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Vice President and Chief Information Officer
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The MITRE Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that operates research and development centers sponsored by the federal government. Our centers support our sponsors with scientific research and analysis, development and acquisition, and systems engineer... more.
Presented by Joel D Jacobs, Deputy CIO, The Mitre Corporation and Jean Fong, Director, Technology & Projects, DuPont.
VP/CIO The MITRE Corporation Joel Jacobs VP/CIO The MITRE Corporation
Mr. Joel Jacobs is vice president and chief information officer of The MITRE Corporation. He leads the Center for Information and Technology (CI&T), the organization providing comprehensive information technology, corporate communications, knowledge management, and enterprise architecture services to the corporation. As CIO, Mr. Jacobs is responsible for advancing IT services, including technology adoption, infrastructure operations, and the use of information technologies that enable MITRE staff to effectively serve the company's government customers. Read more about Joel Jacobs
The inadequacy of current IT talent management systems was borne out by the panel's two veteran IT leaders: Joel Jacobs and Dan Sheehan.
Jacobs is CIO at The MITRE Corp., a large not-for-profit that provides research and other services to the federal government. A MITRE veteran of 28 years, he oversees an IT team of 400 people. Joel Jacobs, CIO Joel Jacobs Asked if this was also a challenge for him, Jacobs said, it is, in particular with regard to new hires. "I don't have a magic formula for determining who is going to be able to learn and adapt. I wish I did," he said. But MITRE does invest a lot in training, Jacobs said. Everyone in his organization goes through customer service training; senior management goes through "trusted advisor training," which teaches techniques for partnering with business partners. Those two skills, plus adaptability, are a big part of people's success at MITRE. In addition, MITRE decided two years ago it needed to rethink how it evaluated employee performance. Jacobs - one of the executives who led the project - took a course at Harvard Business School in performance and talent management, expecting to learn about the useful techniques and the many excellent talent management systems in use at other companies. "What I heard was that every company's system sucks," he said. "I was stunned, but it left me in the position to say we can't look to somebody else's model … we have to determine what works for us." The network effect MITRE wound up renovating its old performance management system - but not before a thorough re-evaluation that revealed a "thirst" for more accurate and effective assessment and employee development, Jacobs said. "We ultimately determined that we should be having a conversation about roles and results and behaviors," he said. "It is a completely different process than what we had before. The need for clearer expectations, more frequent interaction between managers and staff, and a better understanding of when people go "above and beyond the table stakes of their job descriptions" and when they fall short, drove the overhaul, Jacobs said. The new system also takes into account how results are accomplished. "If you left dead bodies by the side of the road while you did the job, we ought to know that and maybe change the process." Another new wrinkle at MITRE? The company, with permission, has recently begun using the LinkedIn networks of MITRE employees to find new people, Jacobs said. People who work in a given space are more likely to be connected to people with similar skills. "We are in a war for talent, we want to get the best people we can and we can't wait forever," he said.
The honor went to Marilyn Daly, CIO and VP of Operations at Neighborhood Health Plan, who was nominated alongside an impressive and equally-deserving group of executives including: Joel Jacobs, CIO and VP at MITRE; Dan Moriarty, CIO at Atrius Health; Debra Orr, CIO at Simmons College; and Mark Staples, VP and CIO at Wentworth Institute of Technology.