CMSWire Top Contributor 2014 - Bill Ryan

4 minute read
Siobhan Fagan avatar

Bill Ryan's belief in the power of social at work can be seen in his work, in his Twitter feed where he tweets about social extensively and in his writing. He strives to help people reach that "eureka" moment when they see where social fits in their business processes. Bill has been an active member of the CMSWire community in both the comments and the social feeds and we feel lucky to have brought him over to the editorial side of the site.

What do you consider your most significant career accomplishment to date?

The most significant accomplishment to date in my career is the Social Business Playbook I wrote for a public utility company. It was a tour de force that turned out to be the guide that took the organization into the world of social business. The document was the roadmap that allowed them to implement enterprise social technologies to streamline their communications processes, engage employees, bring cross-functional teams together and drive innovation in the company.

It was an arduous process where I got the opportunity to meet so many people from different areas of the organization and understand what they did to do their daily jobs. I was able to take that information and craft a solution framework that would allow the company to see a clear path to change. The success of the playbook was instrumental in guiding me into learning more about the digital workplace and changing the direction of my career.

How do you define success?

From a project perspective I define success as a satisfied client that has implemented technology, adopted the solution, changed manual and outdated processes, and adapted the new capability into their corporate culture. Not every company does this as there are so many variables that can effect to success of a project but those few that get to enjoy the benefits of a transformational solution are the lucky ones that are successful.

From a personal perspective I define success as the moment when the light bulb goes off with the customer and they understand the technical solution that I’m architecting with them and they begin to define the capabilities of the solution without my help. This is the definitive moment when they “get it” and I never get enough of seeing that look.

What motivates you?

I’m motivated by innovative technology and how it can change a business to make them more competitive, responsive, adaptive, and dominating in their marketplace. The art of the solution is defining the implementation for the company I’m working with based on their market segment, business culture, and desire for change.

I’m motivated by the desire to share my knowledge with my colleagues and customers. I love to share new technologies and map them to business processes to help organizations address the capability to apply it.

Learning Opportunities

What is the first interaction with technology that you remember and what did you think at the time?

Wow – I’m going to date myself here… In 1988 I walked into a computer store and was smitten with an IBM Clone PC that had 64K of memory, 40MB Hard Drive and a color CRT Monitor. It used 5.5-inch floppy disks and was huge. The salesperson told me that it would take a lifetime to fill 40 million bytes of data on the hard drive. I was blown away by the promise of what I could do with it and I was hooked… I’ve been geeking out on computers ever since.

Fill in the blank:

If I didn't do my current work: I would be unemployed. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

When I'm not working: I enjoy time with my lovely wife and our two Westies. I like to spend time in my woodworking shop and riding our Harley Davison motorcycles around Colorado.

The highest compliment someone could give me: is to tell me how much I have helped change the way they work. There is no greater compliment and sense of accomplishment.