Creating Space For What?

Collecting coffee conversations in a newsletter

I’ve been applying technology to problems for more than 35 years, from a government contractor to Princeton University to Sun Microsystems to major pharmaceutical companies. I’ve benefitted from mentors, sponsors and peers who created space for my new ideas and also pushed me into open spaces where I was able to grow personally and professionally.

By day, I’m a CIO at a major pharmaceutical company; I left the technology industry after 25 years to truly pursue applying rather than building technology. My primary interests are very large scale computing (including non-traditional approaches), privacy, security, open source software, industry standards and their evolution, and resiliency. By non-day, I coach under-8 year old ice hockey, play bass guitar (badly), see as much live music as I can, cook, travel, take pictures and play golf (even more badly). Lessons from both hemispheres will make appearances.

I try to focus on creating space for ideas, disruptive or not. Culture is a measure of how ideas diffuse through an organization. Mentoring creates space within an organization for employee growth, and sponsorship of employees creates a different space for them without the organization.

I’ve also adopted the concept of creating space “away from the play.” In ice hockey and football (soccer), players without control of the play move to open spaces to create opportunity. That’s the very essence of applying technology - find those open space and fill them.