The private passions inspiring IT professionals’ business thinking
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The private passions inspiring IT professionals’ business thinking

Maxine-Laurie Marshall — December 2018
Technology leaders play a pivotal role in the wider organization. But to nurture that broader perspective they need to step outside their world and seek inspiration elsewhere – sometimes in unlikely places.

Juha Eteläniemi CIO, OpusCapita

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I go to social media for inspiration in my professional life. I use Twitter and LinkedIn as personal educational platforms. There I can test new ideas and get feedback from the brightest minds. This helps to challenge and improve all the perspectives of my thinking. Working actively to listen to different opinions is one of the best aspects of such professional social media discussions.

Marcus Würker CIO UK & Ireland, DHL Supply Chain

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From the first time I saw a motor race, I was drawn to the thrill of speed. My instinct as I sat behind the wheel of a powerful car was to put my foot down and go as fast as possible. I quickly learnt that this recklessness wasn’t a good strategy for a hobby. Leading IT in a large organization is just like racing a car: speed is the result of precision, getting the turns and bends right first time. The requirement is to respond to the information in front of you, coming from the car, the track and the wider environment. And that’s just what we do in the marketplace. Ultimately it’s dedication to practice — it’s no coincidence that it takes the best racing teams in the world two seconds to change a set of tyres. So when I think I’m done practicing, I practice again.

Michalis Moraitis CIO, Theocarakis Group

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For about eight years I have run parallel lives as an IT leader in the day and as a pastry chef at night. The inspiration comes from pastry making being both a science and art that evolves continuously with the aim of perfect results. These are the same feelings, we, in the IT world, face every day. We try for perfection. As in IT, being a pastry chef requires precision, patience, and knowledge. I learn how others use the same ingredients but create totally different results. I see innovative approaches and techniques. It helps me think outside the box.

Chris Ashworth CIO, Hermes

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For inspiration I like to talk to people — to peers, customers, colleagues across the business and friends. I also get out and see our couriers and teams in our sorting centers. They do such a great job. I want to make the Hermes experience seamless and easy for them as well as our customers. I might have a really good customer experience with another brand and take inspiration from that for Hermes. I also take inspiration from day-to-day life — even movies. I’ll look at a film like Minority Report and think: ‘Why couldn’t we use data like that?’



• Icon design: Lauren Hay


First published December 2018
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