As we move toward 2012, I can guarantee that many I&O leaders will have reviewed/defined what their strategy priorities are for the coming year, 3 years and maybe 5 years are. Hands up though: Who has had in-depth planning conversations around I&O people skill requirements?

I am not just talking about what technology skills are required to support these strategy initiatives but about I&O professional or soft skills required to ensure that your I&O function survives and prospers during the evolution currently happening in the world of enterprise IT – How many hands are still up?

During a recent Forrester I&O Leadership Council meeting, I led an interactive session based on my recent I&O Council exclusive report entitled "Tomorrow’s I&O Leaders Require An Equal Blend Of Technology And Business Acumen." This session utilized the results of an I&O Council Leadership survey to analyze what skills are required by successful I&O leaders and which skills should I&O executives be looking for when recruiting high-performing teams. From a high level the results show the following:

The results may already be pretty clear to you but how will you develop business and industry experience personally? How will you work with HR to ensure that these skills are uncovered during future recruitment processes? Also take a look at the executive-level skill requirements – do you think that these are easily applicable to a CEO role as we progress through this decade?

The report and interactive session goes on to detail a framework that can be used to help build skills and experience in these areas and I would be happy to talk to you about it if you contact me.

For now, what are your thoughts?  What are you doing personally and in your organization to make sure that an I&O skills gap does not occur?

Also, if you want to see firsthand how Forrester is addressing these skill challenges then please have a read of George Colony’s recent post on ‘Four BT Lessons’ which details how we went about recruiting a CBTO (chief business technology officer).