CMO – CIO Power Partnerships

By Nicholas Flood, current student of the University of Sydney Business School MBA program

Nick FloodA consistent theme is ringing true with marketers at organisations of all sizes the world over: the complexities and challenges associated with data explosion, social media, shifting customer demographics and global competitive pressures are fundamentally changing the industry and profession.

With the need to confront these challenges established, what options exist for the CMO / Head-of-Marketing to better understand the situation, prepare themselves and respond?

To a large extent, the commentary has focused on the possibilities that are opening to marketers as technology advances. Developments in Cloud, Analytics, Mobility and Social have facilitated for systems of engagement that allow organisations to engage with increasingly empowered individuals in personalised interactions.

What is perhaps more interesting, however, is that a growing cohort among the commentariat are not focusing on technological advances in isolation but are analysing these developments through the lens of boardroom relationships, particularly the strength of the working relationship between Chief Information Officers and Chief Marketing Officers. Influential industry analysts continue to conclude that the strength of this relationship leads to improved customer centricity, increased competitiveness and optimised organisational performance.

How does a leader develop their skills and competencies to forge these relationships with their boardroom peers and develop their capacity to effectively influence as they seek to build consensus and buy-in to their vision?

From my own experience, the most profound instance was having had the opportunity to be a student within Associate Professor Mike Jenner’s classroom. Under Mike’s tutelage, Leadership Practice & Development (LP&D) has fundamentally transformed my ability to be effective as an emerging business leader. Arriving at the course with a thorough understanding of pedagogy (degree qualified), I was astonished in the way the unit was structured & delivered in-line with the available research on the optimal way for students to learn and develop new competencies. The benefit of this is that it has served to dramatically increase my leadership competencies, relationship building skills and capacity to be influential, at all levels of the organisation. Most importantly of all, the experience has equipped me with the understandings and framework through which I can continue on a journey of ongoing professional and personal development.

These are precisely the skills that will facilitate for me to realise my objective of being at the forefront of the marketing transformation required for Australian & New Zealand enterprises to maintain and extend their global competitiveness within the years ahead.

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