Insights Change Agent CTO Podcast Episode 27: Andersen Chief Digital Officer, SVP Kelly Aronson

Change Agent CTO Podcast Episode 27: Andersen Chief Digital Officer, SVP Kelly Aronson

Get ready to meet Change Agent, Kelly Aronson, the Chief Digital Officer of Andersen Corporation who is also known as the “Traveling CIO”. In this captivating episode, Nathan and Kelly delve into a wide array of fascinating topics.

They explore Kelly’s remarkable journey, transitioning from a consulting career to leadership in the technology field. They touch on invaluable insights on navigating career changes, achieving work-life balance, and managing family commitments while pursuing professional growth. They also dive into ways that travel spurs opportunities and uncover how it intertwines with Kelly’s unique perspective.

Additionally, Nathan and Kelly share their visions for the future, offering an insightful breakdown of the challenges, influences, and opportunities waiting in the technology space in 2024. Throughout the podcast, a theme emerges – technology is a driving force of business rather than just a component!

Don’t miss out on this great podcast episode! Tune in and be inspired by Kelly Aronson’s journey and the captivating conversation that unfolds.

Are you a Change Agent or do you know someone who is actively leading change in their industry or organization? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch!

Transcription Collapsed

Welcome to the Change agent podcast. 0:3:57.910 –> 0:3:59.460 Foureva Production My name is Nathan Lasnoski. 0:3:59.470 –> 0:4:1.960 Foureva Production I’m your host and we are so glad you’re here. 0:4:1.970 –> 0:4:15.470 Foureva Production This is the podcaster we talk with change agents in the tech industry about the way they are leveraging technology and change within their organization to bring about the mission of their organization and bring about people to be the best versions of themselves. 0:4:15.480 –> 0:4:18.160 Foureva Production We have had such awesome guests on this program. 0:4:18.170 –> 0:4:30.630 Foureva Production I mean, we’ve talked about everything from boating to software development to data to armored cars and today is something that’s really, really interesting and it’s something that you wouldn’t always think about in the context of digitization. 0:4:30.640 –> 0:4:36.430 Foureva Production And that is the window industry and I get to welcome one of my sort of favorite leaders in the tech space. 0:4:36.440 –> 0:4:37.590 Foureva Production This is Kelly arenson. 0:4:37.600 –> 0:4:41.330 Foureva Production Kelly is the chief digital officer of Andersen Corporation. 0:4:41.700 –> 0:4:42.870 Foureva Production Welcome to the show at Kelly. 0:4:43.780 –> 0:4:44.570 Aronson, Kelly Thank you so much. 0:4:44.580 –> 0:4:45.330 Aronson, Kelly Thanks for having me. 0:4:46.180 –> 0:4:50.950 Foureva Production Kelly, I I would love if we would just start this off by just talk, talk a little bit about yourself though. 0:4:50.960 –> 0:4:52.550 Foureva Production How did you get to where you are today? 0:4:52.650 –> 0:4:53.640 Foureva Production How’s it like? 0:4:53.650 –> 0:4:56.680 Foureva Production What does it mean to be a leader in the kind of leader that you are? 0:4:57.830 –> 0:4:58.320 Aronson, Kelly Sure. 0:4:58.330 –> 0:5:9.930 Aronson, Kelly Well, some of you that might have seen me or followed me might know me as the traveling CIO, but I would also say that I’m a little bit of the accidental CIO. 0:5:10.500 –> 0:5:18.70 Aronson, Kelly So I did not, you know, have this, you know, clear plan to get to a Chief Information Officer. 0:5:18.80 –> 0:5:21.470 Aronson, Kelly That was never my, you know, long term career goal. 0:5:21.580 –> 0:5:31.590 Aronson, Kelly However, I found myself in this position just by, I think, always moving forward with curiosity and interest and just saying yes to the next thing that came along. 0:5:31.600 –> 0:5:36.980 Aronson, Kelly So I actually started my career right out of college at Andersen Consulting. 0:5:36.990 –> 0:5:44.810 Aronson, Kelly So different kind of Anderson and spend some time there and really again accidentally found myself in consulting. 0:5:44.820 –> 0:5:48.460 Aronson, Kelly I went to a job fair at my college, had the qualifications. 0:5:48.470 –> 0:5:50.110 Aronson, Kelly I was interested in traveling. 0:5:50.390 –> 0:5:58.200 Aronson, Kelly I had done some work at the computer center at the college I had taught myself to code, so I had some natural interest in the space. 0:5:58.540 –> 0:6:4.810 Aronson, Kelly And then started a consulting career, got sent to coding boot camp, and the rest is history. 0:6:4.820 –> 0:6:9.390 Aronson, Kelly I guess I spent many years at Andersen Consulting learning a ton. 0:6:9.800 –> 0:6:12.270 Aronson, Kelly That was when it transitioned to Accenture. 0:6:12.490 –> 0:6:12.740 Foureva Production Hmm. 0:6:12.430 –> 0:6:18.850 Aronson, Kelly And again, I just kept, you know, finding new ways and opportunities to learn and grow in the technology space. 0:6:18.860 –> 0:6:24.950 Aronson, Kelly And it was a really changing time, you know, it was late 90s and early 2000s, and a lot was happening. 0:6:24.960 –> 0:6:35.570 Aronson, Kelly I had an opportunity to be part of the exciting why 2K conversion and lots of other technology was really blossoming at that time. 0:6:35.580 –> 0:6:50.20 Aronson, Kelly And then since then, I’ve taken other positions at Thompson, Reuters and Target Technology Services and downtown Minneapolis, and then ultimately came to Anderson, which was now almost exactly 9 years ago, which is kind of hard to believe. 0:6:50.30 –> 0:7:10.400 Aronson, Kelly I still feel like I’m the new person at Anderson, but again came to Anderson in a specific technology role and just kept expanding my reach, expanding my curiosity, learning different spaces, and about four years ago, call myself in the leadership role for technology. 0:7:10.410 –> 0:7:12.600 Aronson, Kelly And even in that time, it’s changed quite a bit. 0:7:12.670 –> 0:7:14.580 Aronson, Kelly What’s in the scope of technology? 0:7:14.590 –> 0:7:22.60 Aronson, Kelly What our focus area is at the company and I guess as long as I keep learning and growing, I’ll just keep enjoying the ride. 0:7:23.190 –> 0:7:24.700 Foureva Production Oh man, that’s awesome story. 0:7:24.810 –> 0:7:28.360 Foureva Production I wanna back up to something that you just said because I actually didn’t know this about you. 0:7:30.570 –> 0:7:32.380 Aronson, Kelly Yes. Mm-hmm. 0:7:28.370 –> 0:7:37.860 Foureva Production That you started at in consulting and Anderson a lot of people I’ve talked to, they’re like, whoa, that I would never even think about starting my career in consulting. 0:7:38.580 –> 0:7:38.820 Aronson, Kelly Correct. 0:7:37.870 –> 0:7:47.780 Foureva Production I thought was something you did like after you got experience, but I’ve had a similar experience where like I started my career largely in consulting as well and I felt like it was like jetpacks to, like, get the right skills. 0:7:47.790 –> 0:7:50.970 Foureva Production Like when you think about your role as a CDO. 0:7:50.980 –> 0:7:57.910 Foureva Production Now, how do you feel that the skills that you learned early on in consulting got you going? 0:7:57.920 –> 0:8:2.80 Foureva Production Like what were those like elements that you learned there that you’re using today? 0:8:2.720 –> 0:8:4.170 Aronson, Kelly That’s an awesome question. 0:8:4.260 –> 0:8:4.950 Aronson, Kelly I think you’re right. 0:8:4.960 –> 0:8:6.370 Aronson, Kelly I guess I never really thought about that. 0:8:6.380 –> 0:8:8.790 Aronson, Kelly I think consulting is one of those perfect bookends. 0:8:9.20 –> 0:8:16.620 Aronson, Kelly Either do it to accelerate your learning right away, or do it to kind of refine all the experiences and learnings you’ve had later in your career. 0:8:16.630 –> 0:8:21.120 Aronson, Kelly And so it sounds like for both of us, we started with the acceleration jetpack. 0:8:21.240 –> 0:8:28.820 Aronson, Kelly I would always joke that one year in consulting was like 2 in the real world and I realized it was actually because it literally was. 0:8:30.880 –> 0:8:31.70 Foureva Production Umm. 0:8:28.830 –> 0:8:34.920 Aronson, Kelly You were working 80 hours a week, and so you know, I think what you learned is so much. 0:8:34.930 –> 0:8:35.610 Aronson, Kelly And it was very. 0:8:37.130 –> 0:8:51.190 Aronson, Kelly Little about technology, although I learned that but it was more about how are you establishing relationships and credibility, especially when you’re 21 or 22 years old and I have a feeling both of us might have looked even younger than that when we started. 0:8:51.360 –> 0:8:54.180 Aronson, Kelly And so you’re trying to convince people to take you seriously. 0:8:54.190 –> 0:8:57.910 Aronson, Kelly You’re going in to organizations, big organizations. 0:8:57.920 –> 0:9:7.880 Aronson, Kelly I was in financial institutions and trying to get them to share their current state processes with me and I was working with partners trying to get them to take me seriously. 0:9:7.890 –> 0:9:20.620 Aronson, Kelly So you have to really establish this ability at this really keen ability to create confidence, trust and build relationships before you have all of the skills to stand behind it. 0:9:21.140 –> 0:9:21.310 Foureva Production Umm. 0:9:21.190 –> 0:9:24.200 Aronson, Kelly I think it helped me develop extremely strong work ethic. 0:9:24.430 –> 0:9:37.990 Aronson, Kelly I think it helped me establish humility, because in those days some of the tasks you might be doing were less about technology and more about getting everyone breakfast in the morning, making a lot of photocopies, you know, just all of those things. 0:9:38.0 –> 0:9:51.310 Aronson, Kelly And then I think it’s the intangible, it’s just the exposure to so many different industries, the exposure to different people and their leadership styles, exposure to big technology transformation before the words digital transformation were sad. 0:9:51.320 –> 0:9:58.590 Aronson, Kelly I was part of big CRM transformations at, you know, companies that had a lot of legacy technology. 0:9:58.600 –> 0:10:16.320 Aronson, Kelly I got to see so many different types of technologies, coding languages, et cetera, and in some ways I think what makes me excel at my job today, as I’ve done almost every job in the IT organization and I couldn’t have done that if I had a traditional career path. 0:10:16.380 –> 0:10:17.900 Aronson, Kelly But I’ve been a business analyst. 0:10:17.910 –> 0:10:19.450 Aronson, Kelly I’ve been a tester. 0:10:19.460 –> 0:10:20.700 Aronson, Kelly I’ve written test scripts. 0:10:20.710 –> 0:10:22.90 Aronson, Kelly I’ve been a testing manager. 0:10:22.100 –> 0:10:25.210 Aronson, Kelly I’ve been a developer, I’ve been a database administrator. 0:10:25.220 –> 0:10:28.580 Aronson, Kelly I’ve had all of those different experiences, so there’s not a ton. 0:10:28.590 –> 0:10:30.210 Aronson, Kelly You know, it might be different technology. 0:10:30.220 –> 0:10:42.790 Aronson, Kelly It might be different circumstances, but there’s an element of most jobs in the technology organization that I’ve at least had an exposure to the flavor of, and I think there’s there’s no replacing that kind of experience. 0:10:43.530 –> 0:10:44.700 Foureva Production Yeah, absolutely. 0:10:55.300 –> 0:10:55.540 Aronson, Kelly Mm-hmm. 0:10:44.710 –> 0:10:58.500 Foureva Production I I feel like what one thing you mentioned there that was really stuck out to me was this like the exposure to really big problems and big companies very quickly and almost this like, I come to people who get this, like impostor syndrome. 0:11:1.180 –> 0:11:1.440 Aronson, Kelly Right. 0:10:58.510 –> 0:11:2.830 Foureva Production That like they, I don’t maybe this is too big for me and I can’t do this or they’ll find out. 0:11:2.840 –> 0:11:7.510 Foureva Production I don’t know something, but I feel like what consulting does for you is it like nothing’s too big for you? 0:11:7.840 –> 0:11:8.130 Aronson, Kelly Right. 0:11:7.560 –> 0:11:18.100 Foureva Production Like you can just, you can just land in an environment and you feel comfortable with it and you feel comfortable being able to make the right relationships in order to be able to get something done. 0:11:28.410 –> 0:11:28.730 Aronson, Kelly Umm. 0:11:32.960 –> 0:11:33.190 Aronson, Kelly Umm. 0:11:43.980 –> 0:11:44.280 Aronson, Kelly Right. 0:11:18.470 –> 0:11:45.940 Foureva Production I think the thing that’s that maybe the flip side of that, that I’m really curious about your experience with is sometimes when you’re starting consulting, it’s hard to land somewhere like it’s hard to like and be in an environment for a long time because you’re used to moving around like how did that switch to then always living as a consultant in a sense, but maybe some people have said like, Oh well, I’m just continue being a consultant just at one company, but how does how did that switch feel to you? 0:11:47.800 –> 0:11:48.850 Aronson, Kelly Another good question. 0:11:48.860 –> 0:11:56.770 Aronson, Kelly I think the moral of my career journey is I didn’t have a well laid plan, which is very unusual because I’m a very planful person. 0:11:57.180 –> 0:12:4.570 Aronson, Kelly But I think you just have to be open and so you know this is something I don’t share often. 0:12:4.580 –> 0:12:7.490 Aronson, Kelly But the reason I love consulting was because I had to. 0:12:7.840 –> 0:12:10.910 Aronson, Kelly I actually I got married. 0:12:21.930 –> 0:12:22.250 Foureva Production Good. 0:12:10.920 –> 0:12:23.30 Aronson, Kelly I had and I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter and I had her return to consulting and right away was asked to get on a plane four days a week and I just couldn’t. 0:12:23.440 –> 0:12:30.490 Aronson, Kelly It was just something I didn’t realize it was a boundary or a nonnegotiable until I had my daughter and realized that something I can’t do. 0:12:30.660 –> 0:12:43.590 Aronson, Kelly And so that circumstance put me in a situation where I said I really need to find a job and I had never been in a situation like that where, you know, I have this new like a baby. 0:12:43.700 –> 0:12:46.350 Aronson, Kelly And I was the primary income earner. 0:12:46.360 –> 0:12:48.690 Aronson, Kelly Or at least a significant income earner in our family. 0:12:48.900 –> 0:12:50.980 Aronson, Kelly And So what am I gonna do and how am I gonna replace this? 0:12:50.990 –> 0:12:56.150 Aronson, Kelly And that’s considerable amount of pressure in your mid 20s to figure out how you’re going to get out of that. 0:12:56.160 –> 0:12:59.280 Aronson, Kelly And so, you know, it was before LinkedIn. 0:13:10.160 –> 0:13:10.380 Foureva Production Umm. 0:12:59.290 –> 0:13:16.330 Aronson, Kelly It was before a lot of these different connections and I guess from a young age I learned the power of networking and connection and I physically called people and asked them and I had the the fortunate circumstance of a one of my best friends in college. 0:13:16.340 –> 0:13:18.210 Aronson, Kelly Her cousin was working at Thompson. 0:13:18.220 –> 0:13:30.30 Aronson, Kelly Reuters I called her and made the connection and it’s the power of people helping people and I got an interview with this company and I was desperate for it. 0:13:30.40 –> 0:13:38.550 Aronson, Kelly I needed a place to land and I remember feeling like it was a step back and title and pay, and that was another good lesson to say. 0:13:38.560 –> 0:13:40.350 Aronson, Kelly That’s not the most important thing right now. 0:13:40.360 –> 0:13:58.520 Aronson, Kelly The most important thing right now is that I need a job and I need a place that I can learn and grow, and I need a place where I can be with my daughter every single night and not travel, and so that was really what propelled me to leave consulting and move into a different kind of job. 0:13:58.530 –> 0:14:10.720 Aronson, Kelly And there were things I missed about consulting and I never had that experience, you know, in my first job of understanding like a normal leader or boss relationship, because in consulting you’re just so mobile. 0:14:10.730 –> 0:14:12.710 Aronson, Kelly And I hadn’t done, like annual reviews. 0:14:15.950 –> 0:14:16.240 Foureva Production Mm-hmm. 0:14:12.720 –> 0:14:17.400 Aronson, Kelly And I hadn’t done like HR training like those things that are part of like a full time job. 0:14:17.450 –> 0:14:20.940 Aronson, Kelly So it is a really good chance to step in and learn those things. 0:14:20.950 –> 0:14:34.700 Aronson, Kelly And while I did take a bit of a step back and pay and title, it allowed me to go in and feel really good about the skills and capabilities I brought to the organization and quickly showed them those skills and capabilities and ultimately propel myself. 0:14:34.770 –> 0:14:38.410 Aronson, Kelly And that’s that company is where I had my first management position. 0:14:38.420 –> 0:14:49.890 Aronson, Kelly And so you know, again I think if you think too much about the components of those steps in your career and you just don’t, you know, you gotta trust your gut and your instincts a little bit. 0:14:49.900 –> 0:14:51.760 Aronson, Kelly And it was a great decision I made at the time. 0:14:52.670 –> 0:14:54.770 Foureva Production Man, I mean, that’s a lesson for all of us. 0:14:54.930 –> 0:14:56.800 Foureva Production Is that you? 0:14:57.210 –> 0:15:12.30 Foureva Production The choices that you make are really what define you, and the fact that you make the choices that are really valuing the things that are truly valuable, not necessarily the things that you know might be the sort of thing over here that might be more flashy like that. 0:15:13.810 –> 0:15:14.130 Aronson, Kelly Mm-hmm. 0:15:12.70 –> 0:15:20.200 Foureva Production I mean that says a lot about a person and it says a lot about probably the results that that’s produced in your life, not just in a sense of like, what did I just do of my job. 0:15:26.850 –> 0:15:27.960 Aronson, Kelly Umm. Umm. 0:15:31.450 –> 0:15:31.600 Aronson, Kelly Yeah. 0:15:20.210 –> 0:15:35.230 Foureva Production And that’s of course something we value a lot, but just the fact that like I can look and reverse it my life and know it turned out the way I want it to or was hoping it would because I made these choices that’s really important like that I’ve and something that I would really respect about that kind of choice. 0:15:35.900 –> 0:15:36.300 Aronson, Kelly Thank you. 0:15:36.820 –> 0:15:37.510 Foureva Production Ohh that’s awesome. 0:15:38.100 –> 0:15:43.610 Foureva Production Umm so I wanna pivot a little bit to like you’re traveling. 0:15:43.620 –> 0:15:45.590 Foureva Production You’re the CI traveling CIO. 0:15:56.850 –> 0:15:57.120 Aronson, Kelly OK. 0:15:45.680 –> 0:16:2.440 Foureva Production You’re all these experiences that you’ve had this year and like as you are closing down the year and well even just like, let’s talk about just that before we even talk about what’s coming up like as you like, what does that give you exposure to? 0:16:3.500 –> 0:16:4.590 Foureva Production You’re a consultant. 0:16:4.640 –> 0:16:7.210 Foureva Production You moved into to Thompson Reuters. 0:16:7.220 –> 0:16:16.720 Foureva Production You know, Anderson, you’re leading Anderson, you’re getting exposure around Anderson and what that looks like and and you’ve experienced that over the course of the year and like you’re planning for the future. 0:16:16.730 –> 0:16:19.470 Foureva Production Like what has that told you about? 0:16:19.480 –> 0:16:19.870 Foureva Production Like who? 0:16:19.880 –> 0:16:21.170 Foureva Production This organization is and. 0:16:21.180 –> 0:16:21.510 Foureva Production What? 0:16:21.520 –> 0:16:23.770 Foureva Production What you need to be for it now? 0:16:31.390 –> 0:16:31.570 Aronson, Kelly Umm. 0:16:23.780 –> 0:16:33.860 Foureva Production Like when it when it like when you look at the organization as it stands and what the experience like, what have you learned from these different stopping off points that’s told you something about the people that you’re working with? 0:16:33.440 –> 0:16:34.510 Aronson, Kelly Right, right. 0:16:34.640 –> 0:16:37.510 Aronson, Kelly Well, I’ll give you a little back story on the traveling CIO. 0:16:37.960 –> 0:16:44.310 Aronson, Kelly So one I love to travel, that’s always been embedded in me and I found this out in college. 0:16:55.430 –> 0:16:55.890 Foureva Production Ohh. 0:16:44.320 –> 0:17:1.640 Aronson, Kelly I I really wanted to study abroad and I had never left the country, so I decided that the first time I would leave the country, it would be for seven months around the world where before cell phones and practically the Internet, and so that was my immersion into travel. 0:17:1.650 –> 0:17:3.720 Aronson, Kelly And I’ve never looked back and I love it so much. 0:17:3.730 –> 0:17:20.520 Aronson, Kelly And so I’m always thinking about ways to integrate it into my personal and career life and then Fast forward to this fall been really intentional this year about Umm, LinkedIn and thinking about what kind of brand and presence I wanna have in that community. 0:17:20.640 –> 0:17:34.570 Aronson, Kelly And I started looking ahead to my fall schedule and realizing I had a lot of travel coming up and I thought, well, that would be kind of fun to, you know, maybe in the month of October, just call it the traveling CIO, and talk about some of my journeys. 0:17:34.580 –> 0:17:37.780 Aronson, Kelly And part of it was a lot of times people say, well, why do you travel? 0:17:37.790 –> 0:17:39.420 Aronson, Kelly What are you doing with Windows? 0:17:39.430 –> 0:17:42.220 Aronson, Kelly Like, why would you and I T why would you be traveling? 0:17:42.370 –> 0:17:45.530 Aronson, Kelly And the answer is, but there’s just a multitude of reasons. 0:17:45.540 –> 0:17:53.830 Aronson, Kelly And you can always find different reasons to travel, but I think it’s so important to get out and that might look, umm, come in a lot of different forms. 0:17:53.840 –> 0:17:57.390 Aronson, Kelly So my travel brings me to our different manufacturing locations. 0:17:57.400 –> 0:18:7.470 Aronson, Kelly I think it’s super important to be out there even if we have one or two IT people there to connect with them, to see them, to see the places that they’re working on, technology and digital solutions. 0:18:7.480 –> 0:18:15.310 Aronson, Kelly Nothing replaces being in person and seeing those those places and connecting with the people, I go out to different conferences. 0:18:15.320 –> 0:18:25.340 Aronson, Kelly You know, I went to a Gartner conference that wasn’t even necessarily focused specifically on it, but HR this fall because we’re working on a broader HR transformation. 0:18:25.350 –> 0:18:27.500 Aronson, Kelly And so I went out with some HR teammates. 0:18:27.510 –> 0:18:34.920 Aronson, Kelly So it was part of connecting with them and then being out and being part of learning and growing and gaining additional insights. 0:18:34.930 –> 0:18:39.600 Aronson, Kelly In that respect, I took a college trip with my daughter. 0:18:39.610 –> 0:18:40.20 Aronson, Kelly Who? 0:18:40.30 –> 0:18:42.240 Aronson, Kelly My youngest daughter, who’s looking at colleges. 0:18:42.250 –> 0:18:51.100 Aronson, Kelly We did at college exploration trip and I decided, hey, I also have a personal life that I can share in this Community and talk about that kind of travel. 0:18:51.110 –> 0:19:1.670 Aronson, Kelly And so it can be all sorts of different reasons for travel, but that’s ultimately what I thought would just be in October kind of feature and talk about me getting out and about. 0:19:1.820 –> 0:19:9.870 Aronson, Kelly And then The funny thing is, it seems like it really caught on and I would go to places and they say, well, we want to be on your traveling CIO blog. 0:19:9.880 –> 0:19:11.250 Aronson, Kelly So take our picture. 0:19:11.260 –> 0:19:17.630 Aronson, Kelly And so it’s kind of morphed into something, and it does seem to be getting a lot of traction and I’m having fun with it. 0:19:17.640 –> 0:19:22.550 Aronson, Kelly So I’m I’m reflecting now on how I might carry that spirit into 2024. 0:19:22.560 –> 0:19:31.860 Aronson, Kelly But again, I think it’s really easy to get comfortable in your office, whether that’s a physical office or a Home Office and talk about technology. 0:19:32.110 –> 0:19:42.450 Aronson, Kelly And for me, I’ve always been someone who wants to be and connect with the people and the places and where the technology solutions are coming to life, because that’s where you have your greatest learning. 0:19:43.160 –> 0:19:43.850 Foureva Production Absolutely. 0:19:44.390 –> 0:19:51.450 Foureva Production I mean, I was reflecting with a a coworker that I’ve never, you know, in, in being in consulting for 22 years. 0:19:57.570 –> 0:19:57.740 Aronson, Kelly And. 0:20:9.940 –> 0:20:10.600 Aronson, Kelly Hmm. 0:19:51.820 –> 0:20:24.400 Foureva Production I’ve never known a time where technology has been so close to the mission of the business, and it’s not about like I remember when it was getting started like I was like that guy in the back room that like, dealt with the network and the PC’s and listen to that, like, and you just came out to do your computer guy thing, you know, and and now like, it is so much in the fabric of the organizations that we work with that that just going, I can understand how, like, just going to the locations is super meaningful because it it it’s so embedded in what the organization’s doing like. 0:20:24.480 –> 0:20:32.820 Foureva Production And I I I think that’s just why it makes this time so exciting for us that it’s like it’s not just about the tech anymore, it’s about the mission of the organization itself. 0:20:33.660 –> 0:20:43.730 Aronson, Kelly Well, I’d love to build on that because I’ve had that same appiphany in 2023 and it seems weird that it’s an epiphany you and I have been in technology for over 2025 years. 0:20:43.740 –> 0:20:50.510 Aronson, Kelly Like how is it just now that we’re realizing that technology is part of the fabric of the business, but it’s different, it’s true, you know? 0:20:50.960 –> 0:20:59.730 Aronson, Kelly I’m the technology did feel like a separate entity that was there to kind of pull upon or support the business in different ways. 0:20:59.740 –> 0:21:7.430 Aronson, Kelly And you know, during my time at Anderson, it’s been really important for me to say technology is not an order taker, technology is not. 0:21:8.130 –> 0:21:12.780 Aronson, Kelly Umm, you know, I should not be a road blocker or a stopper. 0:21:13.160 –> 0:21:19.100 Aronson, Kelly And I started using words like strategic partnership the last several years, but it’s even different than that right now. 0:21:19.190 –> 0:21:29.80 Aronson, Kelly And I think, you know, I talk a lot about, you know, as an organization, many organizations used to have a strategic focus of technology, including our organization. 0:21:29.260 –> 0:21:36.460 Aronson, Kelly But we made an intentional change a little over a year ago to say technology is not one of our strategic focus areas or pillars. 0:21:40.400 –> 0:21:40.690 Foureva Production Mm-hmm. 0:21:36.530 –> 0:21:47.90 Aronson, Kelly Technology is embedded in every component of our strategy and I think to say that our business objectives and digital objectives are intertwined, like you said. 0:21:47.100 –> 0:21:53.590 Aronson, Kelly And digital is a thread throughout our business is going to look different in the coming years and I’m excited about it. 0:21:53.660 –> 0:22:2.440 Aronson, Kelly I don’t know exactly how that’s gonna manifest, but I think that it’s going to become so integrated that it’s gonna be less separate. 0:22:2.450 –> 0:22:5.930 Aronson, Kelly And so part of that is there’s so many different facets of technology. 0:22:5.940 –> 0:22:13.180 Aronson, Kelly Sure, there’s your core infrastructure and operations, but there’s all of the digital components that support an impact. 0:22:13.190 –> 0:22:15.820 Aronson, Kelly Our business functions in different ways. 0:22:15.830 –> 0:22:25.610 Aronson, Kelly How we support marketing is different than how digital supports finance and so on, but it’s an it’s it’s unmistakenly embedded in all of their business imperatives. 0:22:25.620 –> 0:22:33.240 Aronson, Kelly And so I’m really excited and that’s kind of fueling my excitement in 2024 is how do we show up as our digital organization? 0:22:33.250 –> 0:22:45.910 Aronson, Kelly I’ve stopped calling it it or even technology, but how do we show up as a digital organization and say we’re your partners and understanding your digital portfolio and how digital drives and fuels your business? 0:22:46.620 –> 0:22:47.450 Foureva Production I like that term. 0:22:47.460 –> 0:22:50.70 Foureva Production How do we show up as the digital? 0:22:50.260 –> 0:22:51.790 Foureva Production And I think that’s awesome. 0:22:52.60 –> 0:22:56.80 Foureva Production Like it’s I was thinking about this in the context of. 0:22:56.90 –> 0:23:2.350 Foureva Production Like many businesses that started in the software industry, they just naturally are software companies, right? 0:23:2.390 –> 0:23:3.840 Foureva Production Because that’s what they build, right? 0:23:3.930 –> 0:23:13.200 Foureva Production But I can see on manufacturers sometimes that can be harder because they build a thing and then like that thing as it becomes more digital in nature. 0:23:13.310 –> 0:23:19.810 Foureva Production Naturally, just because maybe I build a garage door that’s a digital, you know, digital garage door. 0:23:20.20 –> 0:23:24.110 Foureva Production But like it starts to become a natural part of the product portfolio. 0:23:31.440 –> 0:23:31.750 Aronson, Kelly Right. 0:23:24.320 –> 0:23:33.50 Foureva Production But even that is like a step to getting truly to what is a truly digital extension of our mission look like, and how does that not just even become an extension? 0:23:33.60 –> 0:23:44.860 Foureva Production But actually, the the way we execute on the mission and that’s where really what you’re communicating is like, no, like it’s not like we have technology and then we have our mission like it’s the same thing, they work together. 0:23:42.850 –> 0:23:45.710 Aronson, Kelly Right, right, right. 0:23:45.720 –> 0:23:46.590 Aronson, Kelly And that’s so interesting. 0:23:46.600 –> 0:23:50.270 Aronson, Kelly I’ve never thought about it quite that way, but technology isn’t our product, right? 0:23:50.360 –> 0:23:55.590 Aronson, Kelly It’s easier when technology is your product to see how it is so intertwined, and I think you’re right. 0:24:9.110 –> 0:24:9.450 Foureva Production Mm-hmm. 0:23:55.600 –> 0:24:10.850 Aronson, Kelly The next kind of step changes technology embedded in your product and we have some of that, but that’s not really the ultimate destination, it’s more how does digital and technology fuel the entire ecosystem of our business to create a world class experience. 0:24:11.200 –> 0:24:11.700 Foureva Production Exactly. 0:24:11.40 –> 0:24:12.660 Aronson, Kelly And that is what we’re after. 0:24:12.670 –> 0:24:16.230 Aronson, Kelly And so it’s not always the tangible technology behind that. 0:24:16.240 –> 0:24:24.880 Aronson, Kelly It’s how technology creates a positive experiences and how we market to our potential future buyers. 0:24:24.890 –> 0:24:30.580 Aronson, Kelly That’s how we show up in their homes to show them, you know what that window buying experience can look like. 0:24:30.590 –> 0:24:42.260 Aronson, Kelly It’s how we provide multiple channels that they can engage with us to service their windows, you know, so all of those components it’s it’s in support of that product and ecosystem. 0:24:42.270 –> 0:24:50.170 Aronson, Kelly It’s not the product itself and so that takes more intention I think of saying how do we then embed that digital as part of the overall experience. 0:24:50.830 –> 0:24:59.260 Foureva Production Umm, when you think about the skills of the of the people necessary to be able to execute on that idea? 0:24:59.870 –> 0:25:4.580 Foureva Production How is that shifted and changed the way like how you thought about to? 0:25:4.590 –> 0:25:6.440 Foureva Production How about the enablement of that? 0:25:6.830 –> 0:25:8.860 Foureva Production That’s been one of the most difficult things I’ve seen. 0:25:8.420 –> 0:25:8.880 Aronson, Kelly Umm. 0:25:8.870 –> 0:25:18.90 Foureva Production Some companies, like they think of like technology as a role rather than a skill, and I’m curious like how you thought about helping that to become a thing across the organization. 0:25:19.480 –> 0:25:34.150 Aronson, Kelly Well, I’m really excited about that because I think it’s an evolution and I think it’s shifting in a really positive way because I think people had this feeling that in order to be in an IT or technology organization, you had to be a technologist. 0:25:34.160 –> 0:25:36.510 Aronson, Kelly And I think that’s true to a point. 0:25:36.580 –> 0:25:38.750 Aronson, Kelly But the good news is we’re all technologists. 0:25:39.80 –> 0:25:39.330 Foureva Production Umm. 0:25:38.800 –> 0:25:40.970 Aronson, Kelly Every single day, my 80 year old dad. 0:25:41.180 –> 0:25:43.950 Aronson, Kelly It’s rough once in a while, but he’s a technologist. 0:25:43.960 –> 0:25:44.910 Aronson, Kelly He’s using his iPad. 0:25:44.920 –> 0:25:51.100 Aronson, Kelly He’s doing things so every person interacts with technology more today than they did 20 years ago, 20 years ago. 0:25:51.110 –> 0:25:54.110 Aronson, Kelly It was like ohh you guys an IT you know how to do that? 0:25:54.120 –> 0:25:58.280 Aronson, Kelly You know now every single person on a day to day basis interacts with technology. 0:25:58.380 –> 0:26:6.380 Aronson, Kelly And the reason I’m so excited about this is because I think it’s going to create broader perspectives and diversity in technology organizations. 0:26:6.390 –> 0:26:20.700 Aronson, Kelly It it pains me that there are fewer women going into technology today than when I graduated 25 years ago, like that is really hard, you know, to for me to understand and comprehend when we’re putting so much into stem and other things. 0:26:20.790 –> 0:26:28.470 Aronson, Kelly It pains me that we don’t have, you know, we are still kind of trying to find ways to integrate diversity and different perspectives and to technology. 0:26:28.480 –> 0:26:36.310 Aronson, Kelly And I think you know now is that it’s been a I’m really intimidating kind of career choice to go into. 0:26:36.320 –> 0:26:41.750 Aronson, Kelly And So what I think is we will have better technology organizations when we have broader diversity. 0:26:41.820 –> 0:26:56.400 Aronson, Kelly But when we also have representation from our business units and technology and so I am a huge fan of having people take roles in our technology organization that come from our different business teams because they bring a different perspective. 0:26:56.500 –> 0:27:3.420 Aronson, Kelly They work with the technology with a different kind of sense of how that technology helps their day-to-day business. 0:27:3.430 –> 0:27:15.80 Aronson, Kelly And so I think the more you can commingle those experiences and have people come into to technology that might not have that traditional background, you’re kind of rewards are just gonna be so much greater. 0:27:15.90 –> 0:27:19.0 Aronson, Kelly And we’re creating technology solutions for the masses. 0:27:19.10 –> 0:27:28.80 Aronson, Kelly We’re not creating technology solutions for technologists, and so you need to be able to commingle a lot of skills and experiences into your organization to have the results set. 0:27:28.90 –> 0:27:29.50 Aronson, Kelly I think you want to achieve. 0:27:29.690 –> 0:27:30.820 Foureva Production Yeah, that was a huge point. 0:27:30.830 –> 0:27:42.900 Foureva Production That like by not just not just the expansion of skills, but it’s actually expanding the diversity of creativity across the organization and what people are capable of. 0:27:54.450 –> 0:27:54.870 Aronson, Kelly At me. 0:27:42.910 –> 0:27:56.570 Foureva Production We’ve kind of so focused on like this very specific set of text skills like coding and such that sometimes like excludes people who might be more focused on creative or artistry or business analytics or something. 0:27:56.580 –> 0:28:1.460 Foureva Production That’s like you wouldn’t necessarily like, you know, we wouldn’t naturally always say is like, oh, this is a tech job. 0:28:1.470 –> 0:28:4.640 Foureva Production But like ultimately, isn’t every job a tech job in some sense? 0:28:4.920 –> 0:28:5.650 Foureva Production And that’s gonna get. 0:28:5.660 –> 0:28:6.220 Foureva Production We’re gonna get to. 0:28:5.20 –> 0:28:6.850 Aronson, Kelly Exactly. Mm-hmm. 0:28:8.800 –> 0:28:9.750 Foureva Production Ohh that’s interesting. 0:28:12.880 –> 0:28:13.190 Aronson, Kelly Yeah. 0:28:9.760 –> 0:28:16.740 Foureva Production Like I think that’s like a huge thing for us to to even think about, like in general is how that’s gonna change our businesses over the next five years even. 0:28:17.470 –> 0:28:26.880 Aronson, Kelly I think it’s a big unlock and then you think about the students graduating even in the coming years and how much exposure to technology they’ve had. 0:28:26.890 –> 0:28:31.100 Aronson, Kelly But again, you need a good representation so that could be generational. 0:28:31.570 –> 0:28:31.780 Foureva Production No. 0:28:31.110 –> 0:28:38.240 Aronson, Kelly That could be 10 year like I think that you know it’s always having that right mix of perspectives that’s influencing your digital experiences. 0:28:38.890 –> 0:28:39.970 Foureva Production Exactly. Exactly. 0:28:41.340 –> 0:28:51.590 Foureva Production OK, so all that in ingested into this, how is all that organized the way that you’re thinking about 2024 like this? 0:28:51.600 –> 0:28:54.490 Foureva Production Is this is a big year for technology, man. 0:28:54.500 –> 0:28:55.170 Foureva Production We’ve got all this. 0:28:55.220 –> 0:28:56.480 Foureva Production AI stuff happening. 0:28:56.490 –> 0:29:7.150 Foureva Production We’ve got digitization, we’ve got transformation of businesses, skills, economy like what’s on your mind as you enter into 2024 and you seek to prioritize how you attack that year. 0:29:8.630 –> 0:29:11.0 Aronson, Kelly Yeah, you know, I love this time of year. 0:29:11.10 –> 0:29:16.900 Aronson, Kelly So we’re talking now here in late December in this time period between Christmas and New Year’s. 0:29:16.910 –> 0:29:32.680 Aronson, Kelly And I think it’s a very unique and special time of year and it’s one that I seek to spend doing a lot of reflection and thinking about what worked this past year, what didn’t work, where we had opportunities and then how do I feel that into the upcoming year. 0:29:32.690 –> 0:29:39.180 Aronson, Kelly And I think there’s so many different things influencing us in 2024, especially in our industry. 0:29:39.190 –> 0:29:46.180 Aronson, Kelly So we’re looking at interest rates, which you know in the past year have been higher than they have in a long period of time. 0:29:46.190 –> 0:29:53.600 Aronson, Kelly And so we’re actively watching that to see how it influences both new home construction and existing home sales and remodels. 0:29:53.870 –> 0:29:57.240 Aronson, Kelly We’re watching the broader economy for changes. 0:29:57.250 –> 0:30:9.510 Aronson, Kelly We’re watching the geopolitical environment, how it acts as a conduit to just consumer confidence and spending, but also access to resources around the world and how that influences us. 0:30:12.400 –> 0:30:12.690 Foureva Production Umm. 0:30:10.170 –> 0:30:22.360 Aronson, Kelly We have an upcoming election year which kind of came as you know, kind of snuck up on me anyways, so that is a big influencer in our industry, especially in our business division. 0:30:22.370 –> 0:30:31.70 Aronson, Kelly That’s direct to customer because we’re competing, you know, with media and advertising against an election campaign, you’re where more and more money goes into that. 0:30:31.130 –> 0:30:33.820 Aronson, Kelly And so it’s just greater competition for mindshare. 0:30:34.340 –> 0:30:34.590 Foureva Production How? 0:30:33.930 –> 0:30:37.780 Aronson, Kelly And then it also, you know impacts consumer spending. 0:30:37.790 –> 0:30:42.690 Aronson, Kelly So there’s so many macroeconomic components going into the year. 0:30:42.870 –> 0:31:3.570 Aronson, Kelly And then I think we are thinking about those things that we started in 2023 and as much as you get excited about starting new things in 2024, I think a big mission for us would be let’s finish what we started and some of those things were post pandemic things that we’ve started and really need to complete before we get distracted with a lot of new things. 0:31:3.630 –> 0:31:14.980 Aronson, Kelly So we have a lot of multi year programs and transformations that are in flight and it’s going to be really critical to continue to guide those important initiatives through to the finish line. 0:31:15.370 –> 0:31:20.0 Aronson, Kelly We’re watching a lot of the emerging technology and participating somewhat. 0:31:20.10 –> 0:31:30.320 Aronson, Kelly I think it’s trying to find that right balance of not being swept up in the buzz and getting distracted, but also not ignoring some really exciting developments in AI. 0:31:30.330 –> 0:31:48.770 Aronson, Kelly And so what’s that nice landing space to be able to consume some of that show value to the organization but not be on a mission to find a solution or have a solution looking for problems to solve, but rather what problems are we trying to solve and might some of these new and emerging technologies be interesting solutions for them? 0:31:48.780 –> 0:31:50.480 Aronson, Kelly So just kind of finding that balance. 0:31:50.760 –> 0:31:59.50 Aronson, Kelly And then I talked, I think you know, 2024 for me is how do we educate and elevate how digital shows up in our organization. 0:31:59.60 –> 0:32:12.800 Aronson, Kelly And so how do we have new conversations with our leaders, with our senior most leaders around how technology his part and embedded in their business function, whether that’s marketing or finance or supply chain. 0:32:12.990 –> 0:32:34.580 Aronson, Kelly So just to kind of baseline where we’re at with the technology solutions that we’ve umm, you know added and and persisted over the last several years and start doing more joint strategic Rd mapping sessions together instead of having a business strategy independent of technology solutions or a technology road map independent of business circumstances. 0:32:34.670 –> 0:32:38.480 Aronson, Kelly It sounds so obvious, but those things have to be very intentionally interwoven. 0:32:38.590 –> 0:32:50.770 Aronson, Kelly And so I’m excited to use 2024 to be on an education and evolution campaign and figure out how we continue to just that transform, how we think about digital in our business. 0:32:52.260 –> 0:32:52.750 Foureva Production Totally. 0:32:52.760 –> 0:32:53.270 Foureva Production Totally. 0:32:53.350 –> 0:33:3.550 Foureva Production I mean, I I like a lot of what you said there because it was like it was a combination of how do I use 2023 as a completion point. 0:33:13.980 –> 0:33:14.150 Aronson, Kelly It’s. 0:33:3.560 –> 0:33:16.290 Foureva Production I need to I need to file through on what I had originally said I was gonna do and complete those things and not look at it just as something that like I’m just gonna sweep under the rug like a New Year’s resolution and everything’s fresh and new from the ground up. 0:33:16.620 –> 0:33:17.10 Aronson, Kelly Mm-hmm. 0:33:16.500 –> 0:33:23.160 Foureva Production But then in the same sense like there is a whole set of new activities that you’re gonna be doing as well and you have to kind of combine those two things together. 0:33:22.970 –> 0:33:24.290 Aronson, Kelly Hmm hmm. 0:33:35.80 –> 0:33:35.430 Aronson, Kelly Umm. 0:33:44.410 –> 0:33:44.680 Aronson, Kelly Right. 0:33:46.560 –> 0:33:47.600 Aronson, Kelly Right, right. 0:33:23.590 –> 0:33:48.730 Foureva Production So I thought those are really healthy like way to think about that, that that both of those have to you have you have to think about the new year as a fresh start but also in the sense of it being able to be a follow through on the things that you really invested in and not that like the things that you invested in initially they’re not just like oh, I’m just done with them and they didn’t have any like file through activities like yeah they they that’s a building on of what I did before not just a restarting. 0:33:55.100 –> 0:33:55.410 Aronson, Kelly Thank you. 0:33:49.90 –> 0:33:59.680 Foureva Production So I think that’s huge like, because I think there’s a temptation for us to always look at the New Year’s completely as a new year with everything before being a sunk cost, which can be a good thing sometimes, but oftentimes not. 0:34:0.310 –> 0:34:1.860 Aronson, Kelly Right, right for sure. 0:34:3.910 –> 0:34:5.700 Foureva Production I how do you balance this? 0:34:5.710 –> 0:34:24.140 Foureva Production Is this is sort of a a foreign planning question on like prioritization and don’t go into this anymore than you feel comfortable going into it, but how do you balance the like threat in the market or maybe the wrong way to that’s a way to say it but like? 0:34:26.30 –> 0:34:29.110 Foureva Production Inbound forces like economic inbound forces. 0:34:29.120 –> 0:34:30.800 Foureva Production This was happening in the economy. 0:34:30.860 –> 0:34:33.740 Foureva Production Here’s what’s happening from a strategic standpoint. 0:34:33.750 –> 0:35:2.480 Foureva Production With interest rates, you know all that element to your existing business against the opportunity zones, which maybe things that you’re not doing now but are if I had to start the business completely over again I had nothing and I was going to build a business that had these technology elements available and skills available to me, all the things that like if I had to have the perfect opportunity now I would have ready and I went after that opportunity independent of all of like other forces. 0:35:2.490 –> 0:35:3.710 Foureva Production How do you balance that? 0:35:3.800 –> 0:35:17.20 Foureva Production Like, how do you balance the maybe another way to say it is the the, the, the defending the existing business and making sure I continue to succeed there versus the mission of the business is broader than the way I sell it today. 0:35:17.300 –> 0:35:17.540 Aronson, Kelly Umm. 0:35:17.110 –> 0:35:24.520 Foureva Production Here’s this other set of things that I’m going to go after, and it’s gonna take Ford investment forward activity. 0:35:24.530 –> 0:35:32.380 Foureva Production It’s not directly the initial business that I have now, but I know I need to do it because that’s where my competitors are gonna come out of that. 0:35:34.340 –> 0:35:35.520 Aronson, Kelly Umm yeah. 0:35:32.390 –> 0:35:37.600 Foureva Production I’m not currently competing with just kind of curious like how in your organization you even think about that problem? 0:35:38.840 –> 0:35:41.740 Aronson, Kelly Yeah, I think it’s an art and a science. 0:35:42.90 –> 0:35:45.280 Aronson, Kelly And I think it’s something that companies are always balancing. 0:35:45.470 –> 0:36:1.240 Aronson, Kelly I think our company has done a really good job of playing, continuing to play offense, so understanding even with like the inbound forces making really good strategic investments and being thoughtful about where we’re making those investments. 0:36:1.310 –> 0:36:17.630 Aronson, Kelly You know, being part of the technology organization a lot of times we would just, you know, in any organization kind of received the outcomes have those business decisions and now it’s exciting because we’re more part of the conversation and the dialogue because they all have technology implications. 0:36:18.10 –> 0:36:18.350 Foureva Production Umm. 0:36:17.640 –> 0:36:23.930 Aronson, Kelly So there’s not a strategy or decision that’s made that doesn’t have some element of technology. 0:36:23.940 –> 0:36:25.170 Aronson, Kelly And so it’s exciting. 0:36:25.180 –> 0:36:33.330 Aronson, Kelly It’s an exciting kind of maturity level and technology organizations to be at the table, have those conversations and think about the broader strategy. 0:36:33.560 –> 0:36:53.160 Aronson, Kelly I think the key is playing offense and being flexible and nimble, and I think that our technology organization has shown during through and after the pandemic that even more than most organizations or most functions in the business, we have a great ability to be flexible and nimble. 0:36:53.170 –> 0:36:56.220 Aronson, Kelly If we need to dial down, we have the ability to do that. 0:36:56.350 –> 0:37:1.820 Aronson, Kelly If we need to accelerate and certain areas or multiple areas, we have the ability to do that. 0:37:1.930 –> 0:37:23.320 Aronson, Kelly And so I think that puts us in a really good position going into 2024 where there’s a lot of uncertainty, but we’re not approaching it with fear and we’re not approaching it with conservatives TISM, but we’re we are approaching it with wisdom, thought strategy and even excitement about the possibility about when those forces are tough. 0:37:23.380 –> 0:37:24.560 Aronson, Kelly That’s your moment to take. 0:37:25.550 –> 0:37:25.830 Foureva Production Umm. 0:37:24.570 –> 0:37:34.130 Aronson, Kelly Share that’s your enrollment to double down and that’s your moment to show up for your customers and do that in a way that elevates you above the rest. 0:37:34.140 –> 0:37:35.300 Aronson, Kelly So I’m excited about it. 0:37:35.840 –> 0:37:36.510 Foureva Production Yeah, totally. 0:37:36.700 –> 0:37:37.950 Foureva Production I think it’s that’s a great answer. 0:37:37.960 –> 0:37:39.770 Foureva Production Just the ability to be. 0:37:39.780 –> 0:37:40.390 Foureva Production I like that word. 0:37:40.400 –> 0:37:41.430 Foureva Production Wisdom, right. 0:38:4.0 –> 0:38:5.10 Aronson, Kelly Mm-hmm. 0:37:41.440 –> 0:38:5.330 Foureva Production It’s it’s this idea of the what’s gone before us, understanding the ability to intake all of what that looked like before, but also an ability to slowly accompany kind of intentionally look toward what’s going to happen in the future and being able to respond to it in a way that isn’t fearful in a way that’s also like the appropriate level of caution and go get them this kind of goes together. 0:38:5.50 –> 0:38:5.870 Aronson, Kelly Exactly. 0:38:6.100 –> 0:38:7.290 Foureva Production I love to play, play offense. 0:38:5.920 –> 0:38:8.80 Aronson, Kelly Yeah, yeah. 0:38:7.300 –> 0:38:11.480 Foureva Production That’s a good it’s like, you know, you’re watching a football game and say great defense, but they can’t start. 0:38:11.760 –> 0:38:12.350 Aronson, Kelly Right. 0:38:11.490 –> 0:38:12.940 Foureva Production Well, you gotta score something, you know? 0:38:12.980 –> 0:38:14.200 Aronson, Kelly Yeah, you need both. 0:38:14.210 –> 0:38:14.750 Aronson, Kelly You need both. 0:38:15.770 –> 0:38:16.630 Foureva Production Oh, that’s awesome. 0:38:17.130 –> 0:38:20.440 Foureva Production OK, so man, this is really been a great conversation so far. 0:38:20.450 –> 0:38:24.640 Foureva Production So the the last like the last kind of like bookend question. 0:38:24.650 –> 0:38:31.140 Foureva Production I wanna ask you is probably my most the one I love the most, which is to tell me about like the influences. 0:38:31.150 –> 0:38:31.640 Foureva Production Like who? 0:38:31.910 –> 0:38:36.440 Foureva Production Who has made you the kind of leader that you are today? 0:38:36.450 –> 0:38:50.160 Foureva Production Like, who’s influenced you with the skills, capability, the wisdom, the, the, the, the all the traits that you’ve been talking about through this journey, you know, who’s enabled you with those traits and just tell me a little bit about that person or persons? 0:38:51.630 –> 0:38:52.820 Aronson, Kelly I have a few categories. 0:38:52.830 –> 0:39:16.110 Aronson, Kelly This is so hard because so many people have influenced me, so I will say the first category of those people that have influenced my career is every former leader or boss that I’ve had in my career journey and I recently was in a conversation with someone they asked me who my mentors were and I said well, every past boss I’ve ever had, I still stay in touch with them and I still get together. 0:39:16.120 –> 0:39:20.120 Aronson, Kelly And they said that’s so unusual and I didn’t realize it was unusual, but I guess it is. 0:39:20.130 –> 0:39:33.290 Aronson, Kelly But I have the very first person who took a chance on me at Thompson Reuters and put me into my first management position in my 20s, leading a couple developers to give me the experience of what that was like. 0:39:33.300 –> 0:39:36.150 Aronson, Kelly That ultimately propelled my passion for leadership. 0:39:49.600 –> 0:39:49.910 Foureva Production Like. 0:39:36.280 –> 0:40:2.660 Aronson, Kelly I have my former leader from Target, who at one point then became my peer and what she kind of created for me and and advocated for me and also was my leader when I experienced the loss of my mom during the the time that I was at Target and just provided me so much support and counsel during that tough time. 0:40:3.210 –> 0:40:12.900 Aronson, Kelly I had another leader from Target who continues to be an important mentor for me today, who I get together with, who I ask a lot of questions about leadership and technology and approach. 0:40:12.910 –> 0:40:20.860 Aronson, Kelly He’s had multiple CIO positions, and so he’s someone I feel really safe calling and asking him how he would approach different things. 0:40:20.870 –> 0:40:35.150 Aronson, Kelly So I’ve created unintentionally, but I guess intentionally in my decision and commitment to those relationships to say that they continue to influence me, they know me more than most people do, and that they provide a really safe place for Council. 0:40:35.300 –> 0:40:38.10 Aronson, Kelly And I’m always looking for how I can give back to each of them. 0:40:38.20 –> 0:40:40.890 Aronson, Kelly So that’s a really important tribe for me. 0:40:40.960 –> 0:40:57.160 Aronson, Kelly Is that collection of previous leaders I’ve had the last one, my leader, that I had in my current when I first came to Anderson, who’s now retired, he continues to provide me counsel over happy hour text, anything. 0:40:57.170 –> 0:41:13.650 Aronson, Kelly And so just it’s a really special group of people that I hold in really high regard and that took a chance on me in different ways knows me better than sometimes I know myself and each of them provide me different kinds of consoles. 0:41:13.720 –> 0:41:20.220 Aronson, Kelly So that’s an important group to me, another singular person who’s impacted my life so much. 0:41:20.230 –> 0:41:20.340 Aronson, Kelly Who? 0:41:20.350 –> 0:41:27.540 Aronson, Kelly There’s been different time, different times over the years where I didn’t wanna always admit it, but I’m gonna just go bold and say I’m obsessed with Oprah. 0:41:27.650 –> 0:41:30.960 Aronson, Kelly I listen to all of her podcasts. 0:41:30.970 –> 0:41:35.520 Aronson, Kelly I super soul Sunday I read the books I’m like I’m drinking the Kool aid. 0:41:35.530 –> 0:41:46.80 Aronson, Kelly But just like her perspective on gratitude and life and balance and resiliency have been just driving forces in my life. 0:41:46.90 –> 0:41:50.610 Aronson, Kelly And I think has influenced my perspective there. 0:41:50.620 –> 0:41:54.230 Aronson, Kelly So and then I would the last group I would say is probably my daughters. 0:41:54.240 –> 0:42:3.130 Aronson, Kelly I think you know, I talked about how my oldest daughter, not by her own design, influence my career path when she arrived on location. 0:42:3.420 –> 0:42:13.650 Aronson, Kelly Uh, 20 years ago and but both of my daughters have just, I think I aspire to be someone that can show them imperfection. 0:42:14.160 –> 0:42:19.780 Aronson, Kelly Attempting to balance attempting to prioritize those things that are most important to me. 0:42:19.790 –> 0:42:24.910 Aronson, Kelly Showing them, umm, a female that can have a career and have a family. 0:42:24.920 –> 0:42:26.470 Aronson, Kelly And you can’t do that perfectly. 0:42:26.480 –> 0:42:30.970 Aronson, Kelly But I think showing them that sometimes it’s messy, but it can be really rewarding. 0:42:31.540 –> 0:42:37.690 Aronson, Kelly UM and just showing them kind of the strength in fighting for what you want and the life that you wanna have. 0:42:37.700 –> 0:42:40.620 Aronson, Kelly So they’ve been really important influences on me as well. 0:42:41.450 –> 0:42:43.370 Foureva Production Wow, those are those are awesome. 0:42:43.380 –> 0:42:43.900 Foureva Production I mean, what? 0:42:44.330 –> 0:42:58.420 Foureva Production What I took from that first group was having a collection of people that you can be vulnerable with and can give you the advice that you might not always want to hear, but is the right thing to hear and helps you to make the right decisions. 0:42:58.770 –> 0:43:3.550 Foureva Production Is so powerful like we need that personally, we need that professionally and we need that just as people. 0:43:4.860 –> 0:43:13.450 Foureva Production And I’m I still respect like having that group of people that you can bounce those ideas off of and feel that they’ll give you that kind of thing. 0:43:14.350 –> 0:43:15.450 Aronson, Kelly Mm-hmm. Absolutely. 0:43:13.460 –> 0:43:17.90 Foureva Production Trust that they’ll give you that feedback in A and that’s that’s awesome. 0:43:17.100 –> 0:43:19.170 Foureva Production And then, like, totally right. 0:43:19.180 –> 0:43:20.900 Foureva Production Like we always have, like the Oprah. 0:43:24.400 –> 0:43:26.110 Aronson, Kelly Mm-hmm. Umm. 0:43:31.480 –> 0:43:31.810 Aronson, Kelly Umm. 0:43:20.910 –> 0:43:33.230 Foureva Production Like the person that like they, they’re like a trailblazer in the society and they give you the courage to be the kind of bold person that you know you can be, but sometimes you need to kick that. 0:43:33.240 –> 0:43:35.970 Foureva Production Like if they’re doing it like I can do this, they’re like, here’s this. 0:43:36.350 –> 0:43:36.980 Foureva Production That’s awesome. 0:43:36.990 –> 0:43:46.650 Foureva Production And then I love you talking about your daughters like I could so connect to that because, like, I feel like the same thing as a as a father of of daughters. 0:43:46.780 –> 0:43:50.90 Foureva Production Like how much you want to be both vulnerable. 0:43:52.190 –> 0:43:52.460 Aronson, Kelly Mm-hmm. 0:43:56.190 –> 0:43:56.530 Aronson, Kelly Umm. 0:44:4.330 –> 0:44:4.830 Aronson, Kelly Exactly. 0:43:50.100 –> 0:44:7.250 Foureva Production That, like you, don’t have everything figured out, but you also want to give them that bold like you can do anything like kind of capability and then also the combination of you’re gonna have to make choices like you can have anything you want, but not everything you want and you need to figure out like what that is for yourself. 0:44:6.390 –> 0:44:7.860 Aronson, Kelly Hmm hmm. 0:44:7.440 –> 0:44:13.980 Foureva Production And the combination of all that together as a parent, I feel like that unlocks in US like man being a parent unlocks and you so much. 0:44:14.830 –> 0:44:16.760 Aronson, Kelly It sure does, yeah. 0:44:16.900 –> 0:44:17.250 Aronson, Kelly Yes. 0:44:17.150 –> 0:44:19.230 Foureva Production Hey good way and like other ways. 0:44:19.240 –> 0:44:21.620 Foureva Production But it’s so beautiful. 0:44:21.890 –> 0:44:23.50 Foureva Production Thank you for sharing all those. 0:44:18.120 –> 0:44:23.720 Aronson, Kelly Yeah, yeah, yes, absolutely. 0:44:25.160 –> 0:44:25.650 Foureva Production Awesome. 0:44:27.790 –> 0:44:28.190 Aronson, Kelly Wow. 0:44:25.660 –> 0:44:31.670 Foureva Production Well, that is the end of our podcast this week, and I am so glad that you took the time to do this. 0:44:31.680 –> 0:44:33.530 Foureva Production This has been an awesome conversation, man. 0:44:36.330 –> 0:44:37.120 Aronson, Kelly It’s been great. 0:44:37.130 –> 0:44:37.890 Aronson, Kelly I’ve enjoyed it. 0:44:33.540 –> 0:44:41.240 Foureva Production What a like a journey through all these topics and thank you for spending the time and being part of it. 0:44:41.250 –> 0:44:46.620 Foureva Production And I’m really looking forward to to continuing to do, to learn more about, you know, your journey over time. 0:44:46.630 –> 0:44:47.540 Foureva Production So thank you for. 0:44:47.650 –> 0:44:49.190 Foureva Production Thank you for being part of the podcast today. 0:44:49.840 –> 0:44:50.690 Aronson, Kelly Thanks for having me. 0:44:50.700 –> 0:44:53.140 Aronson, Kelly It was a great discussion, really appreciate it. 0:44:53.830 –> 0:44:54.380 Foureva Production Awesome. 0:44:54.510 –> 0:44:57.380 Foureva Production And we’ll see you all next time on the Change agent podcast.