Posted October 26, 2010
There aren’t very many Canadian women leading a team responsible for an $8 billion global business, but Christine Alford has entered that small group. Just a few days after being appointed Chief Operating Officer, Consulting Services for IBM, she was the featured speaker at the second ITAC/CWC Speakers’ Series showcasing outstanding female leaders in information and communications technology. In conversation with interviewer Adriana Zibiri (Senior manager, IBM Software Group) and a capacity crowd in the auditorium at IBM Canada’s Markham headquarters, Christine candidly shared her experiences and views on personal leadership. She encouraged her audience to view career risks as opportunities, demonstrating that the job changes she made in her career were some of the most successful risks that she took. Christine’s career started out “non-traditional” and pretty much stayed that way. She studied for a career in marine biology but a few summer jobs counting fish eggs and a minor in computer science diverted her to her first job with IBM as a software developer. After 12 years of that she was offered a chance to become an industrial engineering manager and then CIO of IBM Canada and finally an executive in services.
“I wasn’t an expert in any of these roles,” she noted. “But I learned that in any new job a key to success is your ability to deliver in the first 30 days.”
Watch the full video of this lively discussion and to learn why this series is rapidly becoming one of our most popular.