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Doing business with Gordon Makryllos of Eaton: Why you should ‘sponsor mistakes and experimentation’

Doing business with Gordon Makryllos of Eaton: Why you should ‘sponsor mistakes and experimentation’

The NZ head of power management company Eaton talks about fostering an innovative culture and building a diverse team.

We are very focused on leveraging strategies and technologies that allow us to be a disruptor.

Name: Gordon Makryllos

Title: Vice president & MD for New Zealand, Eaton

Twitter handle: @GordonMakryllos

How long have you been in your current role?

20 months

What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on?

IT power, quality, reliability, efficiency, management and distribution. As the business world becomes ever more digitised, organisations are growing increasingly reliant on their power infrastructures. Should power supply be disrupted or power quality become compromised at the centre or the edge, most daily business activities come to a grinding halt. This is particularly relevant in the datacentre. However, almost every aspect of modern business is in some way reliant on digital systems or data-driven applications which, in turn, depend on underlying power infrastructure to stay operational.

What are your interests away from work?

Travel, theatre, photography, museums and art. My work has provided me with the opportunity to travel to most part of the US, Asia & Europe. While traveling, I enjoy theatre wherever that may be, New York, London, Auckland and Wellington. Also when I travel, I use spare time to visit museums or art galleries. With smartphones, photography is now easier than ever and I love to photograph unique perspectives and I share many of my pictures via LinkedIn blogs or Instagram.

I admire anyone who makes a contribution to community and society in addition to their work environment.

Gordon Makryllos, Eaton

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

'This too shall pass'. Applicable during good times and challenging times. This outlook allows me to see through challenges and adversity and to also reflect on the threat of hubris.

Professionally, who do you admire most?

Anyone who has been a leader in multiple and diverse organisations and held the leadership role for more than three years with improving employee engagement results. Also, anyone who makes a contribution to community and society in addition to their work environment.

How long have you been working in IT?

20-plus years.

How did you get into IT?

I joined HP as a graduate electrical engineer.

If you weren't working in IT, What would you be doing?

I would be working in medical technology. Medical technology innovation has accelerated with IT innovation and will revolutionise the way we are born, live and die.

Can you share a key pointer for fostering an innovative culture in the organisation?

Sponsor experimentation and mistakes to enable learning and innovation. There can be no innovation without experimentation and mistakes.

...For building a diverse team?

Build teams with people who have different experiences, skills, profiles and heritage. As a CEO, I have always hired people who had strengths in my areas of weakness and or with different experiences, skills, profiles and heritage from myself.

Prepare to be the disruptor - not the disrupted. How did you apply this insight to your organisation, or with a customer you have worked with?

We are very focused on leveraging strategies and technologies that allow us to be a disruptor. We have introduced offers to allow CAPEX investments to be converted to OPEX spend by providing power and power management as-a-service. We also help our customers become disruptors within their industry by working closely to understand their value propositions and how we can enhance these. We can do this by reducing the cost of their operations or by providing creative solutions for 'new innovation' they want to introduce in their industry.

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