Our Purpose

To improve the lives of people working in IT by upgrading organisation and leader capabilities.

Our Vision

A world in which IT leaders, teams and individuals are inclusive and operate at a sustainable pace whilst delivering valuable outcomes.

Our Mission

To promote the values of The Mindful CIO Manifesto through community engagement, building and education to improve the skills and capabilities of current and emerging IT leaders.

Our Values

• Diversity, humanity & sustainability
• Healthy culture
• Human skills over technical prowess
• Focus and presence with people and tasks

Join The Movement

The Mindful CIO

A mindful CIO is the ideal tech leader for our disruptive, uncertain digital era.

At The Mindful CIO, we inspire and influence tech leaders in all industries to lead more mindfully.

Our work is driven by The Mindful CIO Manifesto: a call-to-action for Australian tech professionals  to build a human-centric culture.

The Mindful CIO Manifesto is informed by a deep understanding of the challenges today’s tech leaders face, and leading practices in self-development and holistic wellbeing.

Leading for a disruptive future

Your role as a tech leader in an organisation is now more important than ever. Your decisions, and the actions of your team, play a critical role beyond the borders of the business you work for.

The Mindful CIO is a professional community platform designed to encourage collaboration between tech professionals; and commitment to the values and practices of mindful leadership.

What The Mindful CIO offers:

1.Connections with inspirational, passionate and mindful tech leaders who are role models and mentors

2.Resources to inform and upskill you in mindful leadership approaches, tailored specifically for the tech industry and tech roles

3.Interaction with your peers, through online discussion and community events

The Manifesto

The industrial age is over; the digital age is here. Our work is less physical and more mentally demanding than ever before, so we must be mentally fit. Forward-thinking organisations and leaders have realised this and are doing something about it. Are you one of them?

Corporate mindfulness has been adopted by a range of industries for different reasons. From law firms and banks, to start-ups, government agencies and several Fortune 500 companies, the outcomes are broad and deep: improved engagement, retention, wellbeing, safety, resilience, performance, creativity and innovation.

This approach is happening whether you are on board or not. And it’s yielding results.

This manifesto contains 10 declarations of a Mindful CIO. It describes how successful senior IT leaders operate in the 21st century. It reveals strategies on how to lead high performing teams and deliver outstanding results in a consistent and sustainable manner.

The path of a Mindful CIO, described in this manifesto, may not be your path. Not everyone has the courage to take this action. It is up to you to decide for yourself if you will be an early adopter or if you prefer to wait and see the IT Industry transform from a distance.

We may be living a digital revolution, but we’re not robots. We leave behind the lack of appreciation for IT professionals from our past and treat our people and teams with the respect they deserve. We acknowledge that the market is competitive and bright individuals are not easy to attract or retain. Turnover is expensive. IT roles are highly valuable and so are the people that perform them. We encourage our people to bring their whole selves to work.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What components of this declaration do you strongly agree or disagree with?
  • What are the most important aspects of the declaration?
  • What stories come to mind, in terms of wins or challenges, relating to this?
  • What aspects of your organisation/team are you most proud of in relation to this topic?
  • What initiatives related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?
  • How are you attracting/retaining top talent in your team/organisation?
  • What was last financial year percentage or turnover cost (recruiting, training, time to competence etc) in your team?

We cultivate an environment and a culture that talented IT professionals are eager to join and proud to stay with. We understand that a healthy work environment has a direct impact on the bottom line. We know it is our responsibility as senior leaders to set the direction and lead by example. This enables our business to grow and improve our company’s reputation in the market. It helps us to attract recognized industry leaders and the best IT brains. Our healthy culture and happy team also empower us to acquire and serve better clients. We care for our people. This may have been endorsed by GREAT PLACE TO WORK awards we received in the past. We continue to pursue such recognition of our efforts to offer our teams an environment that promotes wellbeing, ignites collaboration and enables high performance.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What components of this declaration do you strongly agree or disagree?
  • What are the most important aspects of the declaration?
  • What stories comes to mind in terms of wins or challenges relate to this?
  • What aspects of your organisation/team are you most proud of in relation to this topic?
  • What initiatives related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?
  • Are you pursuing GPTW recognition ?
  • How do you recognise your talent? How effective are those initiatives?
  • What are the characteristics of a healthy culture or environment?
  • Have you experienced a transition from a toxic culture into a healthy culture? And how was the process?

We are aware that todays’ leaders were often successful technicians who later moved into management. We recognize that although they are experts in their field, they may have missed out on leadership skills as part of their development. We provide them with the support they need to grow as people-leaders and to learn more about human behavior.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What components of this declaration do you strongly agree or disagree?
  • What are the most important aspects of the declaration?
  • What stories comes to mind in terms of wins or challenges relate to this?
  • What aspects of your organisation/team are you most proud of in relation to this topic?
  • What initiatives related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?
  • What leadership development / mentoring /coaching programs do you have in place?
  • How often do you receive/give 360 feedback?
  • Who was your best people leader and what were their keys traits?
  • Where have you seen a leadership framework successfully embedded in a workplace? What were their key elements?

We recognize that relationships are important, and that they contribute to successful outcomes. We empower our team to master human skills (aka soft skills). We equip them with tools and techniques so they can grow, not just technically, but also emotionally and socially. This enables them to enjoy themselves more and to experience higher performance. Achieving higher emotional quotients (EQ) enables our people to provide better services to our clients and therefore has a positive impact on our business bottom line.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What components of this declaration do you strongly agree or disagree?
  • What are the most important aspects of the declaration?
  • What stories comes to mind in terms of wins or challenges relate to this?
  • What aspects of your organisation/team are you most proud of in relation to this topic?
  • What initiatives related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?
  • How much importance is given to social intelligence and emotional intelligence in your team/organisation? How relevant are those skills/competencies in performance review discussions?
  • What initiatives, tools, techniques related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?

We are strategic with our projects and apply the 80/20 rule. We know less is more, so we are selective and thoughtful about projects we choose to engage in. We are laser-focused while maintaining the open awareness to identify and respond to strategic opportunities. We do not succumb to Shiny Object Syndrome. We avoid firefighting. We provide our teams with the conditions and support they need to thrive and strive in today’s fast paced, distracting and complex world.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What components of this declaration do you strongly agree or disagree?
  • What are the most important aspects of the declaration?
  • What stories comes to mind in terms of wins or challenges relate to this?
  • What aspects of your organisation/team are you most proud of in relation to this topic?
  • What initiatives related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?
  • How do you decide what projects/programs to engage/invest? What criteria is used?
  • How do you avoid the shiny object syndrome?
  • How has your team been able to get buy in from stakeholders in the design and execution of the strategic roadmap?

The IT industry tends to attract left brain introverts who struggle to stand up for themselves. They may lack assertiveness and avoid confrontation. Typically, they are afraid of saying “No”, can find it difficult negotiating a reasonable workload and can become easy prey for abusive managers in toxic environments.

We acknowledge this is detrimental for team morale and our credibility with clients. We encourage assertiveness and honest conversations about unrealistic deadlines and workloads. In our team it is okay to say NO to excessive workload without guilt. We recognize that extra effort is occasionally required when approaching project deadlines, however we aim for a sustainable and consistent work rhythm.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What components of this declaration do you strongly agree or disagree?
  • What are the most important aspects of the declaration?
  • What stories comes to mind in terms of wins or challenges relate to this?
  • What aspects of your organisation/team are you most proud of in relation to this topic?
  • What initiatives related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?
  • What is the level of psychological safety in your team? What are the main causes?
  • What impact does your team morale/engagement have to the company’s end clients, if any?
  • How acceptable is to say “No” in your team/organisations?
  • How good are you in negotiating unrealistic deadlines and workload?
  • Does your workplace culture encourage people to respectfully challenge decisions irrespective of hierarchical structures?

Historically IT professionals have been expected to consistently work long and odd hours. We know that end of year holidays are key times for IT projects to go live. While everyone else is out having a good time, the IT folks are working hard behind the scenes so we can all enjoy the benefits of the digital age.

Whilst we still ask that from time to time our team will go that extra mile to “get the job done”, this is not the rule. We do not expect our highly skilled digital team to work for long hours in return for a symbolic gift voucher or an occasional pat on the back. We know this is not a sustainable approach in the long run. Balance is what we seek.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What components of this declaration do you strongly agree or disagree?
  • What are the most important aspects of the declaration?
  • What stories comes to mind in terms of wins or challenges relate to this?
  • What aspects of your organisation/team are you most proud of in relation to this topic?
  • What initiatives related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?
  • In average, are long working days a rule or an exception in your team?
  • How do you maintain a balanced sustainable approach to managing workload and stakeholders’ expectations?
  • How do you balance the health and wellbeing of your staff with workload expectations?

We are aware of scientific research and evidence that multi-tasking is a counter-productive myth. We avoid multi-tasking whenever possible. We consciously aim to focus on one task at a time and choose our distractions mindfully.

We practice mindfulness in action. We are conscious of the dopamine kick we get from handling emails. However, we do our best not to be carried away by them. We discourage the need to be perceived as busy. We know that busy does not mean productive. We believe in speeding up by slowing down. We leave behind restlessness and spinning wheels. Instead we value mindful breaks, time and space for reflection.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What components of this declaration do you strongly agree or disagree?
  • What are the most important aspects of the declaration?
  • What stories comes to mind in terms of wins or challenges relate to this?
  • What aspects of your organisation/team are you most proud of in relation to this topic?
  • What initiatives related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?
  • How is “being busy” (or busyness”) perceived by the leadership team?
  • How is multi-tasking perceived by the leadership team?
  • How does you resource management approach consider the impacts of multi-tasking?

We are pro-active in monitoring, detecting and supporting of those at risk of burnout. We enable our leaders and team members by providing the environment, strategies and coping mechanisms to handle pressure with ease and grace. We speak openly about mental health. Having a mental health day due to stress is not a taboo in our organization. Sometimes it’s the best solution.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What components of this declaration do you strongly agree or disagree?
  • What are the most important aspects of the declaration?
  • What stories comes to mind in terms of wins or challenges relate to this?
  • What aspects of your organisation/team are you most proud of in relation to this topic?
  • What initiatives related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?
  • How do you monitor/prevent risk of burnout in your team/organisation?
  • How common/acceptable is it for people to take a mental health day off?
  • What coping mechanisms are encouraged and demonstrated by leadership team?

We know our presence is the best gift we can give anyone. We practice mindfulness and do our best to be present with the task at hand and the people with whom we communicate. We know the quality of our presence has a direct impact not only on our productivity, but also on our relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including our clients. Presence is power.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What components of this declaration do you strongly agree or disagree?
  • What are the most important aspects of the declaration?
  • What stories comes to mind in terms of wins or challenges relate to this?
  • What aspects of your organisation/team are you most proud of in relation to this topic?
  • What initiatives related to this topic have your team/organisation implemented?
  • In what ways is focused time encouraged/allowed in your team/organisation?
  • In the office, are there physical spaces that are conducive to focus? (e.g. library style area)
  • What are the techniques that you employ to maintain presence and manage distractions?
We are currently fine tuning the manifesto, if you would like to join us send an email to hello@themindfulcio.org with subject line: “I want to contribute to The Mindful CIO Manifesto 2.0“. We would love to have you in the team!

Our Champions

Rudi Peeters
INFO

Belgium

Saverio Ferraro
INFO

Italy

Peter Orlowski
INFO

Australia

Simona Dimovski
INFO

Australia

Zack Scott
INFO

Australia

Sign-up today to stay in the loop! Next events:

20th Oct 21 | #2 – We Promote a Healthy culture
17th Nov 21 | #3 – We Support Our Leaders’ Growth
19th Jan 22 | #4 – We Promote Human Skills & EQ
16th Feb 22 | #5 – We Focus on Critical Projects
23rd Mar 22 | #6 – We Respect Healthy Boundaries
20th Apr 22 | #7 – We Discourage Long Working Days
18th May 22 | #8 – We Minimize Multi-tasking & Action Addiction
22nd Jun 22 | #9 – We Prevent Burnout
20th Jul 22 | #10 – We Cultivate Presence with People & Tasks

Resources

Nathalie Heynderickx

Founder

Nathalie Heynderickx is an Australian-based tech leader  with a global perspective and a future-focus. The Mindful CIO is Nathalie’s initiative to promote mindful leadership best practices for tech professionals around Australia and abroad.

Nathalie is the director of Zen High Achiever: a boutique executive coaching practice working exclusively with tech professionals, teams and leaders. On a daily basis, she helps tech leaders to enhance performance, innovation and resilience using practices grounded in neuroscience and research.

Prior to this, Nathalie held a range of leadership roles in the tech arena, including BI Governance Manager, Scrum Master, Solution Architect, Business Analyst and SAP Consultant and Programmer. She has worked for global consulting companies including as IBM, EY and Accenture in the data analytics and business intelligence space.

In the corporate mindfulness space, Nathalie has facilitated programs for blue chip organisations like HP, ASIC, BP, Bendigo Bank, Air Services, Peugeot and Mars Petcare.

Today, Nathalie combines professional coaching for executive-level tech professionals, with a lecturing role at Monash University in post-graduate professional development and positive psychology.

She is the author of The Mindful CIO Manifesto, and founder of The Mindful AI Manifesto: a non-profit which advocates for Human Values in AI.

Contact Us

Address

Level 2, 287 Collins St, Melbourne – 3000 VIC

@themindfulcio

@themindfulcio

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