Industry Talk: Mind the Gap

29 Mar 2019 2:10 PM - 3:00 PM
Presenter/Speaker: Teri Thomas, Independent Technology Advisor
Location: G.1.15

Technologists enjoy technology. We intuitively understand its benefits and how technology works. Business people don’t always see technology in the same way. This interactive talk addresses how executives, operational leaders, and other non-technical business professionals see technology and how those different perspectives can create barriers to effective communication with technologists. Examples of communication challenges will be provided. Attendees will learn about Simon Sinek’s golden circle and how to apply his concepts related to “how,” “what” and “why” to improve communication with nontechnical leaders. This includes getting the audience's attention, retaining their attention, and ensuring their understanding of the message. Attendees will learn how to read their audience and regularly assess the effectiveness of their communication. Approaches for how to adjust or correct the communication will be provided, with specific tactics and real-world examples from the presenter’s experiences in healthcare technology. Throughout the talk, concrete strategies will be presented for technical staff to overcome common barriers, connect their technology with business imperatives and overcome biases, so that they may improve their ability to talk and relate with non-technical business and operational leaders and staff.

Teri Thomas is a seasoned executive with skills in sales, marketing, strategy, and customer service in the technology industry. Over a twenty-year career with Epic, a global medical software company, she was instrumental in growing the company from fewer than 100 to 10,000 employees. With a degree in Zoology from University of Wisconsin, she started her job at Epic in technical support and project management, and worked her way up to Vice President, reporting directly to the CEO. She then started an IT Innovation program at UNC Healthcare in North Carolina. After moving to New Zealand, she took a role as Executive Vice President with Orion Health in Auckland. She now lives in the Bay of Plenty and provides consulting and advising services for US technology companies and investment firms. She has been an invited speaker on communications and technology at conferences and events for private companies with positive reviews.

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