On the lighter side of things, we ask leading experts what makes them tick. Here, we ‘get to know’ Wayne Human, Executive Partner at IQbusiness.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
The most memorable achievement to date is the growth we as an executive team have driven for the past number of years within a constrained economy. The fulfilment one gets from achieving desired outcomes as a team far outweighs the feeling of satisfaction one gets from achieving personal goals.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
I have always been interested in technology; since I was young, I would take things apart and try to understand how they work. This interest in understanding how things worked informed my studies (BSc Engineering) and as my career progressed a logical move into development took place which kick started my career in IT.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
My management philosophy is one of servant leadership. Being in a services business where people are our greatest assets, it is vital that I focus on ensuring that people are put first, developed and that the culture and work environment is one that unlocks the inherent motivation of knowledge workers.
What do you think is the current hot technology talking point?
There are a number of hot technology talking points including but not limited to Digital Twins, Artificial Intelligence, cloud and IoT, to name a few. The one hot technology (and most probably not that hot anymore) is cloud. My opinion is that cloud is one of those evolutions which can add significant value to an organisation in its ability to enable a business to quickly adapt to changes in business context, support the three horizons of growth model as touted by McKinsey, enable customer centricity through its ML, AI and Big Data capabilities, as well as being an enabler for Digital Transformation. However, I must point out cloud is not a solution looking for a problem, anything solved utilising cloud technology needs to be grounded in solving business problems.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office?
I enjoy spending time with my family, playing sport, experimenting with IoT (Internet of Thing) devices and cloud IoT stacks.
If you could go back and change one career decision what would it be?
I often miss the sense of achievement that I enjoyed while I was a practising engineer where most of the work completed had a definitive visual output e.g. a light switching on, a motor running, etc. Whereas, in IT the output is mostly focused on the manipulation of data in some form or fashion. Therefore, if I went back to change one thing, I believe it would be to stay in the engineering field instead of moving to the IT field.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
The major area of investment specifically in South Africa and Africa in our specific industry has to be in skills, one of the major inhibitors for economic growth in South Africa is the lack of skills which are required to take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Africa?
Lack of expertise and skills, both in the implementers of these new technologies and the end users of these technologies.
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
More and more CIOs and IT professionals need to revisit their purpose in an organisation, the IT organisation is no longer there to provide technology solutions, provide governance around technology acquisition, implementation and support. CIOs and IT professionals need to be considering how to best construct an IT organisation which enables a business to be nimble and agile in order to respond to threats and take advantage of opportunities. Technology needs to enable organisations to partner with one another by expand value chains to address client needs. No longer is a CIOs role focused on how to make the IT organisation better but rather the focus has moved to how to enable business to be fit for the future.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?
Leaders aren’t leaders without followers, chiefs aren’t chiefs without a tribe. Ensure that you practice the discipline of servant leadership, hire the right people and create an environment for them to thrive. Motivated knowledge workers will achieve phenomenal results. Only by unlocking this intrinsic motivation of people, will you be able to enjoy success in the C suite.