Inside Insync is where we connect the people of our company with the people of the internet i.e. you.
Six Surprising Things is our series to discover some unknown gems about the people who make up Insync Technology. These insights range from things they’ve learned or love about their work here with us, to personal details about what makes them tick.
Today we meet:
Russell Kowald: Principal Consultant in Modern Workplace practice
Time with Insync: Since late 2017
Previous notable time: Systems Engineer roles in various companies
Six Surprising Things with Russell Kowald
Inside Insync: Hi Russell, you seem like a pretty straight-forward person. Do you really think there are six surprising things about you?
Russell: Um …
Inside Insync: Only kidding! Of course there are. We’re excited to hear more from you.
Russell: Thanks. I think.
I like difficult conversations
I’m definitely not someone to skate over problems or sugar coat things. I’m really up front with customers. For example, we are often adopting new Microsoft technology and sometimes the platform or application still has a few bugs. I don’t hide that from customers or shy away from it. I’ll say straight up: ‘This is new. It hasn’t been tested and tried by lots of organisations, are you comfortable with that?’ Then we dive in together and work things out: the limitations of the technology, and resolving issues with vendors. Some people can’t stand it when things go wrong but I actually really enjoy all of those interactions. Honesty is incredibly important to me. It’s one of the main reasons I was drawn to work at Insync Technology – because it’s also one of the company’s core values.
Slow and steady is fine with me, I'm not into silver bullets
We are working on a huge project at the moment with the City of Hobart. We’re building out the system for the IT team there to use. I love working with internal IT teams and skilling them up to use new platforms and deliver those to their organisations. It take a lot of time. Working in this way definitely isn’t about overnight results. But it’s really rewarding to see organisations take on change.
In this instance they are using Windows 7, so with our help they can start to use surface pros and other devices with Windows 10, meaning they can be more mobile and work in different ways. I love seeing things click and teams start to see all the other possibilities for making improvements in their workplace.
Connections make me tick
I am unashamedly nerdy when it comes to technology. I really dig it, and how it interacts with people and changes the way they do things on day to day basis. Like, it’s not just servers sitting in the background. It’s real game changing stuff.
Every time you login to your computer there is a system that manages how the PC is run and how it connects to applications. For me, it is this end of things, the client facing technology that I particularly like. I get to engage and talk to people and be part of the improvements technology makes in their life, which I enjoy.
I have three cats and if you know me, you know my cats
Throwing this in as a curve ball. Sure, it’s nothing to do with work. Although I DO take a lot of photos of my three cats (and I mean a lot) so I guess I am interacting with technology as part of my obsession with them.
While we’re outside the workplace, I have a very small herb and veggie garden that I am very proud of. And I love zipping around on my Honda VFR800.
Inside Insync: Your … what?
Russell: It’s a motorcycle. It’s not a super sports bike but it isn’t a big Harley either. It’s quick but comfortable! It makes the work day commute much more interesting and I also like to explore the Brisbane countryside.
I learned empathy from the other side of the fence
In my jobs before joining Insync I had often been in the customer role so I know a lot about how they feel. I didn’t even realise at the time, but this was such great training for the job I have now. I know what it’s like to have consultants come in and make changes. I can relate to customers and how they are adjusting to change. I think this makes me more aware of the pressures customers are facing so I go at a pace that suits them and keep checking in that things are rolling out in the right way for their needs.
What would make your life easier?
Inside Insync: Russell, that’s a question not a statement.
Russell: I know. It’s my sixth surprising thing. I’m much more driven by how I can help you achieve what you want and need from technology than I am by talking about myself.
Inside Insync: That’s really nice.
Russell: It’s true. I always want to understand why a customer wants to change technology. What the business drive is and the human drive. And I guess it was cheeky to turn the final statement into a question but that’s a thing I value about working with Insync. It’s a truly flexible environment. My leadership have 100% trust in me and how I work. It’s about getting outcomes not clocking on and off. This makes a big difference and makes coming to work enjoyable.
Inside Insync: Along with your Honda VFR800
Russell: Yes. Well remembered!
Inside Insync: We do listen.
Russell: That’s great.
Inside Insync: Thanks Russell for your time and for telling us Six Surprising Things.