NextGen CIO participants to get mental workout

The 50 participants in ZDNet’s NextGen CIO initiative can expect a crash course in the skills and art of business leadership, delivered by Charles Sturt University’s School of Management and Marketing.

Starting on January 28, 2013, the 50 participants in ZDNet's NextGen CIO initiative can expect a crash course in the skills and art of business leadership, delivered by Charles Sturt University's (CSU) School of Management and Marketing. During the five-week program, they'll be expected to get to grips with the finer points of five major subject areas.

The first module, Strategic Thinking, introduces key practical and theoretical aspects of thinking strategically. This includes an introduction of the key concepts of analysis, choice, implementation, control, and evaluation, together with why strategy is important in today's business environment.

Next on the menu is the Managing Change module, which provides an overview of the change process, the inevitability of change, and its impact on individuals, groups, and organisations. The module utilises Bolman and Deal's reframing technique, exploring organisational problems through four specific lenses: structural, human resources, political, and symbolic. Bolman and Deal's work provides an understanding of how different people involved in change see the world and provide solutions, which will supply skills that embrace change in the workplace.

The Leading People module is one of the most important learning areas for this program. It introduces the nature and importance of leadership, together with the traits, motives, and characteristics of successful leaders. The mapping of charismatic, transformational, contingency, and situational leadership will also be briefly covered, giving course participants some insights to directly apply in their everyday roles.

Understanding Finance introduces the role of finance and financial management within the wider organisational management framework. Participants will be introduced to key selected financial techniques, such as financial leverage, sources of finance, and working capital management. The difference between profit and liquidity will also be covered.

In the Managing Risk module, we'll examine the identification, measurement, and management of risk. Participants will study the role of the decision maker and decision biases, together with key techniques used to model, measure, and treat risk. The treatment of risk through risk retention, self-insurance, or the transfer and avoidance of risk is also introduced.

This mix of subjects is designed to supplement the existing technology and project skills of our participants, and give them a base of knowledge to help them to better understand the perspectives of senior colleagues within their businesses. It will also enable them to contribute to and have influence in their organisations in a wider and more effective manner.

Associate professor Mark Frost, Head of the School of Management and Marketing at CSU, said that there are a number of benefits for participants.

"The program will give participants an exceptional opportunity to benefit from a concentrated development program that accelerates their knowledge in a short period," he said. "It will allow experience of balancing ongoing education with the demands of busy jobs. For some, it may lead to a re-evaluation of their skill set, and a desire to continue with further education through additional learning, such as an MBA."

Applications for the free program (valued at AU$4,800) are continuing to land in the ZDNet inbox.

If you're interested in boosting your career development, or would like to nominate someone who you think would benefit from the program, please visit the NextGen CIO hub for more information.