Like 99% of us, Dilshad Dossa found her new career at the U of A through none other than the Internet. But unlike the vast world wide web, what’s not so expansive is her team — so far!
“I’m a one-woman army right now,” she says with a laugh. “It’s a great team dynamic!” Dilshad joins IST as the Training and Development Lead brought on to advance and implement the department’s Leadership Development Program. Dilshad will be responsible for “giving shape” to the program and getting it off the ground following its initiation late last year.
Her first two months have been busy running focus groups for team leads and managers. “I believe that people should participate and take ownership of their own learning,” Dilshad says. To her that means individuals should be responsible for engaging in their own growth, and play a role in developing and designing what and how they want to learn.
Over the past few years, IST has been placing greater importance on the ‘grow our people’ objective, out of which has come the Leadership Development Program, among many other initiatives. As IT becomes more of an essential facet in organizations today, it’s becoming necessary that we have leaders who understand the core business along with technology. “I see how IT is increasingly playing the role of an influencer in higher education, rather than just a utility-like service provider,” Dilshad says. “I think the University is also recognizing that shift in its relationship with IST - as its partner, and therefore it’s essential that the IT professionals here further their business and organizational capabilities. The business being higher education.” The Leadership Development Program aims to help shift that dynamic and relationship that IST has with the rest of the University.
Dilshad’s own learning path includes a Bachelor of Commerce in Business, and a double masters, including an MBA in Human Resources, and a Master of Science in Organization Consulting. One might assume that learning has always been a passion of Dilshad’s, but according to her, that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, she had no intentions of getting into her current line of work, nor was she even aware it was an option. Dilshad always planned to work for her family businesses in India, but her experience working as a volunteer with an education services company got her thinking about taking a different direction.
“I realized that I’m really good at helping people develop, helping them grow and taking them through a passage of learning, of change — helping them find their aha! moment,” she says. Karl Jung’s quote, "your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes," perfectly summarizes how she practices her craft as a coach and facilitator of learning and change.
As she launches deeper into her new role and responsibilities, Dilshad says that right now, everything looks important. And if there’s one thing that she says she is, it’s committed!