Title: Chief Executive Officer, Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ)
Twitter handle: @tuanzceo
How long have you been in your current role? I started in mid October 2014, so six months.
What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on? As an organisation that has strongly advocated in the past for better and faster broadband connectivity, we are turning our minds to how to encourage businesses change their thinking and look for ways to grow through access to new technologies. And on a organisation level how do we provide leadership by example on a zero budget for IT.
What are your interests away from work? I ride my motorbike, I binge watch TV series online (legally), I read, I spend time with my family and church, and I do a little running.
What are you reading at the moment? I always have a fiction and a non-fiction book on the go, so it’s The Generals (second in the historical fiction series about Napoleon and Wellington) and Winning the battle for Relevance which is a book by Michael McQueen about avoiding becoming an obsolescent organisation.
As an organisation that has strongly advocated in the past for better and faster broadband connectivity, we are turning our minds to how to encourage businesses change their thinking and look for ways to grow through access to new technologies.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? It was during the TelstraSaturn / CLEAR merger when we were re-applying for roles and one senior manager told me to appoach it with confidence in my own abilities, and let the process run its course. Taught me not to worry about the things I can’t control.
Read more: A CIO’s handbook: Planning for the long game
How long have you been working in IT? Since 1997 when I joined a small software company and got into telco in 1999 at CLEAR Communications. I’m possibly one of the few people that’s been through a telco merger (TelstraClear) and a de-merger (Telecom/Chorus) in my career.
If you weren't working in IT, what would you be doing? Easy…running a bookshop with a café attached – as long as I didn’t have to make money doing it! Seriously, I can’t think of another industry as interesting and challenging as IT&T.
What was your first job? Accounting tutor at Massey Univeristy when my professor in my third year of my BBS encouraged me to stay on and do further study.
What's the best thing about working with IT executives? These days they are a key cog in the executive [team] of most organisations because every business relies on IT as a vital resource in meeting their goals and aspirations. So, the IT executives are always challenging people like me as to what’s new and what’s best for their business.
What is the worst? Almost the same answer – the challenge they present on always being in the know of what’s coming up.
Can you share one key pointer for keeping abreast of business technology trends? Carefully manage what newsletters you subscribe to – sign up to new ones you find but don’t be afraid to cull the ones that have stopped adding anything to your knowledge – and of course join TUANZ as we work to work with members on lifting digital competency within NZ businesses.
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