How can you build credibility? By being credible of course. It is easily said but not so easily done.
Hopefully you are aware that I am trying to help build a cyber (information security) cluster in the North East. I want to see the region positioned as a leading player in this important and growing sector. I believe it is an area in which we can flourish on the back of other initiatives such as the National Innovation Centre for Data, as there is a big cross over between cyber and data crunching. There is still a long way to go though.
The circle I need to square, although I think it is far from impossible, is that the region is not noted for cyber per se. The North East has a number of successful businesses working in cyber though they tend to work in independently of each other. The premise behind the cluster is that by working in a collaborative but competitive environment companies will be able to attract more business through improved marketing and compete for larger national and international contracts.
The dilemma I am in is that to be able to influence the market I need to be seen as a credible player and whilst I have a background in senior management in a variety of technical roles I lack any real cyber qualifications. Yet this is not why I am in the party, my skills are not technical but rather the ability to connect people, create ideas and drive them forward. I am making headway.
To get the cluster off the ground I need to get one or more of the already successful cyber businesses on board. I will be able to bask in the reflection of their credibility and this should encourage more organisations to get involved. I will become credible by association and through this I will be able to build the consensus that will lead to the cluster.
Credibility – consensus – cluster. This is where I am now focusing my attention.