One IT leader balances empowerment and accountability

Michael Iseyemi believes in granting his staff an equal balance of empowerment and accountability on the job.

The chief security officer with Minacs Aditya Birla, a Toronto-based global outsourcer, said his leadership style is to allow individuals the autonomy to make decisions in their line of work, while also holding them responsible for delivering on what they have promised.

Iseyemi, in a previous role as chief technology officer at Minacs Aditya Birla, put this leadership philosophy to practice when he led a complex technology project that basically overhauled under-performing legacy systems with the goal of introducing a better data management system.

Iseyemi said, besides increasing the level of data integrity checks, the objective of the data management project was to ultimately empower individuals from a process and strategic standpoint. “We had to take a step back and look at the environment, not to completely re-engineer it, but make some tweaks to it,” said Iseyemi.

The legacy infrastructure was not satisfying the needs of the business, and was actually increasing risk to the business in light of various regulatory compliance requirements placed on the global outsourcer, said Iseyemi.

The initiative, which normally would have taken six to nine months, was completed in just 45 days. The motivation behind the speed deployment? “Survival,” laughs Iseyemi.

Today’s highly dynamic business environment means dealing with savvy clients and tight budgets, which drove the need for the systems overhaul, he said. “Clients are much more demanding,” said Iseyemi. “Clients are also much more aware.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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