Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 35 | Page 51

PROFILE O ld Mutual Limited started in Africa in 1845 and rapidly developed into a recognised brand across much of Southern Africa. Over the years, its business expanded internationally and, 20 years ago, it was listed on the London Stock Exchange. In March 2016, it was decided that the best way forward for the Old Mutual Group was to separate its four strong businesses into independent, standalone companies. The main aim of the strategy – called Managed Separation – has been to unlock and create value for shareholders. Johnson Idesoh joined Old Mutual Limited in 2014 and is responsible for all of the company’s IT services. Could you highlight some of the previous positions you have held and what they entailed? What were the main technological challenges of these positions? When I joined Old Mutual in 2014 as Chief Technology Officer, our major challenge was changing the paradigm for technology from ‘a back office’ function to a ‘customer facing and enhancing’ function. Prior to Old Mutual, I was with Aviva for nine years where I held various roles. But I am most proud of the fact that I was part of a small group who got Aviva focused on digitalising customer and employee experiences between 2011 and 2014, which for an insurer with hundreds of years of history was a major win. To this day, Aviva is a leader in digitalisation in the industry. What is your managerial style? I focus on explaining purpose, which is a basic human need and on providing safety for my team to act with clarity of purpose. I BELIEVE LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT CREATING BELIEF. BELIEF IN A PURPOSE, IN A STRATEGY AND CONFIDENCE IN OUR INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE ABILITY. Ultimately, I believe leadership is about creating belief. Belief in a purpose, in a strategy and confidence in our individual and collective ability to achieve that strategy and purpose. What are the main challenges of your role as CIO? Building belief that we can make the changes ourselves and that we can, with the strength of our brand and the 13 million customers who trust us with their savings and insurance, have access to the best capability anywhere. What advice would you give to aspiring CIOs? Focus on the space between outcomes and technology. Your specialism comes from INTELLIGENTCIO 51