Having joined Campbell\u2019s in January 2022, Julia Anderson\u2019s enterprise-wide responsibilities run from digital workplace services, IT platforms, and architecture, to cybersecurity oversight, business analytics, and transformation projects and programs. \n\nWhen she arrived, a business transformation was already underway. \u201cThere were two divisions structured and a central supply chain\u2014very clear areas to partner with, but we weren\u2019t set up to partner,\u201d she says. \u201cWe were more of a services organization, so I had to create an organization that had architecture, data, and an analytics focus, but also digital partners. We make that our culture; to be together and succeed together with quick wins.\u201d\n\nWhen you come into an organization going through a transformation, skill sets can be deeply hidden, she adds. People have functional knowledge and technical capability, but because of different roles and operating models, they may have to be left out.\n\n\u201cWe have to understand who our leaders and technical people are, and who can learn the new platforms and technologies being brought in and get things done,\u201d she says. \u201cTraining becomes a big piece of it, too. I eliminate roles, not people. so what\u2019s the prioritized work we need to do, and what capabilities do we need to do that work. Aside from that, other roles and other work have to stop. It can be uncomfortable when you explain it to people.\u201d\n\nWith a different vantage point but similar sentiment, Kristen Lamoreaux leads a national IT recruitment firm that echoes her long-held personal and professional belief that every organization benefits from having more diverse and inclusive leadership teams.\n\nAnd there are many different approaches to keep talent development thriving and functioning in a way to maintain a competitive edge. Providing access to data, reskilling, upskilling, and retaining all the best tech people\u2014once you have them\u2014is all part of the plan.\n\n\u201cOne of the aspects of democratizing data and access, however, terrifies a lot of leaders because they think we can\u2019t just give everybody access,\u201d says Lamoreaux. \u201cOf course you\u2019re not, yet you create pathways and you can bring others in, because you never know where that next great idea is coming from. But make the space for the governance, and make sure people are understanding. You\u2019re not going to let somebody jump into source code. It\u2019s a matter of protecting what you can and giving access, creating those ramps.\u201d\n\nCIO.com\u2019s Maryfran Johnson recently spoke with Anderson and Lamoreaux about talent market volatility, righting the ship through transformational change, and upskilling the IT workforce. Here are some edited excerpts of that conversation. Watch the full video below for more insights.\n\nOn shadow IT: Julia Anderson: I actually love shadow IT or people in the business who are trying to solve problems with technology and data because they\u2019re my easy wins. There are two pieces to it. One is they have to trust we can put in the capabilities, tools, process, and guardrail so they can run with it. I\u2019m big into anticipation. I work for food companies, so guess what people are going to ask me for? Ways to buy, make, sell, and deliver food better and faster. So anticipating we\u2019re going to make data available or there\u2019ll be a new SaaS solution someone\u2019s excited about, or someone will want to use the tools we have to write their own code or use conversational AI. We\u2019re all for that, and we can put the structure in place so that if you jump into that pool, you\u2019re going to have the support you need. Don\u2019t make it a barrier. So I don\u2019t think it\u2019s shadow, but a partner and I think those people excited about technology can only drive our goals faster.\n\nOn authenticity: Kristen Lamoreaux: The most important thing is to always be authentic. Some people feel that means tact and diplomacy go out the window, because they\u2019re being authentic, but not at the executive level. Tact and diplomacy still matter. Consulting with people is great, but the decision still lies with you. So you don\u2019t have a lot of time. Again, that pace is challenging. So be that lifelong learner, and demonstrate your curiosity for emerging tech by showing how you\u2019ve improved yourself.\n\nOn diversity: Julia Anderson: I focus on the current and up-and-coming leaders because that\u2019s where we\u2019re losing diversity as people come to that leadership level. Some of the same old things are true, like women won\u2019t check every box so they won\u2019t apply; they don\u2019t have the confidence. So doing more coaching, mentoring, and encouraging is really important for people to understand what they can do. And your direct manager, who is potentially your advocate, is not your coach and mentor. You need someone who looks like you to spin through it or who can really connect with you. I think that\u2019s a really important aspect to see people like yourself who not only have the roles, but enjoy and command them. It\u2019s really critical you build out a diverse leadership team internally and externally. You have to look at your data and make sure there\u2019s equity. And now it\u2019s about options. I can attract more talent across the globe, depending what the job is. We\u2019ve been working globally forever, with outsourcing and partnerships. So we maybe have a little jump being effective, working remote. But I think it\u2019s helped in terms of being able, for me, to get a more diverse leadership team.\n\nOn stepping up: Kristen Lamoreaux: When someone expresses an interest in something, whether it\u2019s emerging tech or a new process, are they going to step up? Do they know what they claim to know? And at the end, are they excited about sharing that? If you see that passion, pick them up and put them where they want to be and you\u2019ll have such greater morale and engagement. It really is something any organization can do; they just have to make the space for it. It\u2019s something where any HR leader can ask an employee, \u201cAre you doing something you\u2019re passionate about? Is there something you want to learn more about? Would you rather grow more in your current role, or explore another facet of the business?\u201d Ask and you\u2019ll be amazed at the data you get from one well-crafted question. From there, you can create that talent bank that says, \u201cOh, Julia actually said she was really interested in mobile computing, so we\u2019re picking you up and putting you right here.\u201d It\u2019s easily done and accomplished, but I\u2019m also a big fan of demonstrating what you know. So if you\u2019re passionate about something, you know the universal knowledge behind it.