DEARBORN - Nick Smither, GVP and CIO, and members of the global IT leadership team welcomed the North America’s latest technical specialists and senior engineers to the Technical Specialist program during a recent ceremony.
IT leaders presented seven technical specialists and 19 senior engineers at the annual event, held this year at Ford World Headquarters on November 27. Additionally, Marcy Klevorn, FoE IT director, announced two senior engineers from her organization who will be recognized in Europe in January. APA also hosted a similar recognition event on November 27 in Chennai. There were 3 senior engineer and 2 technical specialist appointments.
Ford IT launched enhancements to the Technical Specialist program a few years ago, which included establishment of senior engineer within IT, broadening of technical specialist criteria to include implementation focus, and an increase in technical specialist opportunities. Since then IT has appointed 22 technical specialists and 71 senior engineers.
Innovation in the spotlight
Smither addressed attendees on the significance of innovation at Ford, which he said is reflected in our IT priorities and 2013 objectives.
“As we move forward into 2013 we are going to be spending more time shaping our innovation capability in terms of being able to deliver incremental business value,” he said. “As a community, you have a very significant role to play in that.”
Smither noted that Henry Ford founded the company on innovation, and that that spirit is alive today.
“Our current focus around ONE Ford as well as the key brand pillars and how we position our products has reinvigorated that spirit of innovation that Henry had when he started the company back in 1903,” Smither said.
Demand for IT innovation has never been greater, as the advancement of consumer technologies has raised awareness of what can be done to improve individual employees’ productivity as well as advance business objectives. Along with that is increasing demand for greater IT capability within Ford.
“And that’s where each of you has a fundamental role to play. We need the gifted and committed individuals in the room here today, and around the world, to help shape that agenda moving forward,” he said.
Functional and Technical Excellence Critical
Mark Johnson, Executive Technical Leader for IT, reflected on joining the Technical Specialist program the previous year, which he characterized as a privilege, and emphasized the important role the technical specialists and senior engineers play within Ford.
“Ford can only be a world-class organization if it has a world-class technical team. Our corporate technical specialist program really represents that commitment to the technical community and maintaining such a team.”
Johnson also shared that work has been ongoing to promote the technical career ladder in IT and he hopes to share information about that in the near future.
Smither wrapped up the event on a theme of ongoing technical development.
“You are here today because of the investment you have made in our own development. I encourage you to continue that development, and also think about how you can help develop others. To be successful we need to continue to build a foundation of technical capability across our organization.”