A friend of mine in IT has a secondary work extension assigned to him aptly named, “The black hole.” What's ironic about this is that it's for darn near every call he gets! It’s literally for any call whose caller ID he doesn’t recognize. Why does he have this extension? Simple - If he picked up the phone every time it rang he would be on the phone all day every day. He’d never get anything done. He’d be fired.
The truth is IT leaders are continuously bombarded by unsolicited calls from salespeople. Usually these calls have more to do with getting you on the lead list and less to do with introducing you to new technology. No wonder most folks in IT wear down their “send to voicemail” button.
Most would agree, including my friend, that what they get back in time by diverting all these unsolicited phone calls day over day they lose in information. Because eventually one of those phone calls could yield some good information or a product that could help their organization. But is trying to sift through hundreds of sales calls really the best path to information and innovation?
I don’t think so. I believe that IT leaders need a new way to explore new ideas and new technologies. A place where they can share with their peers and learn from technology vendors about their new products and approaches. And, technology companies need a place where they can work closely with IT leaders to define their product futures and validate their approaches.
That’s why we started the Strategic Technology Council. The Strategic Technology Council is a global consortium of IT leaders dedicated to shaping the future of technology through influence and dialogue. It operates on a simple proposition – That the more informed IT leaders are, from interacting with product managers to learning directly from other members, the easier their jobs can be.
One of the benefits of membership we considered as we developed the Strategic Technology Council was having a "safe harbor" for high technology to meet IT leaders. (Just to be clear, IT leaders, in our eyes, can be anyone from CIO to an IT architect – If you lead a division or discipline, you are an IT leader!) The opportunity to interact with start ups and established companies that are building new products in a safe harbor is huge – and our Tech Council members have echoed this! (Including my friend with the black hole extension who was our inaugural member.) What better way to learn about new products and innovative technology than being able to engage with product managers and start-up leadership directly in a safe environment.
So we say keep using that “send to voicemail (aka Black Hole)” button on your phone! All those calls don’t amount to the quality of interaction you have as a member of the Strategic Tech Council - from engaging with start ups as an early design partner to simply having a place to go when you want to learn about what's new in a non-sales format. All geared to help you make the very best buying decisions for your organization while shaping the future of technology!