Leica Ison is the founder and CEO of Skyjed, a product lifecycle management platform revolutionising product lifecycle management, risk and governance with automation.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started my career studying science then I drifted into Law. Both have to lead me to an exciting and rewarding 20-year career in technology.
I made a conscious career decision to step out of the corporate world in 2017 to create an AI/ML technology business from the ground up.
My current role is Founder & CEO of Skyjed. I always get asked where the name comes from. Skyed is based on the Tibetian word for growth. It’s an exciting time globally for our sector regulatory technology, i.e. ‘RegTech’.
One of the things I’m really proud about is that the Skyjed platform helps product leaders strategically address environmental, social and governance (ESG) within their product portfolios. The ESG agenda has so much potential to change our futures.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Always starts with coffee, then a quick read of Slack messages and global news streams. Then a run or out on the bike, and another coffee.
My workday is dynamic and fast-paced, and I love it. Each day moves on Slack and virtual meetings validating ideas & progress with our 90-day plans with my tech team or with marketing and in discussions with customers or partners. I’m fortunate I have a great team and Advisory Board to bounce things off.
I like to cook and listen to music, so I end the day doing that and sometimes a glass of wine to unwind.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Absolutely. It is the routine. I’ve been in tech for many years and have always set up my teams to embrace remote and flexible work.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me, work-life balance isn’t about time. My frame of it is about having diversity – both people and experiences. Adventure travel is a big part of how I regroup and gain a fresh perspective.
Exercise keeps me grounded. I relax when cooking, doing yoga and meditation. Turning off Slack notifications when I get home helps.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’m spending more time at my house on the South Coast of NSW in the fantastic Berry community. I’ve stopped the routine of being based in Milan, Italy, but am getting on with it and I’m grateful to be busy with a growing business which is a source of optimism heading into 2021.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
The Conversation for independent news.
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World – it’s a fantastic conversation between Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
My Vespa, AirPods and coffee machine.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
So many fantastic female leaders out there; Christine Lagarde, Nancy Pelosi, Arianna Huffington.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I’ve had a routine for 20 years. Each year I try something that I’ve never done before. It’s a conscious decision.
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