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How Dell is building technology and leadership that will impact the ‘Next Data Decade’


The year 2020 marks the beginning of what Dell Technologies is calling the Next Data Decade. Every aspect of our lives – from the way we communicate, to the way we shop and work is changing rapidly, as technology transforms the way we live, work and play. As more physical objects become instrumented, connected and digitized, there is a massive stream of data that is being created.

Recent intelligence from the World Economic Forum revealed that the entire digital universe is expected to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020, and with the amount and variety of data scaling year after year, we can only imagine what the world around us will look like in 2030. This vast amount of data, however, has the potential to help us advance in an unprecedented way. Companies that embrace this shift will pull ahead of the competition in terms of revenue growth, profitability and shareholder value and emerge as leaders.

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In the Next Data Decade, it will be imperative for those in leadership roles to make data visibility a top IT priority. The leaders who will make these decisions will need to have more than just strong technical abilities. The most capable leader will be an effective communicator, an innovative strategist, have great interpersonal skills and a deep understanding of the business. For Dell Technologies, one of the key ways of discovering and nurturing this next generation of leaders is through the Technical Leadership Community (TLC).

TLC: The secret sauce to creating technical leaders of the future

For more than three decades the pan-organization, engineering-focused Technical Leadership Community (TLC) program has been promoting innovation and building a culture of high standards and continuous improvement. The program offers future technical leaders key developmental opportunities via networking, collaboration, leadership development and meaningful recognition. It also promotes a collaborative spirit among the broader engineering community and reinforces Dell as an industry innovator and thought leader.

To ensure that the very best talent is driving that transformation, the TLC has very specific criteria for entry and continued participation in the community. The bar for nominations and selection process to be part of the TLC program has been set quite high, with an effectively structured framework in place to identify high potential candidates for the program.

Those who want to apply for the TLC program work directly with their managers. Each year the leaders identify nominees from their teams, who are then reviewed for their performance and respective accomplishments. Candidates also need to have executive sponsorship and HR Leadership Team approval to gain access to the nomination portal. The nominees submit their final application after they get the necessary guidance and support from their leaders and mentors.

The selection framework consists of five levels of distinction. The top levels comprise team members who are part of the Distinguished Member Technical Staff (DMTS) and Distinguished Engineer (DE) levels, and are eligible to be part of the Technical Leadership Community. 

Giving leaders an EDGE

Being a part of the TLC program gives team members access to multiple talent and leadership development initiatives, high-potential development programs, mentorship programs, networking and collaboration programs.

An example of this is the EDGE Management Development Program for middle and mid-to-senior level managers, which aims to Educate, Develop, Grow, Empower (EDGE) and create an effective leadership pipeline. TechEDGE, which has been created for mid-career technologists, trains them to be future-ready technology leaders and thought leaders.

The Director Leadership Program and Advanced Leadership Experience Program equip senior team members with the skills, information and the framework that is required to grow in their own careers while also driving the organization’s growth.

TLC team members can expand their network by becoming part of the broader, cross-LOB (Line of Business) Technical Leadership Community. Members of the program are invited to participate in exclusive internal and external events, including networking forums, industry events, technical writing opportunities and similar initiatives. Being part of the program allows members to participate and showcase their technical expertise through exclusive internal and external events to inspire technical leaders of the future.

Empowering future-ready talent

As the company moves swiftly to work on unlocking the power of data to solve the greatest challenges, driving human progress and amplifying human potential continue to lie at the heart of everything Dell Technologies does. To meet those challenges and take advantage of the generational opportunity that the Next Data Decade offers, TLC as a platform is empowering team members to create new ways to use technology and data to realize the larger moonshot goals for 2030. As Dell Technologies continues to work towards advancing sustainability, cultivating inclusion and transforming lives, TLC is building technical experts and leaders of the future, to creating a positive and lasting impact on humankind and the planet.

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