Sage Conversations: Who Are You Listening To?

Aug. 2, 2012
It’s time to identify the thought leaders emerging in our industry

I think we can all agree that the security industry is changing. But I wonder, who are we listening to? To whom are today’s leaders turning to help them navigate the changes?

To be able to identify these “influencers of change,” it might be helpful to identify how and why they are important. Sir Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants” — which is applicable to the changing security industry.

Experience: The men and women who got us to this point represent the “giants” that Sir Isaac Newton is referring to. And they come from not only the security industry but from business, technology and yes, even philosophy. People like Peter Drucker, Warren Bennis and Charles Handy have given us insights into personal and organizational behavior that are significant “shoulders” to stand on for those in the security industry. Their ideas have been implemented, and they work.

By extension, we can look at the contributors of the current standards within the security industry as a possible means to help identify our past and current leaders.

Originality (Prescience): Charles Handy said that thought leaders “often use common sense, but they see the sense before it becomes common and that’s what can give companies and their managers the competitive edge.”

Servants: If you pay attention to the wise, they are usually servants to their markets and stakeholders. They pay attention to the felt and unfelt needs of their constituents. By paying attention, they are able to be intuitive — anticipating the need and directing it.

Accessible: The influencer is available. We find them in print, speaking at events or consulting. And their ideas are immediately applicable by those willing to change. They create bridges of understanding for us to cross with accessible ideas.

We should begin to think about and formalize our change leaders — the ones we listen to so that we can see and act more clearly. They are the navigators, agents and prophets among us who can see the sense before it is common. Let’s find them in their roles as business leaders, technology leaders and philosophers.

Personally, I would immediately focus on the business of security; a new definition of integration; and the next generation of security and how to attract the best and the brightest.

Who we listen to is important. Ideas are real things. Who are our past giants? Who are the thought leaders emerging as the giants of our future?

Ronald Worman is the founder and managing director of The Sage Group.

About the Author

Ronald Worman

Ronald Worman is the founder and managing director of The Sage Group, host of The Great Conversation events, and is a regular contributor to, Security Technology Executive magazine and Security Dealer & Integrator magazine.