Episode 43 - Harnessing Your Ecosystem with Brian Watson

Episode 43 - Harnessing Your Ecosystem with Brian Watson

State of the CIO

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Brian Watson is Principal at CIO Clarity Advisors. He previously served as VP of Enterprise Innovation at Traction Technology Partners, where he and his colleagues help companies source and vet the emerging technology companies that drive innovation and create competitive advantage. Brian is the author of Confessions of a Successful CIO: How the Best CIOs Tackle Their Toughest Business Challenges (Wiley, March 2014), which was a top-rated title on Amazon and has appeared on numerous “must-read” lists for current and aspiring IT leaders. He also served as Editor in Chief of CIO Insight. Brian has spoken and moderated CIO panels and fireside chats at IT leadership events across the U.S. Brian holds degrees from Bucknell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He lives in Fairfield County, Conn, with his wife and two sons. Show Notes:[01:09] Brian shares his career journey. He is always looking for ways to help CIO’s tell their story or help CIO’s.  [04:01] Brian and Dan wrote their book Confessions of a Successful CIO to share stories about CIO’s that have saved their companies in depth. [06:18] If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail. [07:13] 2021 is going to be very similar to 2020.  There is a big emphasis on speed. [08:11] We have seen what teams can do when they’re focused and that is going to continue to be a game-changer. [08:18] Extenuating digital investments, e-commerce, and the power of the ecosystem are really important. [09:48] Harnessing your ecosystem for new ideas, better ways to integrate technology, and maximize what you have in your environment already paid off really well for a lot of CIO’s last year and is a big focus of their time this year.    [12:22] The wins are more spread out and not as easy to benchmark.  We don’t know the final outcomes on a lot of the things that have happened.   [13:29] Talent is a perennial challenge for any organization.  Work from home allowed many companies to seek out talent beyond their geography.  [15:54] You want to make this the best employment situation for the people you have right now.   Many companies are asking what they can keep doing in this remote world to keep rallying and motivating their people outside of financial bonuses.  [17:16] One of the other concerns is the workplace itself. What is it going to be and how many people are going to be there?[19:06] Another concern is innovation.  [21:05] Brian’s best advice outside of IT is to set goals that are measurable and tangible.  If you are going to work in an IT organization have a really clear idea of what you want to accomplish.  [21:46] You want to be as focused and goal-driven as possible. Learn as much as you can about the organization and the pathways through it.  Understand your business.  You’re there to enable the company so you have to know what it does.  [22:11] Go through as many professional development exercises as you can. Try to learn as much as you can.  There is nothing better than a mentor.  [24:01] There are so many folks that have been in the technology field for a long time and just want to give back.  There are a ton of people out there that can be learned from and are happy to do it.  [25:32] Brian shares his best worst boss story.[26:20]  It is very important to think about how you are communicating about people and towards people.  [27:43] Brian shares about the nonprofit called ReferVets that he, his buddy, and a team of volunteers are launching soon. Links and Resources:State of the CIO Podcast WebsiteState of the CIO Podcast on Apple PodcastsDan on LinkedInBrian on LinkedInReferVets
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Brian Watson is Principal at CIO Clarity Advisors. He previously served as VP of Enterprise Innovation at Traction Technology Partners, where he and his colleagues help companies source and vet the emerging technology companies that drive innovation and create competitive advantage. Brian is the author of Confessions of a Successful CIO: How the Best CIOs Tackle Their Toughest Business Challenges (Wiley, March 2014), which was a top-rated title on Amazon and has appeared on numerous “must-read” lists for current and aspiring IT leaders. He also served as Editor in Chief of CIO Insight. Brian has spoken and moderated CIO panels and fireside chats at IT leadership events across the U.S. Brian holds degrees from Bucknell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He lives in Fairfield County, Conn, with his wife and two sons. Show Notes:[01:09] Brian shares his career journey. He is always looking for ways to help CIO’s tell their story or help CIO’s.  [04:01] Brian and Dan wrote their book Confessions of a Successful CIO to share stories about CIO’s that have saved their companies in depth. [06:18] If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail. [07:13] 2021 is going to be very similar to 2020.  There is a big emphasis on speed. [08:11] We have seen what teams can do when they’re focused and that is going to continue to be a game-changer. [08:18] Extenuating digital investments, e-commerce, and the power of the ecosystem are really important. [09:48] Harnessing your ecosystem for new ideas, better ways to integrate technology, and maximize what you have in your environment already paid off really well for a lot of CIO’s last year and is a big focus of their time this year.    [12:22] The wins are more spread out and not as easy to benchmark.  We don’t know the final outcomes on a lot of the things that have happened.   [13:29] Talent is a perennial challenge for any organization.  Work from home allowed many companies to seek out talent beyond their geography.  [15:54] You want to make this the best employment situation for the people you have right now.   Many companies are asking what they can keep doing in this remote world to keep rallying and motivating their people outside of financial bonuses.  [17:16] One of the other concerns is the workplace itself. What is it going to be and how many people are going to be there?[19:06] Another concern is innovation.  [21:05] Brian’s best advice outside of IT is to set goals that are measurable and tangible.  If you are going to work in an IT organization have a really clear idea of what you want to accomplish.  [21:46] You want to be as focused and goal-driven as possible. Learn as much as you can about the organization and the pathways through it.  Understand your business.  You’re there to enable the company so you have to know what it does.  [22:11] Go through as many professional development exercises as you can. Try to learn as much as you can.  There is nothing better than a mentor.  [24:01] There are so many folks that have been in the technology field for a long time and just want to give back.  There are a ton of people out there that can be learned from and are happy to do it.  [25:32] Brian shares his best worst boss story.[26:20]  It is very important to think about how you are communicating about people and towards people.  [27:43] Brian shares about the nonprofit called ReferVets that he, his buddy, and a team of volunteers are launching soon. Links and Resources:State of the CIO Podcast WebsiteState of the CIO Podcast on Apple PodcastsDan on LinkedInBrian on LinkedInReferVets
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