8 tech and leadership podcasts to add to your playlist

Check out these podcasts to keep up to date on CIO lessons learned, emerging tech trends, leadership best practices, and more
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Storytelling tips for leaders

Thank goodness we live in the golden age of podcasts.

With fewer of us traveling to in-person events and conferences and less time available to connect with our IT peers, these audio gems can give us a bit of what we’re missing. Whether it’s hearing from fellow CIOs about their victories and losses, keeping tabs on the last trends in technology-enabled innovation, or learning from some of the leadership greats, these eight podcasts offer aural opportunities for IT leaders seeking education, entertainment, and connection.

1. CIO Whisperers

Host: Dan Roberts

Description: Now more than ever, CIOs play a pivotal role in building a digital-savvy culture and driving business strategy. Dan Roberts, one of the best-connected thought leaders in the CIO space, invites you to join him for the CIO Whisperers Podcast series. Get a front-row seat to hear his candid conversations with successful CIOs as they share the secret sauce and experiences that shaped their leadership philosophies and amazing career journeys.

Why you should listen: As CEO of technology leadership and talent development consultancy Ouellette & Associates, Roberts talks to more than 1,000 CIOs each year. His new podcast invites you to listen in as Roberts and co-host David Alexander elicit the stories, struggles, and successes of some of today’s most prominent CIOs.

Recent episodes: The Power of Values and Vision, with Whirlpool CIO Danielle Brown; 5 Pillars for Digital Differentiation, with Johnson& Johnson CIO Jim Swanson

[ Where is your team's digital transformation work stalling? Get the eBook: What's slowing down your Digital Transformation? 8 questions to ask. ]

2. CIO Leadership Live

Host: Maryfran Johnson

Description: Jointly produced by CIO.com and the CIO Executive Council, this video interview program and podcast is hosted by Maryfran Johnson and features today’s top IT leaders.

Why you should listen: Johnson starts with a technology leader podcast but makes it an event. As a former CIO magazine and Computerworld editor-in-chief, Johnson is passionate about connecting with CIOs and digital leaders – and her enthusiasm is infectious. She ably engages her tech leader guests in conversations ranging from the latest in cybersecurity strategy to increasing diversity and equity in tech, and has fun doing it. Make no mistake: Johnson knows CIOs and the realities of their role as well as any observer today.

Recent episodes: MITRE CIO and CSO John Wilson talks zero trust, phishing as a service, and connected hybrid environments; National Resident Matching Program CIO Nicole Nitowski discusses career mapping for women IT leaders and IT contract negotiation

3. Compiler

Hosts: Angela Andrews and Brent Simoneaux

Description: We ask people in tech about a variety of topics – some big, others small, and a few strange. Then we bring their answers back to you, dissecting topics like open source, hackathons, DevOps, hiring, and so much more. It’s all the things you’ve always wanted to know about what moves tech forward, straight from the people who know it best.

Why you should listen: Pardon the self-promotion, but Red Hat’s latest podcast is a great balance of education and entertainment. Andrews (a solutions architect) and Simoneaux (director of content marketing & story development) aim to demystify tech, one question at a time. While still covering topics relevant to digital transformation, they’ll provide a much-needed shift in perspective with the angles they take. Some of the topics they’ve already delved into include what gaming can teach us about edge computing and whether we want a world without technical debt.

Recent episodes: Can Superstitions Solve Technical Problems? How Do We Mentor the Next Generation of IT Leaders?

4. Technovation

Host: Peter High

Description: Technovation is a twice-weekly podcast series featuring conversations with top executives (CIOs, CDOs, CTOs) and thought leaders at the intersection of business, technology, and innovation. Each episode explores the technology trends that are transforming business and the leaders driving digital change inside their organizations.

Why you should listen: High, president of Metis Strategy, is a veteran of CIO podcasting, with more than 600 episodes in the digital can. But he’s expanded far beyond CIO interviews, talking to thought leaders across the technology ecosystem about the emerging and future technologies, trends, and approaches IT leaders should be thinking about now.

Recent episodes: Owens Corning CIO Steve Zerby on Operating a Small-Scale IT Team, Transmit Security President Rakesh Loonkar on the Passwordless Future

5. How Leaders Lead

Host: David Novak

Description: In each episode, David sits down for real leadership conversations with leaders in business, sports, entertainment, and life to talk about how they get such good things done.

Why you should listen: Novak, co-founder of Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company, has some big gets, like retail CEO Mickey Drexler, beauty brand CEO Bobbi Brown, and sports phenoms Tom Brady and Andy Roddick. More importantly, he gets at the big issues and challenges facing today’s leaders.

Recent episodes: The Future of Work, Family, and Life with Former PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi; Dick’s Sporting Goods President & CEO Lauren Hobart on Leading with Team

6. Me, Myself, and AI

Hosts: Sam Ransbotham and Shervin Khodabandeh

Description: Why do only 10% of companies succeed with AI? In this series by MIT SMR and BCG, we talk to the leaders who’ve achieved big wins with AI in their companies and learn how they did it. Hear what gets experts from companies like Google Cloud, Mastercard, and others excited to do their jobs every day and what they consider the keys to their success.

Why you should listen: Talk about a niche – here we have a podcast devoted solely to the role of AI in business. As a result, the hosts can dig into real-world AI applications across a broad swath of industries and companies, including Lyft, HomeDepot, 1800Flowers, PepsiCo, and more.

Recent episodes: Democratizing Data in Hollywood with Jumpcut’s Kartik Hosanagar; AI and the COVID-19 Vaccine with Moderna’s Dave Johnson

7. HBR Ideacast

Hosts: Alison Beard and Curt Nickisch

Description: A weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review.

Why you should listen: We’ve been fans of IdeaCast since we started compiling lists of go-to podcasts five years ago. HBR senior editors and current hosts Beard and Nickisch address leadership topics, market trends, global issues, talent management, innovation, and more with thought leaders from business and academia.

Recent episodes: Find Focus in a Chaotic World with Dr. Amishi Jha, a neuroscientist and professor of psychology at the University of Miami and the author of Peak Mind; How to Make Strategic Career Decisions Even in a Crisis with Dorie Clark, author of The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-term World

‎8. The Analytics Show

Host: Jason Tan

Description: The Analytics Show, with Jason Tan, Managing Director of Data-Driven Analytics, is the place to hear from leading analytics practitioners around the world who run modern high-performing organizations with the use of data and analytics.

Why you should listen: This data science podcast doesn’t just nerd out on analytics. Tan takes a practical approach in his conversations with data analytics leaders to uncover lessons learned, tips and techniques, and ideas about where the application of data analytics in business is going.

Recent episodes: Overcoming the Fear of Failure, Insider Secrets to Fast-Paced Agile Data Platform Development

[ Want more leadership insight? Watch the on-demand webinar, The future of leading digital innovation: What's next, with Nancy Giordano, plus Red Hat's Margaret Dawson and IDC's Nancy Gohring. ]

Stephanie Overby is an award-winning reporter and editor with more than twenty years of professional journalism experience. For the last decade, her work has focused on the intersection of business and technology. She lives in Boston, Mass.

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