As I continue to look for my new CIO role. I am coming across some organizations that are looking outside their respect industry for talent. I recently interviewed with a publishing company who said flat out they want someone not from the publishing world. “Why?” I asked. They felt that publishing expertise is lagging behind other industries in their use of technology. I have seen other firms looking for these barbarians to manage their data. It is a refreshing thought.
This is a great opportunity for an organization to bring onboard an innovative disruptor to shake things up. As I have said in the past, change to some extent is good for any organization. As technology marches forward can any CIO say they are an expert in all areas? Will a CIO have the experience to try new things? To take chances in order to make progress? These are fundamental questions for any CEO or CIO to contemplate.
I strongly believe that a CIO’s developed skills in one industry can be transferred successfully to another industry. Who’s to say that a medical CIO’s experience cannot be used in publishing? Granted there will be a learning curve, but there will be a learning curve for anyone taking on a new leadership role.
It might be scary for some who find comfort in knowing their respective industry inside and out. Myself- I believe that I am that barbarian that looks for new challenges. Working in different industries allows me to increase my marketability and continue to add to my toolbox.
I’ve worked in financial services (bank, brokerage, mortgage), logistics, energy, software/services, manufacturing, healthcare…and every time I changed industries I was able to use best practices from other industries to find quicker, better ways to do things. My logistics employer needed manufacturing tools, my energy employer got some financial services ‘goodies,’ etc. It’s actually amazing how many new insights a fresh set of eyes can bring to bear.
People would always say “Wow, look what you thought up!” and I’d always reply “You mean look at what I remembered.” Perspective is worth 20 points of IQ.
Yet I fight an uphill battle…”sorry, you need experience in underwater construction” (really? Like I’m going to put on fins and grab a torch?).
While most CEO’s I’ve met appreciate diverse experience, perhaps it’s the HR/recruiting process that’s just more comfortable with ‘people who understand us’??
Wayne – So true. Your comments echo with my experiences. Thanks