Podcast: A CTOs Epic journey with Charles Griffith

Charles Griffith

CTO at MileZero (a Capstone company)

Podcast – Episode 7:
A CTOs Epic journey

Charles Griffith, CTO at MilesZero, and previous to that, Technology Vice President of Transportation at Amazon, shares his journey as a CTO. An incredibly experienced tech leader with an interesting voyage. One that went something like this:

  • Gaming industry
  • To working at Amazon in the formative years
  • And then to a Startup … and Exit

Through Charles’s story, be inspired to find the path for your own journey and see how making it varied can lead to long term success, thus creating a well-rounded tech leader. One of the key takeaways from the Podcast is that Investing in your journey from a place of awareness is a powerful success trick. Leading you to places where you want to be, rather than where you just end up.

“Ultimately, every day, ask yourself, is this what I should be doing and what is it I really want to do. I think if you’re not asking yourself to basically accomplish something that’s historic; you’re setting your bar too low. Because we only go through life once. So, you should always be moving forward. And I think that’s another reason I moved out of games after a certain point, and out of various companies where I got comfortable. [This] is because I said to myself, “what am I doing” “I’m not improving myself,”; whether that’s by challenging myself or by what I’m delivering. And so I will say, in retrospect, maybe I’ve hurt the world two times. Games, in terms of what I’ve seen from my kids being so absorbed in games versus the rest of the world. And now, perhaps with Amazon in terms of what that’s done to other retailers. But you can’t hold yourself responsible for how your deliveries are used, but you should hold yourself responsible for continuously improving.”

Key Points from the Podcast are:

  • Designing a varied journey builds a strong foundation for your career
  • Experimentation and failure leads to new deep learning and one that can have surprisingly long term successes (look at Amazon)
  • Do what you love, and continuously learn from it (avoid comfort)
  • Building high performing teams around you is a leadership art based on people chemistry

TLDR: Straight to the point
(Quick Links)

We all live busy lives, and sometimes a long Podcast is too much of a time-footprint for our busy schedules. So, to help you get to the bit you’re more interested in, use our table of contents below. Quick links to help you get straight to the point.

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Podcast: Transformation Leadership for CTOs

Episode 5: Transformation Leadership for CTOs

Guest: Jardena London – Enterprise Business Agility Strategist at Rosetta Technology Group

Once again, greetings, ladies and gentlemen. Jardena London joins me for a riveting discussion on Leading Transformations. On how exciting they are, and at the same time how painfully challenging they can be. In short, It’s not for the faint-hearted.

Some of you may recall Jardena from a previous IT Labs Webinar: “Creating Structural Agility with Living Systems.”, jointly presented with Sally Breyley Parker.

In this talk, we dig deeper into the role of CTOs in organizational transformations. We cover a number of angles including a few outlined here:

  • The elements that create good transformation. What supports transformation and what does not.
  • What Jardena has observed in her vast experience.
  • And the importance of the CTO and tech people in enhancing transformations.

Something in our discussion resonated with me. On how we need to get more of the technology folk talking to the business and supporting them. Especially CTOs. It’s been something that I have been banging the drum about for a long time. Jardena’s view reinforced my belief that we need to break down boundaries with CTO’s leading aspects of a transformation from their wealth of intellect, ideas, and passion for trying new technological ideas.

I hope you come away with as many good takeaways as I did.

Our Guest: Jardena London

Jardena on Linkedin
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Referenced Webinar in the Podcast: Creating Structural Agility with Living Systems (Guests: Јardena London & Sally Breyley Parker)

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Podcast: DonorTrends Success story

Episode 4: DonorTrends Success story (from Innovation to conception, and a lovely happy exit)

Guests: Ben Miller (CAO) & Caity Craver (CEO) from DonorTrends

Greetings again ladies and gentlemen, and variations thereupon. We have a special episode for you this time, the first in a series. We are calling them “Client confessions” where we invite current and previous clients of IT Labs to talk about their projects, businesses and where they are with them. The aim is to deliver insights and stories of success (and maybe even failures), this all being in in the spirit of providing value and shared learning. Anyway, back to this Client Confessions Podcast.

It was a delight to talk to Caity Craver & Ben Miller from DonorTrends about how they took an idea for helping non-profit organisations maximise donations to realisation. This was through a heady mix of sophisticated maths, big data analysis, a sprinkle of AI and inventive ways of presenting the information. A remarkable story of Innovation, conception to successful exit. And along their journey was IT Labs, turning a very manual time-consuming process into a product that was a win for everyone. This makes all of us at the office incredibly proud. We invite you to listen to their account. I hope you enjoy the discussion as much as I did.

Our Guests: Ben Miller & Caity Craver

Ben on Linkedin
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Podcast: Automobile eCommerce industry amid Corona disruption

Eugene Kovshilovsky

Sr. Vice President of Software Engineering at CarParts.com

IT Labs CTO Confessions- Episode 3:
Automobile eCommerce industry amid Corona disruption

At the time of this podcast recording, the Coronavirus was in full swing (and maybe it still is). We hope you managed to keep safe.

Eugene Kovshilovsky (Евгений Ковшиловский), Senior Vice president of Engineering at US Auto parts, joined us for a discussion around how the automobile eCommerce industry was handling the Coronavirus storm. Eugene has vast experience across many sectors and carries a nice mix of technological wisdom, knowledge, and skill, with the leadership qualities that bring his teams together (the human element).

The turmoil has shaken all layers of the Automobile industry. In the podcast, we discuss how the auto parts eCommerce industry works. We enter the discussion with Eugene, curious as to see how things have impacted it from a technological perspective.

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Podcast: Principles for the foundation of technology-driven organisations

Episode 2: Principles for the foundation of technology-driven organisations

Herding the kittens in technology

Guest: Branislav Gjorcevski – CEO of IT Labs

Hello People. I hope you are managing to navigate yourself, your people and your organisation through these mind-boggling times. Our next CTO Confessions podcast is highly related to this subject of navigating an organisation in general, particularly in these times. That’s leading others and includes leading yourself.

Banne, CEO and co-founder of IT Labs is joining me in a warm discussion on the subject. We are going to get together with a hot beverage and talk about Principles (and values) that help drive what you as a leader are trying to achieve. How principles combined with your unique style of leadership support you in herding those kittens in your organisation that just seem to run off in a different direction than don’t serve you or the business very well. We will gravitate around a book that we both love (Principles by Ray Dalio). Principles are powerful. They help you make tough decisions; they allow people to align themselves around them. They can create a powerful flow of value delivery and productivity with minimal command and control (i.e. make your life easier). Come and have a listen and see how this can help your leadership and the dynamics in your workplace.

Banne on Linkedin
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Podcast: Business Agility in the context of the Corona Virus challenge

Hello all, and welcome to “CTO Confessions” brought to you by IT Labs.

My name is TC, and I’m honored to be hosting the “CTO Confessions” podcast. In our podcast we tackle the subject of leadership, how to deal with hard issues facing your business and we try to get closer to the world of those fantastic women and men that hold it all together with different priorities that rarely get appreciated.

Join us in our biweekly podcast and have fun as we tackle the world of business and the CTO Life.

So let’s talk about our first episode (drum roll…) “Business Agility in the context of the Corona Virus challenge“. Snappy title right? As if the world was not complicated enough with businesses having to navigate fast, dramatic changes in the market place, and also internally to the organization. Along comes a devastating pandemic that has us all disrupted in so many ways. So as a business leader, what can you do to keep the business afloat?

How can you keep all your crew happy? How can you lead in a time of increased VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity)? Listen to our podcast to get some insights from our Chief Methodologist, Mr Manoj Khanna.

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