management, CIO, Consulting/Contracting, Cyber Security, Engineering, Executive Job Search, Healthcare IT, International Job Seekers, IT networking, Job Market Trends, Job Promotion, Job Search Tips, Manufacturing, Personal Branding, Product Development, Programming, Project management, Software Development, STEM, Technical Sales, Women in IT |

Last week I put out a call for responses to a poll asking our audience what the phrase “corporate entrepreneur” meant to them. This topic of corporate entrepreneurship will encompass my contribution to my upcoming book Uncommon with Brian Tracy (Spring 2015), and I wanted to get a sense of what professionals out there thought when they heard the phrase.

The largest response at 23% was that a corporate entrepreneur was “a strategist”. A three-way tie for second at 15% each included:

  • Someone who’s business savvy but probably more suited for self-employment.
  • Someone who sees what’s coming in the corporate realm and prepares for it.
  • A professional who knows how to apply certain elements of self-employment within the corporate structure.

If you’d like to participate in the poll, please feel free to do so. I’ve included it below and will keep it open a couple more weeks.

At that time, I will post the results and give an excerpt from the book discussing this issue. As a technical career strategist following the world of work closely, I am convinced that corporate entrepreneurship is going to be a “must” (yes, a must) for anyone looking to maintain their careers, particularly as we move through the next decade.

The shifting of corporate culture, the convoluted hiring practices, the mixed-generational workforce, and most importantly, the global market outlook are all bringing together a perfect storm that will forever change what it means to be in corporate. What we’ve seen so far is just the beginning.

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Innovation Is Rarely Sexy

Posted on June 16, 2014. Filed under: Career Management, CIO, Consulting/Contracting, Executive Job Search, Job Market Trends, Job Promotion, Personal Branding, Product Development, Project management, Software Development, Work Issues |

I came across this infographic on Pinterest, and I thought I would share it as “innovation” seems to be the workplace word of the hour.

Right up there with “culture,” the desire to be “innovative” rolls off of corporate and self-employed tongues like it is the answer to the latest fairytale ending.

As a career strategist, I must hear the word used at least 20 times a day. Suddenly, everyone is declaring themselves to be innovative and they want everyone else to know it. They want their companies to be innovative, and their companies want them to be innovative.

It all makes HR very happy as they run off and produce more “innovative” leadership training seminars. Certification and degree programs are beyond happy because they’ve convinced everyone that innovation and credentials somehow go hand in hand.

But in all this merriment and “sexy” idea of what innovation is, I can’t help but feel that the true meaning of the action “to innovate” isn’t somehow lost.

Throughout my career, I’ve been in corporate leadership, earned an MBA, earned a Six Sigma Black Belt, earned advanced career strategist certifications, attended numerous seminars and leadership conferences, served in political office, and started a successful small business from the ground up (that offers several different “innovative” job search and branding solutions), and it’s all been valuable in different ways. But I’m pretty sure that none of it has really spurred innovation. It’s added to my credibility and the credibility of my team members. It’s given me lots of letters to place after my name. It’s taught me some interesting theories. It’s allowed me to meet some interesting people and open some interesting doors….all great things…but innovative?

Instead, here are the things that I would attribute to making me more “innovative,” whether it was in my corporate days or now as a small business owner:

  1. Listening, listening, listening
  2. Paying attention to the market and then paying attention some more
  3. Understanding that I must benefit the least
  4. Failing
  5. Failing some more (called “Experience”)
  6. Not overly focusing on what others think
  7. Not pretending I’ve reinvented the wheel
  8. Not thinking so much about what it means to be “innovative”

Now you don’t often see these things on a list of Innovation How-To’s. For one thing, they are somewhat solitary, not exactly the collaborative utopia today’s working environment is going for. For another, they take a lot of time…a lot of time making mistakes.

Basically, they aren’t very sexy.

But then again reality rarely is.

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Which IT Roles Are the Hardest to Fill?

Posted on May 22, 2014. Filed under: Big Data, Career Management, CIO, Consulting/Contracting, Cyber Security, Healthcare IT, IT networking, Job Market Trends, Programming, Project management |

toon975Recently, Rich Hein of posted the results of a TEKsystems survey of 244 CIOs, CTOs, and other IT execs across several industries. The survey identified the following 9 IT roles as the most difficult to fill:

  1. Programming & Application Development (with .NET and Java in highest demand)
  2. Security
  3. Business Intelligence and Big Data
  4. Business Analyst
  5. IT Architect
  6. Cloud Roles
  7. Help Desk / Technical Support
  8. Software Engineer
  9. Project Manager

It’s no surprise that big data, security, cloud computing, and mobility all rank in the top 9. It’s also no surprise that the survey revealed that 47 percent of companies plan to  increase their IT workforce over the next year, which should mean good things for tech talent with these skill sets.

However, there has been a disconnect over the last couple years between a wealth of openings and a reluctance to hire, not to mention the high turnover and poor retention policies by companies. Therefore, if companies want to hire more IT talent, they need to address their hiring and retention practices. Period.

And if tech professionals want to get out of the tech talent rat race (and runaround), they will need to understand differentiation like never before.


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