This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Mark Bialic.
Prior to leading Eurocom, Mark was the Microcomputer Coordinator for the City of Ottawa. He carefully outlined the division of responsibility between the User Department and the MIS Department and he excelled by taking a business-oriented, enterprise approach to LANs. Mark came to the City of Ottawa with a business orientation. His degrees are in Economics and Management Science and his previous jobs were in quality control and operations.
Growing up in Krakow, Poland during the 1960s and 1970s, Mark's experience of attempting to influence rapid political change in Poland helped propel him toward a career of leading-edge technology and innovation.
Using his life experience, Mark Bialic excelled at pushing the boundaries and bringing an innovative mindset to Eurocom. Bialic led Eurocom through many innovations, technologies and ground breaking new products, most recently winning the Intel Form Factor Solutions Innovation Award for the EUROCOM Panther 5SE Mobile Server, for packing the performance capabilities of a data center server in a portable form factor, complete with workstation tools such as keyboard and monitor.
The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Manager's Blog where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.
Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
|:00:26:|| ||Do you have some lessons that you can share from your time at the City of Ottawa?|
"....Be creative, be yourself and mobilize all the resources to create innovation...."
|:01:42:|| ||How does your prior education influence your work and what would you do differently?|
"....Education helps you to develop the process that you question everything and find creative answers, that you can actually drive long-term thinking and dynamic changes. That you are able to process the incredible amounts of data and information out there and make sense of it and create some kind of vision that you can actually implement for the world...."
|:02:43:|| ||How has your experience in influencing rapid political change in Poland supported your role in technology and innovation in the past and into the future?|
"....I think (like with any kind of innovation), you have to be a rebel to innovate, you have to think totally different and think outside the box....One of the key things (like being in opposition in Poland during solidarity times), was that not like every student, I actually learned responsibility and accountability...."
|:04:02:|| ||What led to winning the Intel Form Factor Solutions Innovation Award?|
"....This was a concert of designing a new category of products that we call Mobile Servers. Part of this was also developing the whole infrastructure related to servers on the go and then to RED team which is Rapid Engineering Deployment. The whole idea was to provide additional flexibility and efficiency to users, that when they actually have requirements, of having a server capability that they could move around...."
|:05:24:|| ||On this innovation that you've done, do you have a lot of customers around the world for it?|
"....Yes....They see innovation as part of the DNA and they use our innovation to become more innovative and those companies range from Australia to Japan, China, Europe, Canada, US and all over the world...."
|:07:20:|| ||In your current role, what are the top resources that you want to talk about and lessons that you can share with the audience?|
"....For me, the top resources are always people. There's a lot of information available all over the world on the internet, public domains and so on, but I highly advise you that the real people have the real information and they also have some ideas, internal brain processes which basically makes them creative....."
|:08:33:|| ||I’d like to get your thoughts on some of your predictions for the future.|
"....It's always difficult to talk about predictions because we can have all kinds of different predictions in different areas of our lives (social, technology, and economic predictions), but I would probably like to talk about technology predictions from a Eurocom perspective. We see a renaissance of computing which is a positive thing, especially among the young generation of consumers. What we see on the marketplace, the market for content-viewing devices is outrageous...."
|:11:23:|| ||How can executives act on some of these predictions?|
"....I think it is difficult to act on the predictions of multiple people because everybody has their own predictions and their own vision. I think that the biggest challenge to execution is how does one comprehend all the vast levels of information that you get, process them and develop some kind of business model that you can lead your company in the long term....I think the one of the responsibilities of executives is to ensure the long term goals of the company, but also to ensure the long term component for the consumers or the people that the companies are serving to ensure that they are benefiting from those technologies...."
|:13:23:|| ||As a successful senior technology executive, what are your best leadership lessons that can be used by executives?|
"....Ensure that he or she has a vision, (not just for the company, but for the whole universe), and how things should be done....Have a very strong personality, because with all the changes and pressure coming from all directions it is very difficult to implement the things that are part of the vision....Be almost like a rebel because very often the consensus doesn't work and you have to build something on your own....Have the skills so you can actually build things if you don't have so-called consensus support from others...."
|:15:24:|| ||Do you feel computing should be a recognized profession on par with accounting, medicine and law with demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, personal responsibility, public accountability, quality assurance and recognized credentials? [See http://www.ipthree.org and the Global Industry Council, http://www.ipthree.org/about-ip3/global-advisory-council]|
"....I think before the IT profession gets recognized as a profession itself we have to have some code of accountability and responsibility that is almost at the same level as the accounting profession or any other profession like the engineering profession. Not necessarily a Code of Ethics, but this certain understanding in terms of the role of IT executives and the impact on the well-being of organizations...."
|:17:54:|| ||You have many interests. Can you talk further about any of them?|
"....In my busy life, there's not really a lot of time left for hobbies or some other interests, but one of the things that I like and enjoy doing is gardening. This is a way for me to relax and also a way to escape from the busy life and go to a different level of creation (because in a sense gardening is creation)...."
|:19:10:|| ||From your extensive speaking, travels, and work, please share some stories (perhaps amusing, surprising, unexpected or amazing).|
"....I remember years ago (probably about 20 years or so), when I arrived in Taiwan (we had quite a development team over here), and we went to a restaurant and what I thought was a party room and they showed me all kinds of different fish. I didn't understand exactly what this was about because most of them just spoke Mandarin....What happened was this was not the actual fish that I was selecting from either. I was basically selecting the fish but they had already prepared (it) and served on the table....This always stays in my head that some things are not as we expect (as normal for us) and sometimes they are different...."
|:21:04:|| ||You choose the topic area. What do you see as some of the top challenges facing us today and do you have any solutions?|
"....I think one of the biggest challenges facing us now is the decline of humanity and finding a way of revising this....I think one of the things we have lost in this pursuit of constantly building is we've forgotten that we are supposed to be different (that each human is supposed to be different), and we are trying to develop this uniformity that everybody is the same.....I'm really concerned about this loss of humanity...."
|:22:40:|| ||If you were conducting this interview, what questions would you ask, and then what would be your answers?|
"....What drives people and why do they do what they do in terms of the events in their lives?....I would ask a series of questions related to the anatomy of innovation, the anatomy of being different...."
|:24:49:|| ||Mark, with your demanding schedule, we are indeed fortunate to have you come in to do this interview. Thank you for sharing your substantial wisdom with our audience.|