The Author

The Drowning Director is the product of more than four decades of experience and applied research by Geoff Codd who, way back in 1957, started his career in computing while working with the earliest computers at Rolls-Royce Aero Engine Division in the UK.

Since that early beginning he has met almost every conceivable challenge in business IT exploitation within a wide range of business cultures and management styles, in both the Private and the Public Sectors, latterly at board level. That broad range of experience has provided Geoff with a unique insight into the many inadequacies that arise in business IT exploitation, from a business as well as a technology perspective.

It was in the late 80's that he first became convinced that the root of many of the major problems being encountered in the introduction of IT into business and government were mainly cultural and behavioural, rather than technological. The main culprit appeared to be a long established culture disconnect between business people and their IT specialists, which was present in most organisations. That gap still persists today.

[IMAGE] Geoff Codd
Photography by Justin Codd

It was well known that the culture disconnect was there, and that it was damaging, but a truly comprehensive and co-ordinated initiative aimed at dealing decisively with this issue has still not been attempted. The main reasons for this inertia on the part of business and government leaders are many and varied, and these are dealt with at length in The Drowning Director.

Suffice it to say here that business people regarded the subject of IT as one to be delegated to the specialists, and thus did not need to be understood in any depth by business management. Furthermore, the IT specialists themselves were heavily preoccupied with technological issues, at the expense of serious investment in relationship management. This resulted in the damaging culture disconnect continuing largely unabated.

Over recent years Geoff Codd researched many of the issues surrounding this culture disconnect and its effect on IT exploitation effectiveness. As an Adviser to the Boards of various household name organisations during the 90's he was able to prove individual elements of his approach to addressing this problem. What then became clear was that huge benefits were there for the taking, providing that there was clear backing for such initiatives by the CEO and the business directors, as well as the CIO.

During the research phase for The Drowning Director, Geoff was deeply impressed by Jack Welch's career as CEO at General Electric in the US. The transformation of that large and complex company, and of its fortunes, was founded upon major cultural and behavioural change, together with inspirational leadership and professional management practice. It is precisely those elements that are the most important ingredients in the transformation being promoted in The Drowning Director.

Over the last few years Geoff Codd has devoted much of his time adding to the massive amount of material that was the foundation for The Drowning Director. His personal mission has been to actively promote the many lessons learned within so many management cultures and styles over the years, and he has presented his conclusions to a variety of interested bodies.

Geoff Codd is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors where he also attained their Diploma in Company Direction. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Information Technology Practitioner.

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