This article features an interview with Rodrigo Araujo who runs a YouTube Channel named IT Tank. His channel showcases interviews with various leaders in the IT industry and beyond that explore industry and professional growth. He has more than a decade of experience in the IT sector and he is currently the Global Business Solutions Architect of Degreed.
The interview mainly tackles the use of social media in raising awareness in organizational resilience and communicating more effectively with a wider audience. In this conversation we discuss how important it is for the organizational resilience community to reach out to a larger public.
Can you tell us about your YouTube Channel, IT-Tank, and how did it start? What’s the story behind it?
My YouTube channel is quite recent, I started it in January 2021. The reason I created it was because with the lockdown I suddenly had a lot of spare time. I truly didn’t want to spend my time watching TV or doing something else. With a couple of ideas and couple of projects in mind, I thought of creating something interesting. Since I love talking to people, I decided to start a channel. I wanted a channel where I could host conversations with professionals who are leaders in their own field. This would also be an opportunity for me and the audience to broaden our network.
How do you come up with the topics that you wish to show your audience?
When I first built the section of my channel, it was mainly related to IT and tech-related issue. So, my intention was to grab people’s attention and share a lot of knowledge with young professionals who are eager to lead in this career. I wanted to encourage guests to talk about leadership as well as innovation and technology. In a way, they should be mentoring whoever wants to listen to my channel.
So far, how do you think the audience receive the channel?
It has been amazing! I’ve been receiving a lot of positive feedback. Of course, we understand how YouTube works and there are a couple of areas where we need to improve, such as getting more audience to the channel, but the level of response has been amazing. It is a great surprise because I was not expecting that so many great guests would be willing to be on my channel. I was expecting a bit more resistance to be completely honest, but it hasn’t happened yet. Also, the people who are participating as guests, they are saying how comfortable they have felt during our conversation.
What are the benefits of using YouTube and how does it differ from other social media platforms in engaging broader audience?
The reason I like YouTube so much is what I called the democratization of knowledge. What do I mean by that? We know that traditionally most people have been relying on formal education to acquire new knowledge. In the past if you wanted formal training on a subject, you would need to go to college. I’m not saying that these are not important today, but they are complemented by other sources of knowledge. At the moment we can hardly rely on class-based training, so we need to be online. We need to grab as much knowledge as we can from social media such as YouTube, which I think is one of those platforms that can convey knowledge to a broad audience quite easily. People want to learn from various massive open online courses (MOOCs). For instance, they might want to get to Coursera although they would have to pay for it at times. Differently, on YouTube, where there are a lot of creators, you can just search for whatever you want to learn that moment for free. So, it is just up to you to decide what you want to learn. Of course, not all videos you see there are reliable, but once you find the right source of information for you to follow and trust you will get access to a great resource.
Why is it important to engage the resilience community through innovative channels with this type of programmes?
The reason why I think it is important for the resilience industry to be present on social media is its own history. We know for a fact that resilience professionals are sitting in the background doing amazing things, preventing a lot of disruptions from happening to organizations. However, sometimes these professionals are not getting the proper attention. Perhaps with the use of social media more people will understand how pivotal this industry is for businesses nowadays. This is pretty much a 24/7 kind of job and it is such a shame that most of the people do not notice that.
We cannot simply rely on traditional means to spread awareness about resilience, there is need for professionals to employ modern channels and fresh means of communications, as it is happening for new technologies such as data analytics or blockchain.
I think this will happen for the resilience industry at large, much the same way it has for cybersecurity. No one was paying attention to cybersecurity initially, then it exploded as cyberattacks became more relevant.
Currently, how far are we from that point where most people are aware of the resilience industry?
Unfortunately, I would say quite far. The reason for that is people still do not know how hard the life of resilience professionals is. People do not know that, and this is what I usually got from my previous posts about resilience. This is unfortunate because I understand how hard it is to be in this industry. How tough, on a daily basis, it is the work that you guys need to do.
I also noticed that something bad has to happen to start a conversation about resilience. This is what we witnessed with cybersecurity. We were only requested when there was an attack or a breach. That was the only situation where we had cybersecurity on the table. Now with the pandemic a lot of things have changed. With the resilience group, it’s almost the same thing. Professionals are doing an amazing job in the background but not many people take notice as long as things work out fine. So, the only moment the resilience group gets a seat on the table is when the company has a problem.
Would you like to share some of your perspective on how resilience professionals can do better to spread awareness about the resilience industry?
It is not rocket science but there are a couple of paths I think are very effective. We know that the resilience group has a lot of talks, online discourses, and other things, especially from the Business Continuity Institute’s community, right? Why have I never seen so many? I think the industry can reach out to more people, for instanceby sharing courses on platforms such as Coursera and other MOOCs. You can start using these platforms to create awareness. You can create channels on YouTube to spread simple things about the industry.
We need to remove this barrier and increase the attention on the industry. You cannot just open a formal course and expect one million people to take it. It is not going to happen because the awareness is not there yet. So, you must first create the awareness through free channels, such as YouTube or LinkedIn.
We have another good channel of communication, websites. One example is media.com where you can create news article for everyone to read for free. Some people prefer to read rather than watch videos. You may create content by bringing some industry leaders to talk with you or just write about daily events of resilience professionals in their jobs. People will love that and will feel closer to you. You may also create podcasts on Spotify, Apple Store, and other channels. Whichever medium you are comfortable with, just spread awareness about your industry. You may also consider doing all of these things. You can create videos, convert it to audio and publish it as a podcast. On the side, you can write a summary of the conversation and publish it on Media.com.
Do you believe these new channels to talk about our industry can also be a good way to increase diversity?
A hundred and ten percent yes. We need to democratize the knowledge, as soon as we understand that we already face a lot of prejudice – we are talking about women, we are talking about race, religion, rights, and sexual orientation. One thing that is super important is for leaders who are in these less represented groups to share their own experiences. We need the voices of those saying: “I came from a less represented group, and I am here”. It is possible for these groups to break some prejudices. That is why I love having people from these groups speak in my channel.
Most of the time, including myself as a Latino, many suffer from the impostor syndrome. People from less represented group feel that they are not capable enough to be in their position because of their background. “Oh, I came from this background, I am not sure if I can get there. I think I am not good enough”. This is the first thing we need to remove from our minds. It’s going to be there, but you need to face reality. Hence, it is important to have some mentors in your career to help you succeed.
Any advice for the new generation of resilience professionals?
Start by sharing your knowledge. It is important to understand that professional growth does not only mean being good at your job. Be amazing at your job but also go and try to share as much knowledge as you can with everyone else. Do not be afraid, you’re going to lose your job or a promotion because you are sharing that knowledge. Understand from the beginning how important it is to engage with other people and be able to create a huge community in the industry. There is nothing better in growing than to share. Unfortunately, we do have some barriers in our minds, like “I am going to get all the knowledge and I am not going to share with anyone because, otherwise, I am going to lose that position and will not get promoted.” Not at all! People reach the top when they understand from the beginning how important it is to share.
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