Gary Olson: A Go-to Expert in Almost any Industry
A comfortable level of communication between business units, stakeholders, senior management, finance, and technology groups delivers tangible results. A common understanding of goals promotes clear accountability throughout the organization. Gary Olson — CEO & Co-founder at GT Digital is leading with such vision and making the effort to attract financing, building the team, market strategy, and handling operational planning. He is considered a thought leader in the transition to IP. He works closely with his clients and develops new workflows and business processes.
As a managing Director, Gary also founded GHO Group, a specialized advanced technology consultant group where he is responsible for building its portfolio of successes on a project portfolio over US$1B. His articles help broadcast engineers understand about the trends and changes in the industry without promoting products or companies.
An interview conducted between Gary Olson and Insights Success shares his knowledge working towards success with GT Digital. Below are the highlights of the interview:
Give a brief overview of your background and your role in GT Digital.
As CEO, Founder, and Technical Designer for GT Digital, I am responsible for all aspects of the company from a leadership perspective. As a serial entrepreneur, I have started and operated several businesses. Each of these businesses were focused on designing new technologies, typically involving video with data. In my current company and role, I designed the product, am raising the capital to fund the business, and evangelizing the company.
How do you diversify your tech solutions so as to appeal your target audience?
The first thing is to identify a problem that needs to be solved, is there a pain point or a gap that new technology can address. Tech solutions should solve problems not exist for tech’s sake. Artificial Intelligence is an interesting space to work in. It’s largely misunderstood and mis-interpreted. The term itself has become generic with too many meanings and most AI is not really AI. Helping people understand it is challenging.
What was your life changing event/ incident that changed your life?
When the “Internet bubble” burst, while I was not a dot-com company, the world changed. My engineering company was competing against well-established integrators, and as companies closed the market was flooded with consultants and engineers. It was time to re-invent myself.
What strategies do you undertake to make your employees resourceful?
Inspire them to think outside the box. Look at the whole picture not just parts of it. One of the most important is to allow them to do it their way, different is not wrong. How I do things is different than the way someone else might. Also, the most important thing is to respect the ideas and thoughts of others.
What are some of the vital attributes, in your opinion, that every leader should possess?
As I just mentioned, allowing the people under you to flourish, figure things out, guide where needed. Encouragement is important.
How necessary is it to align business with technology and what are its outcomes?
It is critical to align business with technology. As a business owner, it’s important to both take advantage of the benefits productivity technology offers, at the same time over burdening a business with technology can be disruptive. The other consideration is both adoption and workflows. Will the users adopt the technology and are there new workflows? For our clients, we help them select the best technology for their application and be clear that the total cost of ownership includes annual costs and operations costs.
How do you deal with the dynamics of the market?
This is a constant effort, monitoring and analyzing trends. It is one thing to be on the leading edge, it’s another to be on the bleeding edge.
What advice would you like to give to the emerging leaders?
Trust your people. If you cannot you have the wrong people.