Last month I had the honor to speak at the Security 500 conference in front of a large room of senior security leaders.  My own personal take-away from the event is that no matter how long you’ve been in this industry there is always something new to learn.  Learning through some new perspective, a new approach or best practice, but mostly through the simple conversations when meeting someone new.  I love that and I sincerely send a thank you to everyone who attended to share their perspectives so we can all learn from conversation. It’s important.

The constant change this industry continuously goes through makes it fun. New threats, new tools, new business models and best practices – it seems endless and I suspect it always will be.  When we think about security management, do we look at making change to how we manage the same way we look at the threats and tools that force us to change our tactics? When would you know it’s time to take a look at a different management approach and where would you start?  Have you spent time thinking about your “philosophy” to security management? Is it different now than when you started? Not just from a maturity standpoint or that you’ve been through leadership training, but a complete review of the security management part of our jobs. Who would you turn to? With the hectic pace of our careers, is there time for that kind of perspective and potential shakeup?

Industry change was a consistent conversation throughout the Security 500 conference. The most influential change in my career happened when I took almost a year and brought in thought leaders to ask “what do we do?” It’s the folder on my computer to this day where I keep notes about security’s role and management styles. I learned a lot that year. That same folder was filled with some more notes 12 years after it was initially opened.

The Security 500 conference made me think about my MBA students, who are in the middle of radical changes in their lives. We often talk about where they could find answers to their careers in mentors, industry groups and networking. It also made me think about how important that is today in our industry, at every level, even at the senior leadership levels. I wondered how many people in the room have a mentor. Not a mentor to share best practice ideas, but a mentor for management guidance? Would it be helpful? Would it be someone from this industry? I couldn’t help but think about the similarities of changing times, granted at different stages of life, but similar in that change is happening. I don’t have a mentor outside of the industry, but after the perspective gained from talking with my colleagues, I’m thinking that a perspective from outside the industry would be enlightening.