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Mentor advises CTOs and CIOs to dive into uncertainty

Coach Catherine Stagg-Macey, founder of executive leadership mentoring organisation Belgrave Street, has been advising leaders since 2013 having had a significant career in technology consultancy and analysis,  in this Horizon Live podcast she discusses the need for a new leadership paradigm. 

Catherine talks to over 100 CIO’s at the Horizon ILS2016. Image credit icon photo media

 

Mentor advises CTOs and CIOs to dive into uncertainty


By Mark Chillingworth

“You are at the edge of visibility and it is an incredible experience; things come at you from nowhere and there is a sense of unease,” executive leader and team coach Catherine Stagg-Macey tells CTOs and CIOs in the latest Horizon Live podcast.  Stagg-Macey is describing a diving trip in the Pacific ocean, this isn’t a trip down memory lane though for the Belgrave Street mentor though, it is a metaphor for the challenges that today’s business leaders face, that of staring into a deep blue ocean of opportunities, both for a business leader and market challengers.

Catherine Stagg-Macey, founder of executive leadership mentoring organisation Belgrave Street has been mentoring since 2013 having had a significant career in technology consultancy and analysis with organisation such as Celent, KPMG as well as technology leadership roles with the likes of Investec and Transnet in financial services and logistics respectively.  

Speaking at the Innovation Leadership Summit Stagg-Macey describes traditional business management methods as being akin to the arcade game Whack-a-mole. “Corporate life is problems to be solved, bugs to be fixed and a need to mitigate against problems,” she says.  “Reducing risk is an industrial process to make efficiencies and to see everything as a problem and take those problems down.”

In the face of major digital disruption Stagg-Macey says organisations and business technology leaders are like her diving experience, looking into a deep blue void where a threat could appear at any moment with a digital service that undercuts your business and market position.  In the podcast Stagg-Macey says the traditional whack-a-mole management methods are deeply risky, despite the whack-a-mole focus being about risk aversion, the reason, it does not enable a culture of innovation.  Stagg-Macey says organisations and business technology leaders need to be able create a new leadership paradigm.

“Put the hammer down and hang out with uncertainty and what can arise.”

The leadership paradigm for business technology leaders to become innovation leaders is therefore to create “a deep blue space to think about problems and…tap into intuition and say what really needs to be said”, she says.

Stagg-Macey admits the whack-a-mole method is a powerful and useful tool and in the right situations she advocates its use to those she mentors. But as the pace of disruption in a variety of vertical markets increases she also says: “Put the hammer down and hang out with uncertainty and what can arise.”

 

You can contact Catherine Stagg-Macey at: catherine@belgravestreet.com

 

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