Anna Frazzetto's Blog

Digital Innovations and Technology Solutions

Tech Innovation & Leadership Can Be the Key to Growth

At the Harvey Nash annual Leadership Lecture, Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, spoke about four central points where government and business can focus their efforts and encourage economic growth.

They were:

1. Promoting small business growth
2. Reforming education
3. Encouraging immigration
4. Innovating (with technology)

I won't go into minute detail on these four issues except to say that Carly made a compelling argument that short-term successes are needed in immigration legislation and small business regulation reform to spark an economic recovery, and that more needs to be done across our education system in the longer term to ensure we have a workforce capable of succeeding in the 21st century global knowledge economy.

It is the role of innovating with technology that I am most interested in. For obvious reasons, as Managing Director & SVP of International Technology Solutions at Harvey Nash, this is an important part of my job. But I couldn't help but agree with her point about the need to balance technology innovation with effective leadership, which she said are intrinsically linked.

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The existence of effective leadership in an organization has a direct impact on the likelihood of technology innovation occurring and succeeding. After all technology cannot innovate itself, it needs talented and visionary leaders to create the environment for innovation to happen.

When Carly talked about her own career and her own leadership principles it was clear why HP was known for innovation under her watch, with 11 new patents filed every day by the end of her tenure. (You can watch a replay of Carly's full keynote address at our Leadership Lecture.)

Carly argues that leadership is about changing the circumstances for those around you, rather than simply managing within the constraints and conditions you find yourself in.

Both leadership and technology innovation are about achieving a degree of balance. Balance between the short term operational issues that need to be addressed and longer term opportunities that need to be pursued. Balance between the tactics and the overall goal. Balancing the realistic with the optimistic.

As Carly concluded her case for leadership in a changing world, it is her optimism that I was left with.

Her leadership and technology innovation is a success story that we need to repeat across the country, in organizations big and small, in schools and in corporate mentoring programs, so that 21st century American businesses can spark a new generation of economic prosperity.

It is a message I will be taking with me as I look to develop and grow the Harvey Nash Technology Solutions business.