During the course of lunch with a prominent Canadian CIO recently, I asked him if he happened to be a member of the CIO Executive Council. He said he’d been thinking about joining but was uncertain about the benefits. Then he asked me what members get out of it.

Well, I’m not a salesman for the Council but I do personally know several CIOs who have long been members and really find it to be a valuable resource. The Council provides an abundance of good written materials to its members, but the major benefit, to my mind, is the convenient and facilitated access it gives each member to a worldwide community of IT executive peers.

This increases your chances dramatically of connecting with another CIO who has faced or is facing challenges very similar to your own. How do you put a value on that? In the right circumstances, this kind of access can be, as the American Express commercial says, “priceless”.

The bottom line on the Council, I told my luncheon colleague, is that the CEC can be a great resource if you’re willing to get involved. Like most other things, you get out of it what you put into it.