Posts Tagged Innovation

Shapes and Sizes

I was not a born leader. Well – not in the typical sense. I was not raised by parents who led me to aspire to being the President or even a manager. I wasn’t even strongly encouraged to go to college (although I wasn’t discouraged either). I was raised by parents who provided enough guidance to make good choices, and then let me try and fail and try again. When I entered the workplace, I entered as a secretary. (These days, we call these bright and invaluable experts “administrative assistants.”) When I received my college degree, I did it at night, while working full-time and while raising my daughters. I did not have aspirations to be a manager. I aspired, rather, to do interesting and intellectually stimulating work. I thrived on relationships I built in the business community and in learning about their thoughts, ideas and experiences.

Over the years, however, I found that my natural curiosity seemed to inspire others to dig deep, to find the right answers, to stop and question their own thinking or the way in which things were always done. And, ultimately, I was asked to lead.

I am enormously proud of all I accomplished. But – trust me – I didn’t set out with a personal roadmap. And perhaps because of that I am more aware of the possibilities that exist when individuals and organizations refuse to allow perceptions, sterotypes or expectations guide choices.

Forbes recently conducted an interview with Angela Yochem, CIO at BDP International. The title of the article is “Former Musician Turned Board Level CIO, BDP International’s Angela Yochem’s Unconventional Path To The Top Of IT”. The headline is attention grabbing. Why? Because we remain fascinated and surprised, when a declared right-brained person excels in a left-brained world.

The fact is that diversity of thought is essential to business success. Diversity of thought will not arise from hearing the same voices repeatedly.

Leaders — those who can guide others thru transformational change — come in all shapes and sizes.

“The collection of capabilities that a CIO must bring into that role is so much broader than it used to be” Angela Yochem says and continues “If you’re a technology leader, you’re the one proposing transformational technology opportunities.”

Transformational technology. Transformational implies an innovative and creative culture. I’ll have a second helping of that, please! And please serve it with a surprise side dish of mixed milieu.

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Seriously Perfect

In my early 20’s, I was incredibly serious about how others viewed me and whether or not I was being taken seriously. At a friend’s picnic, someone sprayed me with a hose and I was upset because my hair was ruined and my cute outfit had to be taken off to dry. Seriously.

I have been taking that perfectionist attitude to work too. EXCELLENCE demands getting it all absolutely 100% right – right? I mean, you agree, don’t you?

Here’s the thing that working in technology taught me: the 80/20 rule. Sometimes you have to sacrifice something to get to the bigger picture. If your budget is tight and timeline is short and only 80% of the business requirements will be met, can the 20% be handled in another manner?

For those of us who are perfectionists, this is difficult to accept. You have to step back and see the entire view. How much more money will it cost to do it “the right way?” And – as rapidly as things change in today’s world – how long will your “right” design be relevant? What are you really trying to fix? Really dig deep and work together to understand the core issue. Sometimes the answer to the problem is much simpler than you initially thought. Sometimes, there really isn’t an issue at all – but a perceived issue or a misguided process.

Most days I still dress pretty impeccably for work, believing in the mantra dress for the job you want, not the job you have. As I raised my two daughters, however, I cannot always afford to be as impeccably dressed as I would like. But, I’ve learned that it really doesn’t matter what my hair or clothing look like if I am not bringing quality and productive results to the table.

In a large organization, we’re all in it to make money — and not just for ourselves, but for the company. When the company we work for wins, we all win.

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Mentoring the Right Way – Everybody Wins

Mentoring the Right Way – Everybody Wins

“Game-changing technologies are transformational, exciting and disruptive for a reason. They shake up your status quo. They get you thinking about new ways to scale, compete and grow. They move you in amazing new directions.” Join Game Changers Radio on VoiceAmerica today at 11 am EDT to learn about Game Changing people – and how YOU can be one of them.

Guests on the show will be:

Sarah Cooke, Associate Vice President & Managing Consultant at Great Place to Work, Meaghan Sullivan, vice president of Global Channel Marketing at SAP and Sherryanne Meyer join host Bonnie Graham to talk about Mentoring in the 21st centruy workplace.

Meaghan says:

• My own “mentors” in my career make up what I refer to as my “Board of Directors” .
• You’ll never be able to repay your own mentor, but you can pay it forward.

Sarah quotes Lucille Ball: “I’d rather regret the things I have done than the things I haven’t done.” I like this! Be disruptive. Start the conversation instead of just having a seat at the table.

Sherry: “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi” – I can’t do it all myself. It takes a village.

Mentoring – it implies knowledge sharing. In this age of connectivity, knowledge is no longer an exclusive right or privilge of a few. Rather, we all help each other become who we are. Does nature or nurture influence you success? We three women are here to tell you that nurturing thru mentoring helps everyone succeed.

Tune in to SAP’s Coffee Break with Game Changers.  Mentoring – The Right Way will be live today – April 16th, 2014 at 11 am EDT. 

SAP Radio

Link is LIVE during the show and then says “Coming soon” until the podcast is posted approx. 2 hours later.

Show site: http://spr.ly/SAPRadio [case-sensitive URL] – see topic list on right side of page

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