The Evolution of the C-Suite, Part 4

The Evolution of the C-Suite, Part 4

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Part 4 of a 4-Part Series with Sandee Kastrul & Anna Frazzetto The C-Suite and the Future

Sandee: My closing question is, what do you think the future workforce should be prepared for?

We’ve talked about being able to work together, collaborate and use empathy. One of the things that really stood out to me about the panelists was that they could stand in each other’s shoes, see things from their perspective. As a result, they worked better together.

What is the CDO doing that brings folks together? What do they represent that commands greater respect? Is it the digital data? What is that piece? How do we, as an organization like i.c.stars that’s developing the next generation of technology, business and community leaders, think about the skills a future workforce needs?

Anna: This is always the million-dollar question. Technical skills are easier to teach. If somebody has natural aptitude, you can pretty much teach them anything. And as long as they have analytical skills with a certain base foundation, you can teach them technology, or how businesses run.

Now we’re talking about different types of skills, including the critical items we just mentioned. You said empathy - that’s one of the softer skills. It’s the people skills that are a little bit harder to teach. It’s really exposure and experience that will help our bright future talent gain those kinds of skills.

Some people are a little bit more natural at it. Some people are going to have to learn how to navigate through muddy waters. The challenge is teaching future talent to balance technical competency and social skills.

Eventually, everybody becomes a salesperson. Everybody needs to be able to influence and persuade when they’re part of a collaborative approach. Negotiating skills become critical, influencing people, learning the power of how to say something. It’s not so much what you say, but how you say it. This is critical to ingrain in our future talent.

Sandee: Brilliant. I love that. That’s so tweetable, right? Everybody becomes a salesperson. We all have to be able to influence. This brings to mind how the first week of the internship is structured. Everyone is focused on leadership skills, communication skills, team building skills and trust. One day, we focus on learning styles. We have multiple intelligences. There are actually seven different ways that we learn. For a lot of us, this is an eye opener.

Some of us are visual, or auditory, some of us are interpersonal or intrapersonal. Some of us learn better on our own, then bring it to the table, while others learn better in a group, by talking through problems. You may learn that you’re visual - you need to see it to believe it. Others really need to break things, touch and feel them before they understand.

The most important part of this workshop is not only finding out how you learn and how you digest data, but how you make the most of your learning, how the people around you do it and how you can adapt to that. The outcome being that if I am very visual and need to see all the information before I can really use it, but you need to talk through everything, how do I give information to you so you can digest it differently than I do? How do we take in and give information, no matter our learning style?

To the point about the future workforce having the ability to influence others, and that we’re all in sales, we need to be able to find out who our customer is, who our buyer is quickly. Then we must assess how they need to hear, see this information and, in fact, digest it in order to align with us and build the future.

We’re so grateful for you, Anna. You’re such a wealth of information. We really really appreciate the partnership we have with you guys at Harvey Nash, and all that you’re doing. Thanks so much for continuing to give all that you’ve taken in. That is leadership.

In case you missed them:

Part 1 of a 4-Part Series with Sandee Kastrul & Anna Frazzetto “Introducing the Chief Digital Officer”

Part 2 of a 4-Part Series with Sandee Kastrul & Anna Frazzetto “The C-Suite - From the Peak to the Reality”

Part 3 of a 4 part Series with Sandee Kastrul & Anna Frazzetto: “How the C-suite combats disruption.”

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About Sandee

Sandee Kastrul's photo
I believe that the definition of leadership is making opportunities for others. I am a leadership geek and find that the richest opportunities for all of our futures lie in education. I am a believer in reciprocity in education and that as educators we are both teacher and student. I believe that the world can be a classroom if we open ourselves to the notion that application, concatenation and liberation start with listening. Schedule Sandee to Speak

About i.c.stars

i.c.stars is a non-profit organization in Chicago for adults with a high school diploma or GED. Using project-based learning and full immersion teaching, i.c.stars provides an opportunity for change-driven, future leaders to develop skills in business and technology. To learn more go to

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