E102 - Walter Hinz at Stryker12 July, 2023
On today’s episode, we were joined by our Principal USA Consultant Harry Stephenson and Walter Hinz, the Sr. Director at Stryker. Throughout Walter’s career, he has solved difficult problems and partnered with customers to create value. He has achieved extensive success in directing global organisations and applying technology to advance business objectives and priorities. Walter believes in giving back and now spends a lot of his time educating and guiding the younger generation of Network Engineers.
Walter has a very interesting past he’s certainly been on a journey. He describes his career as a quote from Bruce Lee, “life is like water. Be like water, in other words, it doesn’t always go straight but it’s going to get where it needs to go. Goes around things, under things, over things but it’ll eventually get there”.
Before he went to uni, he wouldn’t say he was a very dedicated student, but he was fortunate enough to have fairly good grades. So, he decided to go off to uni with a partial scholarship, went to a good school and chose a Computer Science degree. He went and ended up not liking it, he was bored out of his mind so, after 2 years, he chose to no longer attend. He was blessed to come from a structured environment, his dad was a former MP in the Navy and his mum was incredibly supportive. They gave him options on what his next steps should be, either go into the military, get a job, and pay rent or go to a technical school. He signed up for the Navy and 2 weeks before he was meant to leave for training, he was watching Top Gun and decided he didn’t want to do that. This led him to sign up for a technical school where he ended up loving and the rest was history.
He was in the Outsourcing space for a long time at the start of his career. The last position that he had in the outsourcing world was he ran a large outsourcing programme for a company called Novartis and ran up their global services, where he stayed for over 7 years. He moved into a company called Celgene from there for 5 years before being approached by a recruiter with a role for him at Stryker and has been there ever since.
Professionally the most important thing he has learnt is to never chase after a title. Find out what you like to do on a daily basis and what motivates you. Walter could’ve been a CIO a few times but turned them down because it wasn’t the right fit for him. And finally make sure you always have goals, whether that’s professional or personal, as they will be the thing that keeps you going.
The biggest challenges they are facing at Stryker are their business model and their success. Aside from the pandemic where the business climate is so much different in general, they are geographically dispersed. They have 300-400 locations globally and are constantly growing. He is in charge of the internal user community so he needs to try to understand what issues could arise and try to understand how to respond to those issues and ensure they all stayed focused on things that matter the most.
“I don’t think the skills to success in tech are any different to success in just about anywhere in life”.
What he finds makes people the most successful in life, not just business, is communication skills. Interact with other people and find common ground because you will find that a lot of soft skills are incredibly important.
Walter talks about how he thinks the industry will change as technology develops alongside some great advice to anyone who wants to get started in the industry. Tune in now to listen!