Just Do It! Engaging the Culture and Creating Value for Security

Tyson Aiken, Senior Director, Global Security for Nike, Inc. was introduced to The Great Conversation in Security in March 2017 as an attendee. After striking up a conversation with our Managing Director, Ron Worman, between sessions, it became apparent to us this was a next generation leader that was influencing the culture and the performance of security with a very different mindset. 

We were able to sit down with him before he set off on a cross country ski adventure and ask him a few questions related to his experience and his participation in the 2018 Great Conversation. 

"I think there is a certain type of creative magic that happens when you get different perspectives in the same room to converse, listen, and share", said Aiken.  "That is only beneficial if you come back over time to see how those adjustments work in the real world and start the process again.  Returning to The Great Conversation is part of that process of re-evaluation."

In many of our interviews throughout the year, we ask senior leaders what they have learned. Sometimes our learnings come from our failings. "Failure is how we learn, and how we grow", said Aiken. "Even when your head is in the right place, you can still fail, but if you’re working in the right direction, you fail forward, and still advance the work in interesting ways.  When we wait to be perfect, we fail without moving the needle at all."

These learnings come from experiences as well as from watching how others lead. When Aiken thinks of models of leadership, he thinks about love. "Protect what you love", he says. "Teaching people the WHY of protection many times inspires them to love that thing, and work to protect it."

Great models of leadership often have a framework that anchors their approach to security. For many in this industry that framework is Enterprise Security Risk Management (ESRM). To Aiken, ESRM makes sense. "Because true success in this industry only comes when you approach every situation with a critical eye, cast over the entire problem", he said.  "Holistic risk management teaches the discipline to do this. Nothing happens in complete isolation.  We view ESRM as one important aspect of overall Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), which is for us, anything that has the potential to impact business operations.  Incidents that do impact operations happen, and you have to plan for how you’re going to modify your business to ensure that you meet your goals."

Aiken delivered a key note entitled The Culture of Security. He will be exploring how and why we need to engage the culture to create a powerful force multiplier for security and the organization. 

"Security has to compete with the other components of the business for scarce resources, and it is necessary to be seen as a business enabler, rather than a distant outsider" said Aiken.  "Aligning yourself with the corporate culture allows you to do just that, in ways that help those same business components truly understand the value proposition of security."