IT leadership drought hits Australian shores

In today's enterprise IT executives are expected to join other senior executives at the boardroom table and take joint leadership of the overall business - not just its technology needs.

But finding these IT executives that have the right mix of leadership skills is a tough ask, according to Australia's leading expert on emotional intelligence Dr Ben Palmer.

"The talent drought will worsen unless new approaches are found to develop 'soft' skills for the next generation of IT managers," he said.

Dr Palmer says the need to identify and develop good leaders is growing ever stronger as the so-called baby-boomer generation starts leaving the workforce.

He will be presenting possible solutions to this challenge at the South East Asian Regional Computer Confederation 2005 Conference (SEARCC 2005) in Sydney from September 28 to 30.

Palmer will outline the relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership performance within the Australian corporate sector, and how leadership performance can be enhanced by improving leaders' emotional intelligence via structured executive coaching.

Dr Palmer's presentation is one of more than 60 sessions from international and local ICT and business leaders scheduled at SEARCC 2005.

SEARCC 2005 chairman, Kumar Parakala, said the conference, titled ICT: Building Bridges, brings together CIOs and ICT practioners from the entire region and is the most important event in decades.

"There will be four conference streams, including one focusing on management issues which will look at how business leaders are maximizing opportunities for ICT to support and grow businesses in Australia and the South East Asian region," he said.

"The other streams focus on education, government and innovation issues and developments.

"Significantly, the conference will showcase Australia's ICT industry to an influential international audience."

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