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9 secrets of getting stuff done in a big company

Mary Brandel | Nov. 8, 2011
Security may be a hot-button issue for business executives, but in an environment of ongoing economic uncertainty, support for security initiatives isn't always easy to come by.

Beyond visuals and storytelling, Cloutier has occasionally turned to the power of the hack to illustrate a technology-related risk. "Especially on the cyber side, we show them how easy it would be to get hacked," Cloutier says. "It's hard to argue."

Similarly, Clark has set up hacking challenges that determine whether he gets funding. At one company with a large number of external-facing websites, the developers firmly believed they had battened down all the hatches and were balking at putting up the money for a particular security initiative. Clark issued a challenge: If he could hack into five of the websites, they would allocate the funds. They agreed, and he was successful. "It was a gamble, but I was pretty confident," he says. Doing something attention-grabbing is sometimes key, he says.

"To be a change agent, you have to be creative and convey things in interesting ways they haven't heard of before," Clark says. "Often, people have their objections already lined up, so you have to think two steps ahead and come at it a completely different way."

 

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