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Reflections on one year as CIO: Connect, collaborate and inspire

By Michelle Greene, Chief Information Officer

These past few weeks, I’ve taken time to reflect on the success, challenges and lessons learned during my first year as Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Cardinal Health.

Leading our technology organization has been an exciting and transformative journey – one that requires intentionality, empathy and a commitment to unlocking the full potential of our team.

As CIO, I have the opportunity and responsibility to help shape the vision of our organization, implement technology that fosters growth, and create meaningful change. This year has been filled with key moments and takeaways that have made a significant impact on my leadership approach and perspective.

Showing up for my team

When I stepped into this role last summer, I recognized the need to realign our technology organization to further enable our team to create seamless, cohesive experiences for the business and our customers.

As with any transformation, a key factor in its success is the people behind it. I have made it a priority to seek to understand the needs and aspirations of all my team members, foster open communication and transparency, and take advantage of opportunities to meet new leaders and employees contributing to the impact of our organization.

Learning is critical. In the past year, I’ve toured several distribution centers and manufacturing sites to learn from leaders and frontline employees that work every day to ensure essential products are placed into the hands of our customers.

These experiences have offered direct insight into how technology is being leveraged in the warehouse to automate processes, minimize friction, and increase employee engagement. I’ve witnessed robotics technology deployed in several sites across the country, as well as our facility in Central Ohio that operates an innovation lab to test new solutions and evaluate new capabilities in a real-world environment.

My travels also took me to our offices in Manila, Philippines and Bangalore, India to meet thousands of employees who are enabling our customer service and commercial technology solutions. During both trips, I experienced first-hand the teams’ energy and culture, and saw their passion for serving our employees and customers.

When I returned from the Philippines, I received an email from an employee who thanked me and shared some kind words that reinforced just how important it is to create meaningful connections and establish an environment where everyone feels seen and valued.

Collaborating to foster a vibrant workplace

As my leadership responsibilities increased, so did my desire to bring a variety of voices and insight to my leadership table. I am fortunate to collaborate with a dedicated group of leaders who believe that a diverse workforce leads to better business results and share a common passion for building a workplace that values the unique perspectives of all employees.

This year, I participated in coaching sessions and workshops to help employees discover their skillsets and passions, and better understand how the headwinds they’ve experienced throughout their lives can impact their confidence and career choices.

I had the opportunity to truly listen to the variety of perspectives, experiences and insights offered to identify new ways we could build upon the strong DE&I foundation our organization has established to break down barriers for everyone.

My leadership team and I hosted a series of roundtable discussions to understand how we can support employee’s career growth and cultivate a sense of belonging across our technology organization. Our learnings from these conversations led us to create multiple employee committees focused on acquiring and retaining diverse technology talent.

I'm proud of the steps we’ve taken over the past year to engage talent that is diverse in every respect and offer employees the resources they need to feel empowered to pursue leadership opportunities across our organization.

Sharing my story to inspire others

I am energized by the opportunity to continue to make an impact not only inside our organization but also across the communities we serve globally.

I’ve recognized how pivotal it is to talk about my journey to CIO and the foundational pillars that have supported me along the way. I believe, regardless of your role or level, sharing your story matters. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that the more you talk about your experiences, it presents opportunities to inspire and relate to others. Sharing experiences honestly and with transparency invites others to openly express themselves, creating more opportunities to build connections and support people eager to follow in your footsteps.

I’ve been given the opportunity to share my story through several media and event engagements, podcasts and my very own TEDx Talk. It’s a powerful experience to hear from a friend, colleague or LinkedIn connection emphasizing how impactful my talk was to them. At times, it still feels a little surreal, but I am honored that my experiences can ignite a fire in another to pursue a bold opportunity or walk through life with a new perspective.

I am grateful to work with leaders who are also committed to creating a supportive environment and lifting each other up when it matters most. Throughout the past year, we navigated many waves of change that tested our resilience and determination, but our positive mindset and collaborative approach helped us adapt and move our organization forward.   

As I look toward the future, I am excited to continue this journey, working alongside our creative, passionate team, to cultivate the skillsets of our diverse talent and leverage technology to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.

Michelle Greene is chief information officer at Cardinal Health, where she leads the Digital and Commercial Technologies, Pharma and Medical segment IT, Global Business Services and Information Security teams to harness technology and innovation to better serve customers and evolve healthcare delivery. Prior to joining Cardinal Health, Greene was vice president of information technology at Masco Corporation based in Livonia, Michigan. Earlier, she held a variety of technology roles with increasing responsibilities at companies like Johnson Controls and Sony Ericsson. She serves on the board of Goodwill of Southeastern Wisconsin, is vice chair for Goodwill Manufacturing, Inc., and is on the board  of GreenPath Financial Wellness. She is an active member of ITSMF (IT Senior Management Forum), Chief and Black Women on Boards.

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Cardinal Health is a distributor of pharmaceuticals, a global manufacturer and distributor of medical and laboratory products, and a provider of performance and data solutions for healthcare facilities. Subscribe to our News Alerts to get all of our latest news.