Alexander Buschek has been an IT professional for many years. He is passionate about digital transformation and the opportunities it will give businesses — especially SMBs. He is convinced that every business has to embrace digital transformation in one way or another, in order to survive. The sooner a business starts its digital transformation, the better. To support this process, spread awareness, and share experiences, he started a digital transformation blog. Today he is the CIO of Cherry GmbH, well known for their excellent keyboards and MX switches, who hired him because of his profound knowledge of digital transformation and digitalization. Until January 2018, he was the CDO and CIO of Braunschweiger Flammenfilter GmbH, an international valve manufacturing company that employs more than 500 people in several locations worldwide. His main responsibility was the overall digitalization and IT development for the entire PROTEGO® Group. Before joining PROTEGO®, he worked as an entrepreneur consulting SMBs about their IT strategies, providing external project management and overseeing various IT projects, including ERP and CAD implementation and migration. Working with many SMBs gave him a deep understanding of this market.
[1:18] Marc welcomes you to Episode 72 and invites you to share this episode with like-minded souls. Please subscribe wherever you listen to this podcast, share it on social media, and tell your neighbors and colleagues.
[1:47] This week, Marc interviews Alexander Buschek, who is the poster child for someone who completely rebranded himself to become a digital transformation thought leader.
[2:00] Last week was the monthly Q&A episode. If you’d like to submit a question to be answered on this podcast, just go to CareerPivot.com, and click on the Contact Me link to submit a question by email, or click on the Send Voicemail tab on the right side of the screen to submit your question by voice. Marc will play your question in the episode.
[2:27] Next week’s episode will be Marc’s interview on the Next Avenue podcast. NextAvenue.org is the PBS website for the Baby Boomer generation. Marc was interviewed on Episode 3 about making career pivots.
[2:44] Marc reads Alexander’s bio.
[4:30] Marc introduces Alexander. Alexander talks about looking for a new job before working with Marc. He sent applications everywhere and didn’t get answers. He also had a difficult bio, being self-employed for more than 24 years, then became the CIO of one of his customers. He decided he needed help and he found Marc.
[5:34] Marc started Alexander through the rebranding process. Alexander shares the roadmap he followed.
[5:45] The first step was the Birkman assessment to find out who he was, what were his strengths and weaknesses. He learned new things about himself. Marc encouraged him to have a blog, videos, and write a book. He’s still working on the book.
[6:38] The roadmap was getting to know himself and writing a white paper, as a preliminary for the blog. Then he started writing the blog and became the thought leader in digital transformation. Then his visibility started. People asked him to speak at conferences, which was a great experience for him.
[7:13] Marc frequently told Alexander to be bold. At first, Alexander didn’t see himself as bold. Then he found out he was. He was not reluctant to speak up and do the things he thought were necessary.
[8:03] Marc was blown away by Alexander’s resume. Alexander didn’t see himself as a hot commodity, however. He had to learn to understand his achievements and tell people about his experience.
[9:16] Alexander’s white paper was about cloud technology. In Germany, many were reluctant to even look into it. So he thought, at least he needed to look into it. He figured out that cloud technology is the future.
[10:31] Alexander used Dragon Naturally Speaking to write. You just talk and you see it written in Word. It was very helpful.
[11:55] While Alexander was networking as the CIO of Protego he approached Autodesk to ask if CAD systems could be based in the cloud. Autodesk invited him to look at how it was being used at the time, including Fusion 360. After talking with a manager there, they invited him to be part of a panel discussion in Berlin.
[13:15] The panel was on digital transformation, in English. Alexander used it for his blog with great success. Personal branding is making sure people get the impression of you that you want them to have.
[14:13] After being on the Financial Times panel, Alexander started writing his blog posts. He spoke at another event for Autodesk. It snowballed from there.
[15:29] Alexander spent the Christmas holidays in 2016 shooting videos about digital transformation, based on his conference presentations. Headhunters started to approach him. He expanded his LinkedIn network significantly.
[17:18] Doing videos helped Alexander’s presentation skills a lot.
[18:49] Making a video requires one hour or more of effort for every minute of finished video.
[20:14] Alexander is proudest of getting his new job that is challenging. He is proud that he was asked, rather than sending in his application. He branded himself doing what he loved to do and showing his expertise, with the goal of getting a new job.
[21:17] Alexander was passionate about digital transformation. His previous job had given him no opportunity in that area. It is present or will be present in every company. Alexander became an expert on it after a lot of work. There is no way around hard work with a lot of discipline.
[22:21] Alexander credits Marc with inspiring him to push forward, not just because he needed a job but because he loved the field.
[22:23] Digital transformation is so present these days, but so few people understand it.
[23:37] The first positive feedback from Alexander’s white paper was very helpful. Marc gave Alexander small steps to do one at a time that really kept him going. The next step is to write the book.
[25:25] Alexander’s advice: you can do it, however, you need to be patient and put a lot of effort into it. With the effort comes the success. Be bold. Get some advice and get a jobs coach. Reading a book alone does not usually provide the motivation. Be patient.
[28:08] Alexander looked off into the future and positioned himself in a niche with SMBs.
[29:13] Marc hopes Alexander has inspired listeners to be bold!
[30:05] Alexander first contacted Marc by LinkedIn after reading Personal Branding for Baby Boomers: What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It's No Longer Optional. When he contacted Marc he had 70 LinkedIn contacts; today he has 1,200 or so.
[30:29] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Alexander proves that with dedication and hard work you can create a professional brand that will get you where you want to go.
[32:08] Check back next week for Marc’s interview on NextAvenue.org.
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