The CIO Collective

 


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Frequently Asked Questions about the Collective

  1. What is the CIO Collective?
  2. What are the next objectives of the CIO Collective?
  3. Our company would like to create an advisory team of CIOs to help define our corporate strategies. How do we engage with the Collective to assist in this effort?
  4. Iím a Vice-President of Information Technology, and would like to become involved. How do I join? What are the dues?
  5. I am starting a business. What role could the CIO Collective play?
  6. What is the Collective policy regarding unsolicited contact?
  7. What is the difference between The CIO Collective and Gartner Group, or Forrester, or Giga?


1. What is the CIO Collective?

The CIO Collective is a private, non-profit association of senior IT executives providing strategic guidance to emerging institutions and initiatives. Many of the associated executives are employed full-time for major corporations; others consult with companies as interim CIOs; still others provide advice at the advisory board level.

Like the medical organization, “Doctors Without Borders,” The CIO Collective is composed of individuals who are interested in “giving back” by providing guidance to institutions in need. The Collective has a variety of programs, and cultivates a community knowledgebase, for all associates in good standing.

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2. What are the next objectives of the CIO Collective?

We are sponsoring the Amy B. Kahn “Women in IT: Excellence in Leadership” Award, to be given annually to an IT executive who best exemplifies the qualities of Ms. Kahn, who was one of our founding associates. For more information about this $5000.00 award and the application process, refer to: http://www.cio-collective.com/topics/amy.html

We have established (and continue to build) a knowledgebase for best practices, available in our members only portal. The contents of our knowledge are derived from conference calls with various financial institutions such as Bessemer Trust, or documents from our one-time advisory panels and ongoing advisory boards. There are a number of specific initiatives, in which clusters of the Collective’s associates continue to participate:

  • The World Bank: The CIO Collective is providing strategic IT guidance on matters of interest to the World Bank Information Services Group. The next event planned with The World Bank is scheduled for June 10, 2004.


  • The Federal CIO Council: The CIO Collective has provided expert guidance to The Federal CIO Council in several meetings over the past three years. Our next mentoring session with the Federal CIOs is tentatively planned for the mid-2004.

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3. Our company would like to create an advisory team of CIOs to help define our corporate strategies. How do we engage with the Collective to assist in this effort?

The CIO Collective can provide a group of selected IT executives with domain expertise and/or relevant business experience to help craft your company’s direction and objectives. Initial coordination and facilitation is provided by the Executive Director to create the framework for an advisory project. Other participants are identified, based upon background and interest.

Advisory projects may be one-time meetings on particular subjects, or may become the beginning of a formal advisory board, such as in the case of client company Netscaler, Inc. Advisory work may involve pre-event correspondence between members of a focus group of Collective associates.

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4. I'm a Vice-President of Information Technology, and would like to become involved. How do I join? What are the dues?

The CIO Collective is a private network of IT professionals. The qualifying criteria are that you have extensive IT leadership experience, you are interested in providing guidance to emerging initiatives in your geographic region, and you are currently or have previously held the title of CIO or VP of Information Technology during your career. We are an online community, and all meetings are aligned with co-sponsored initiatives. Email exchanges are more frequent, and are encouraged.

The first step in the process is to send a current resume to the Executive Director (exec-director@cio-collective.com). Following a brief background review and a direct (phone) interview, qualified individuals are offered to participate in our no-cost 90-day trial membership. During this time, all activities (events, newsletters, panels, conference calls) will be open to participation, as well as full access to the members only community website, which includes the Collective’s knowledgebase.

There are three available tiers of membership following the trial period. Individual associate dues are $500 per year – these are appropriate for executives in transition, or those who prefer to join in an unaligned fashion, and Institutional dues, which are $1500 per year – these are appropriate for those whose membership is being paid by their company, and who want to extend certain privileges (conference attendance, conference calls) to their direct reports.


Board-level participation is also available, as negotiated with the Executive Director. Participation at this level, currently held by Stuart Robbins as Executive Director and Mohamed Muhsin, from The World Bank Group, involves directly guiding the present and future direction of The CIO Collective, as well as providing influence in new program development, fundraising issues, etc.

The CIO Collective is applying for 501(c)3 status, and is a not-for-profit association. All dues paid by the associates are directly channeled to support the operational costs of the organization. The Executive Director draws no salary at this time.

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5. I am starting a business. What role might the CIO Collective play?

Frequently, senior IT leadership is not asked to join a company until there are serious technology problems requiring immediate attention. The solutions are often expensive and time-consuming.

In today’s economy, as businesses become more reliant upon their data and infrastructure (information systems), it makes sense to involve senior IT professionals early in your planning. An associate from The CIO Collective could review your business plans, assist in the creation of a strategic IT roadmap, help establish trusted partnerships with important technology vendors, or mentor IT managers who may be skilled technologists but lacking in business or management experience. In some cases, the associate may be able to offer direct management to resolve particular problems.

We have held advisory sessions for Outlook Ventures, Bridgestream, CRIA Technologies, Certive Corporation, InterWest Partners, Sigma Partners, Macromedia, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Yahoo, Inc., and are currently planning a session for Silver Creek Systems.

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6. What is the Collective policy regarding unsolicited contact?

No associate will ever be referred to a vendor, recruiter, or analyst without his or her explicit consent, in advance. As a matter of facilitation, the Executive Director will field initial inquiries to determine the specific need before contacting a particular associate, as a matter of due diligence.

The CIO Collective does not provide references for products or companies, though individual associates with domain expertise may offer individual perspectives, upon request.

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7. What is the difference between The CIO Collective and Gartner Group, or Forrester, or Giga?

The CIO Collective is based upon the notion that knowledge sharing among peers (CIO-to-CIO) is the most effective approach to executive problem solving.

Each Collective associate will have a particular response, depending upon his or her unique combination of other partnerships and experiences. In general, the groups listed above are larger organizations with extensive libraries – they offer substantial benefits, but none of them encourages as their primary objective the networked association of the members.

The CIO Collective’s ultimate value is the knowledge shared between the associates themselves – a value rooted in the interactions between the associates on the most current IT topics of the day. We do not provide formally researched essays written by analysts. Instead, we will provide the personal observations of particular CIOs with particular points-of-view.

As you know from Metcalfe’s Law, the value of a network increases exponentially with the addition of each node. Every associate who has joined in a dialogue with other Collective members has ultimately enriched the overall enterprise, in ways that are sometimes subtle, sometimes profound, and frequently without metrics, but rarely without obvious and inherent value.

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