My own transformation: DrRickH 2.0
Earlier in June I decided to leave Cisco after focusing my last twelve years on digital disruption, innovation, and transformation. Over the subsequent two months, I have worked towards putting together the pieces of the next phase of my career. I have updated my LinkedIn profile along the way. Over the past weeks, I have received numerous heartwarming comments of congratulations and support from so many of you: I want to thank all of you, and especially those that have been instrumental in making my journey one of the most exciting ones I can imagine.
I know that some of the choices for my career path have raised some questions with several of you. I have been asked: "why would you leave such a great job for opportunities in the public sector and opportunities with uncertainty?".
I see my career progressing in three areas which I have become very passionate about. The sum of these three interconnected areas will make the foundation for the rest of my career, and take what I've learned and started at Cisco to new heights and relevance. You will recognize these themes from my past blogs and many public speaking engagements: * Innovation * Transformation * Education *
After working with the Cisco Innovation Centre and the Canadian start-up and innovation community I have become enchanted with the unbelievable opportunities in front of us. Many new businesses and industries will thrive in tomorrow's digital world (yes, possibly at the expense of established and legacy businesses and industries). I have joined Deltavation (www.deltavation.com). We are working on remarkable technologies that take the concept of a lamp and expand it to becoming a network of intelligent connected and energy-efficient IoT devices that will aid the transformation of our built environment. The founder, Mike May from Chicago, owns a series of inventions that, combined with his unlimited and relentless passion and energy, has what it takes to do something remarkable and unprecedented. Stay tuned for more.
I remain intrigued and passionate about the impact that digital technologies have on businesses, industry, and our daily lives. So much is still possible as long as we're strategic, smart, and diligent about what lies ahead. I have started Oranje Consulting (www.oranjeconsulting.ca). I am going to continue to support selected transformation initiatives in sectors that interest me, such are real estate and cities. Consequently, I have joined the Digital Alliance Group in my hometown Markham and serve as special advisor to the CIO's office as the City of Markham embarks on its Smart City journey.
Over the past years, I have learned that it will be difficult to innovate and transform if we don't also support the appropriate modern skills that can help define, design, build, and maintain the new digital world. From both my innovation and transformation work, I intend to share my learnings with the next generation workforce, as well as involve students in the execution and delivery of my efforts through participation in work-integrated-learning programs and applied-research. Also, I continue as Faculty at the Harvard GSD Executive Education and look forward to grow my classes on Smart Buildings and Future Cities. [Registration for September is open now].
Finally, my passion for innovation, transformation, and education all converges in my new role as Vice President Strategy and Innovation at George Brown College. Here, I will be responsible for matters related to business strategy and a vision for 2030 (transforming the College in the age of digital disruption); partnerships (doing more, better, and relevant things in partnership with the community while providing valuable work-integrated-learning opportunities for our students); applied research (assisting Canada's innovation agenda and providing meaningful research opportunities for our students while supporting innovative ideas and businesses from private sector and our community); and entrepreneurship (preparing and supporting our students to be innovative and entrepreneurial so they can achieve greater success in the digital economy. Check out www.startGBC.ca). I just finished my first week and it is going to be amazing.
This new phase of my career isn't unexpected. In my first blog of this year (read it here) I called out two priorities for 2017: my focus on balance and talent. Balance comes from diversifying my time and focus on things that so intensely interest me - which includes time with my family and countless hours alongside the soccer field for instance. A focus on talent is woven throughout everything I do, spearheaded by my new and exciting role at George Brown College as Vice President Strategy and Innovation. In this next phase of my career, I hope I can have a meaningful impact on the 25k + students that pass through the College or attend my classes on innovation and transformation of real estate and municipalities.