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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is The Technology Leadership Experience (The TechLX)?

The TechLX is a cohort based, nine-month program delivered 100% virtually. It is designed to develop high-potential, mid-level technology leaders, to strengthen their leadership skills, grow their career, and progress to senior leadership. Each cohort consists of 20-22 participants from diverse companies and industries nationwide for an engaging learning experience.

The goals of The TechLX are to:

  • Develop stronger leadership skills, business acumen, and digital fluency in IT leaders.
  • Build a strong and innovative leadership bench for this disruptive, digital age.
  • Create a more robust, more valuable brand for IT, attracting and retaining top talent.
  • Provide a comprehensive and interactive learning experience custom built by IT for IT.

Find more details, participant enrollment forms, mentor profile forms, upcoming cohorts, and IT leadership development resources online here.

What are the components in The TechLX?

There are five key components:

  • Self-Awareness: A participant begins The TechLX by evaluating themselves against 15 research-based competencies in IT Skill Builder and having their direct manager evaluate them as well. Through the assessment, a participant and their direct manager have a full picture of their strengths/areas of opportunity and a data-driven career discussion, receiving targeted feedback and identifying areas of focus. Then, before graduating from The TechLX, the participant will re-assess themselves to discover where they have grown.
  • IT Leadership Development: Every six to eight weeks, participants attend three virtual workshops: Leading in a Technology Organization, IT Consulting Skills, and Marketing a Technology Organization. Taught by industry experts, these virtual workshops are delivered in a modular format and focus on the application of critical skills in real-life IT situations.
  • Peer Connections: Participants in The TechLX can network, exchange ideas, and build trusted relationships with IT peers from various companies and industries nationwide. Notably, each cohort is broken down into sub-groups that meet monthly and where participants are encouraged to problem-solve, look for new perspectives, coach their peers, and share ideas and best practices in the ever-changing world of tech.
  • 1:1 Mentoring: Each participant has the opportunity to choose a senior IT leader outside of their organization as their mentor. The mentee is expected to schedule the meetings, drive the relationship, and bring value to their mentor. This relationship benefits both individuals by providing an opportunity to build networks, learn outside perspectives, and receive feedback and advice.
  • Capstone Project: Throughout the workshops, participants are learning key strategies for marketing, communication, and leading change. They bring these concepts to the real-world by creating and implementing a technology-focused marketing plan at their organization. Driven in collaboration with their CIO and/or direct manager, this capstone project is the cumulative application of what participants have learned: creating tangible business value, tailoring the message and communicating with benefits, and influencing the narrative around IT’s value. 
What has the feedback been from the program?

Based on the feedback we have received from participants, mentors, and executive sponsors, our Net Promoter Score (NPS) is close to 10, and this satisfaction is proved by multiple companies continuing to enroll their up-and-coming leaders in The TechLX, cohort after cohort, year after year. Moreover, multiple participants have reached out to us after graduation saying that their participation in The TechLX has resulted in their promotion and taking on new and expanded responsibilities.

Who typically participates in The TechLX?

The usual participant is a high-potential technology or technology-adjacent leader in mid-level management. About 50% of participants in The TechLX are manager-level and 35% are director-level, while only 10% are individual contributor-level and 4% are VP-level.

The ideal participant:

  • Possesses a continual growth mindset and a desire for personal and professional development.
  • Commits to the time needed to participate in all program activities above and beyond current job responsibilities.
  • Aspires to take on significantly expanded responsibilities within 1-3 years and eventually be in a role of senior leadership.
I am a CIO or senior technology executive. How can I best leverage The TechLX?

There are three main ways you can utilize this program:

  • Nominate up to five of your up-and-coming team members to join a cohort.
  • Become a mentor for one or two participants from another company.
  • Sponsor an IT leader from a non-profit in your community to attend.
What is the time commitment for participants?

The time commitment over the nine months is approximately one hour a week and includes the following:

  • Attending the cohort kickoff and the orientation (60 minutes each)
  • Completing a self-assessment and reviewing the results with their direct manager at the beginning and end of the of the nine-month period (~1 hour each time)
  • Participating in three virtual workshops: Leading in a Technology Organization (6 hours), IT Consulting Skills (12 hours), and Marketing a Technology Organization (12 hours).
  • Attending three+ mentoring sessions between 60-90 minutes each
  • Participating in three+ sub-cohort meetings at 60 minutes each
  • Creating and formally presenting a Capstone Project (~8 hours)
  • Completing pre-graduation activities and attending the graduation celebration (~2 hours total)
Where does The TechLX obtain its mentors?

CIOs, CTOs, and other senior technology executives volunteer as mentors for The TechLX. They are vetted by our team to ensure that they have the requisite experience to ensure a beneficial relationship for the participant. Mentors in The TechLX have included C-level executives from such high-profile companies as Bayer, Boeing, Centene, Energizer, Mastercard, Nestle Purina, Novant Health, PGIM Fixed Income, and RGA.  

What does being a mentor in The TechLX entail?

Being a mentor requires meeting with your mentee(s) a minimum of three times (about an hour each time) over an approximately seven- to eight-month period. If you find the conversations rich and your mentee(s) is engaged, you are more than welcome to meet more often. Frequently, mentors in The TechLX offer an hour of their time monthly, which has shown to have a high impact on the growth and success of the mentee(s).

Before introduction, you are given a profile of your mentee(s) that includes their current role, career goals, personal interests, and the mentoring topics that they are hoping to cover. Each mentor is also provided with best practices for engaging with their mentees in The TechLX and supporting their growth as part of the larger program. You and your mentee(s) are connected via email, and then it is the mentee’s responsibility to reach out and schedule the meetings.

While the topics vary, mentors and mentees generally discuss everyday problems and solutions, career paths and steps to success, leadership characteristics, setting and achieving goals, and much more. The mentoring relationship benefits both parties by sharing experiences, valuable outside perspectives, unbiased support and advice, and insights based on missteps and successes.

How can a participant’s direct manager support them in The TechLX?

There are several actions that a direct manager can take to make The TechLX a rewarding experience for their team members:

  1. Give an evaluation of their leadership ability via the IT Skill Builder assessment, and then review the assessment results with them, coming to a common understanding of what success looks like for their role and collaborating in setting data-driven, achievable development goals.
  2. Encourage them to put in 100% for maximum benefit – your leaders will get out of The TechLX what they put into it! Ensure that they are able to set aside the requisite time for meaningfully participating in the workshops, mentoring, and peer networking.
  3. Follow up with your direct report(s) after each workshop to see what impacted them, what key concepts they walked away with, and how they will be applying newly learned skills in day-to-day work. You will receive progress reports throughout the nine months summarizing your participant’s engagement and suggesting specific questions to ask and ways to support your participant(s) throughout the learning journey.
  4. Support their effort in The TechLX Capstone, creating a marketing plan for a current or future technology initiative. Having their direct manager cheering on their success is highly motivating and confidence-building!
Can you provide more information on The TechLX workshops?

Leading in a Technology Organization, facilitated by a retired CIO, focuses on the most critical skills of effective leadership such as goals and vision, inspiring others, emotional intelligence, diversity and inclusion, delegation and decision making. (two 3-hour modules)

IT Consulting Skills – Becoming a Trusted Advisor builds participants’ trust and influencing skills, increases their communication skills, and helps them to build deeper, strategic relationships with their internal and external stakeholders. (four 3-hour modules)

Marketing a Technology Organization enables participants to communicate the value of IT (and themselves as an IT leader), to tell a compelling narrative, and to lead change confidently by focusing on value provided rather than simply the technical features. (four 3-hour modules)

What is IT Skill Builder?

IT Skill Builder is a proprietary cloud-based assessment and personal development solution that incorporates workforce analytics for a full picture of the individual’s skills, strengths, and areas of opportunity. Through assessments, participants in The TechLX and their direct managers can clarify current behavioral competencies and skill gaps and then develop and coach for success. IT Skill Builder allows people to explore career development in new ways, increasing engagement, individual growth, and internal mobility. 

What is The TechLX Capstone Project?

The TechLX embeds new mindsets and builds essential skills through hands-on, real-world practice. Participants apply their new skills in marketing, communication, and leading change through creating and implementing a technology-focused marketing plan at their organization. Collaborating with their colleagues, direct leader, and CIO, this capstone project is the cumulative application of what participants learned and practiced in the workshops. They will graduate from The TechLX with a tangible take-away that creates business value, elevates their leadership brand, and influences the narrative around IT.

What is the criteria of completion for The TechLX?

A participant is required to complete the following to graduate:

  • A self-assessment in IT Skill Builder, reviewing the results with their direct manager, at the beginning and end of the of the nine-month period
  • Attend and actively engage in all three workshops (10 virtual sessions total)
  • Participate in three or more mentoring conversations
  • Participate in three or more sub-cohort meetings
  • Complete the Capstone Project, creating a marketing plan for their organization.
  • Prepare a presentation with their sub-cohort for graduation
How do participants access materials and complete assignments?

The TechLX utilizes an online portal hosted by a European company called aNewSpring to house the program materials, activities, and assignments. This supporting tool for the learning journey has lessons, videos, workshop intersession work, and guides for continued learning and application. Outside of the live, interactive workshops, the participants can access everything they need to succesfully complete The TechLX in this portal.

What success/progress measures do you have in place?

There are several ways we track and measure participants’ progress and success in The TechLX:

  • The IT Skill Builder assessment participants (and their direct leaders) complete at the beginning and end of the nine-month program clearly identifies leadership growth and progress in closing skill gaps.
  • Participants are requested to answer monthly ‘pulse-checks’ that measure their satisfaction with the program. These provide an ideal opportunity to reflect on their learnings thus far and offer feedback to The TechLX team.
  • After each workshop, a status report is shared with the participant’s direct leader and CIO. This report shows if the participant is on track in The TechLX. It includes a snapshot of their progress in portal activities and workshop attendance, as well as specific suggestions for the direct manager and CIO to best support their team member throughout the learning journey.
  • Participants complete an overall evaluation at the end of The TechLX, rating each component, sharing what was most valuable to them, and what ideas they might have for improvement.

Let’s discuss your IT leadership development goals

Get in touch to schedule a call to review the latest IT leadership trends and get a personalized walkthrough of The TechLX.