Human Resources

The Secret CIO: Bruce Johnson, CEO at GHX

What makes CIOs tick? In 20 questions we find out what they love most about their job, what their biggest achievements are.. and what keeps them awake at night. Discover the 'Secret CIO'...

   Name: Bruce Johnson

   Job title: CEO

   Organisation: GHX

   Location: USA


(1) Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Omaha, Nebraska and was raised on a farm in Blair, Nebraska.

(2) What was your first job?
Growing up on a farm meant my first job was working that farm with my family, but my first paying job was as a stand-up comedian during college.

(3) What was your first computer?
I don’t recall, but I know my roommate in college had two things he used to attract the ladies -- a Trans Am and a Commodore 64. We will both be embarrassed that I shared this....

(4) Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My parents have had the biggest impact on my career. They instilled confidence and an expectation to excel at whatever I took on along with a strong work ethic - not surprising or unusual for anyone raised on a farm or ranch. It certainly provides perspective when I’m thinking I’m having a bad day.

(5) What has been your greatest achievement?
It would be convenient and perhaps predictable to name a specific accomplishment as an executive at GHX or GE, but really my greatest accomplishment is my family. I feel a great sense of satisfaction from my contribution to the success of GHX and our collective contributions to the healthcare industry via our cloud-based solutions. But in the end, my family remains my greatest point of pride.

(6) What has been your biggest mistake?
Underestimating the challenges and cost associated with ramping up operations in foreign countries. Getting employees cross-pollinated when you do an acquisition may cost a little more but really pays off.

(7) What is your greatest strength?
My ability to read people.

(8) What is your biggest weakness?
Not making personnel decisions fast enough. Having clear metrics and follow up has really helped me. Metrics and follow up are obvious and always existed – making these a consistent part of my reviews and skip levels has been the difference.

(9) What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?
Having a sense of humor - just kidding, I haven’t been funny since 1991. I can find humor in almost every situation as I am sure my peers do as well. Business provides a never-ending supply of great material.

(10) Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
I really believe in treating others the way you would want to be treated. It drives me crazy when people say (or act like) “that’s not my job.”

(11) What makes you stressed?
Watching my daughter’s soccer games.

(12) What do you do to relax?
It’s tough to leave the office behind but I love spending time with the family or heading out to a river in Colorado for some fly-fishing.

(13) What is your favorite song?
Bohemian Rhapsody

(14) Which book taught you most?
My first response is The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen. I continue to challenge myself to identify new ways to deliver value at a lower cost to our customers. However, as a leader, the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni has been equally important.

(15) Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
Nebraska’s NCAA football team – Go Big Red!

(16) Which country do you think is likely to be the next hotspot for technology?
If China can mature its controls on foreign intellectual property rights legitimizing its own IP and continue to invest in its technology development, I'd think it would be likely that China could become the next leader in technology, but of course, the US continues to re-invent itself technologically, so it may well be the US that continues to lead the world in the future.

(17) Which ICT supplier do you rate most highly?
For several years I would have easily and quickly said Apple with the innovation that has emerged with the i-"Everything" that has truly transformed all of our lives globally. But today, I think as the commoditization of the mobile phone and market share shifting to Android-based lower cost smart phones, Apple must continue to innovate at an amazing level to hold onto its leadership role or we will just have to watch and see who and what transforms our lives next. I don't think the wait will be long.

(18) What is your favorite electronic device?

(19) What is your favorite book?
Slaughterhouse 5 by Vonnegut

(20) What keeps you awake at night?
Keeping ahead of the competition


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