CTO Leadership Forum: CoSN’s Framework of Essential Skills

by Jean Tower

C oSN Conference 2009 Session name: CTO Leadership Forum: CoSN’s Framework of Essential Skills: A Certification Pathway for the Future Technology Leaders CoSN has been working for several years creating and disseminating the Framework for Essential Skills for CTOs. In this session, we presented a work in progress – a pathway for a nationally recognized program for CTO certification. I was one of three presenters, along with Bailey Mitchell (Chief Technology and Information Officer, Forsyth County) and Ed Zaiontz (Executive Director Information Services, Round Rock ISD). I have been volunteering on this committee for several months, but Bailey and Ed have been working on this framework since the inception of this work at CoSN. The discussions have been really rich and full of great ideas and the product of some critical and thoughtful reflection. I’ve been privileged to work on the committee and was quite happy to join in presenting at this session. After introducing the framework of the key functional areas and the essential skills within each, participants read through the competencies and provided valuable input into the framework. There were five tables of participants (about fifty people total) and everybody rolled up their sleeves and worked. The input will be incorporated into the next draft. As usual, even though we have worked for many (many) months on this, I heard many really good suggestions for modifying and improving the framework. Another case of all of us being better than any one of us, and the power of crowds. It was gratifying to witness the level of engagement and the high level of thinking about this project.

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