CMI earned the distinction of being one of the top 500 revenue-producing companies in the North Bay. This annual distinction is awarded in the North Bay Biz 500 special edition and can be viewed online.

For the past 30+ years, CMI has given back to communities in various ways.

This year, CMI teamed up with Alameda Point Collaborative (APC), a supportive housing community that helps families and individuals break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.

give-thanks-orb-finalA Message from our President/CEO

As we approach Thanksgiving, I take a moment to appreciate all that makes CMI what it is today. While our Clients and our solution portfolio will never stop evolving, it amazes me that even after 40 years, much remains the same. We’re still obsessively driven by our overarching mission, serving our Clients in a spirit of long-term partnership and mutual success. And we’re equally driven to see CMI serve as a platform for success and entrepreneurial ambitions while seeking that balance that allows family and life beyond work to be equally fulfilling. Missions to appreciate.

To our Clients, none of this works without you. We thank you for your business but even more for your confidence and trust as long-term partnerships and our contributions to you personally will always be our measure.

To the CMI Team, thank you – your individual and often selfless contributions to the Team are the secret sauce. No matter where I go, comments about CMI’s culture are what fill me most with pride and satisfaction – that’s all you.

There are no shortage of challenges in our world this Thanksgiving and thus my greatest appreciation is for the “little” world we own and drive together. When you look it at that way, it’s easy to see we are blessed in so many ways and I wish you and your families a Thanksgiving full of appreciation and joy.

Bring on the Turkey and the smiles — Happy Thanksgiving.

CIO Roundtable Discussion

CIO-RoundtableMore than 50 CIOs attended the CMI January CIO Roundtable. The group has continued to grow in membership ever since we launched the East Bay CIO Roundtable in 2013. The meeting featured a panel of experts discussing a critically important current challenge for CIOs: “Effectively Managing the Multi-Generational Workforce.” The panelists included deep subject matter experts:  Deidre Paknad (CEO, Workboard), Rajeev Behera (CEO, Reflektive), Jennifer Selby Long (Selby Group) and Margaret Graziano (Keen Alignment). The panel was moderated by Tricia Emerson (CEO, Emerson Human Capital).

Conventional thinking today defines the generations that are currently in the workforce as:

Traditionalists:  born before 1945, experienced the Great Depression, World War II and the Korean War.

Baby Boomers:  born between 1945 and 1964, experienced suburban sprawl, the explosion of television, the Vietnam Era and Watergate.

Generation X:  born between 1964 and 1980, shared Sesame Street, MTV, PC’s, soaring divorce rates and were the first latch-key kids.

Generation Y or Millennials:  born after 1980, experienced the development of the digital camera, social media, YouTube, 9/11, Katrina and increased diversity.

The entire CIO group was engaged and the discussion was very rich. This is a topic that is on the minds of virtually every member of our group. The demographics are such that by 2020 – 46% of the workforce will be made up of millennials.

Much of the conversation was directed toward helping the group plan for successful results. To that end the experts drew some themes that define the nature of the millennial workforce. Those three themes are:

  • They are Change Ready
  • They are Mission Focused
  • They are Transparency Biased

While those are themes that characterize broad traits of the blended age-group, one of the biggest challenges is that more than half of the millennials in the workforce aspire to be the most Senior Leader in the organization. The high aspirations are an admirable quality but the reality is that there is only one “most Senior Leader in the organization” and when millennials make up half of the workforce and half of that age group are aspiring to be the “most Senior Leader in the organization,” there is guaranteed to be many individuals whose career arcs will require active coaching and mentorship.

We also learned that, as a group, the millennials crave feedback. It seems that this trait is exactly what CIOs can tap into to keep the new workforce engaged. When feedback is an ongoing conversation rather than a periodic (or rare) event, the millennials will tend to stay engaged and happy. Perhaps most importantly, CIOs will need to have direct conversations with each of their employees to understand how to uniquely tailor the feedback discussions for each. While the millennials will broadly appreciate feedback, each may have a specific mechanism/approach that works for them.

We have made some of the valuable resources that the panelists gave us available for download. Deidre Paknad gave us two eBooks:

Multi-Generational Workforce  and How Goals Get Their Groove Back

Tricia Emerson gave us two fantastic reference sheets:

Managing Millennials and CIO Booklist on Managing Millennials

The University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School, published an interesting paper: “Rethinking Generation Gaps in the Workplace:  Focus on Shared Values.” We found this paper to be a wonderful guide as practical advice for CIOs. While it is vital that CIOs understand, recognize, and address the differences in the generations, much can be gained by tapping into the shared values.

Ben Rosen, Ph.D., Professor of Organizational Behavior for the Kenan Flagler Business School conducted a study to view the differences and commonalities of the generations. Rosen reported: “We found that Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials all shared the same top five expectations of their employers. They also agreed in their views of what an ideal leader should look like.”

Rosen’s research found that all three generations expected the following from their employers:

  1. To work on challenging projects
  2. Competitive compensation
  3. Opportunities for advancement, and chances to learn and grow in their jobs
  4. To be fairly treated
  5. Work-life balance

All generations agreed that the ideal leader:

  1. Leads by example
  2. Is accessible
  3. Helps others see how their roles contribute to the organization
  4. Acts as a coach and mentor
  5. Challenges others and holds others accountable

Successful CIOs will be able to meet these common expectations of all generations while also being able to tailor their feedback methodology and practices to the individual needs of their employees.