Thought Leader Life with Kai Roer (@kairoer) #030

In this episode of Thought Leader Life, Michael and I hang out with #ThoughtLeader Kai Roer. Kai is a sought-after expert in security within organizations, as well as for user awareness. He defines a #ThoughtLeader as someone with thoughts or ideas that people choose to follow, and has a mindset of being creative, going outside of the box, and mixing stuff up. The discussion focuses on security culture, and gives a deep analysis on how it impacts the world today. In explaining what security culture is about, Kai first points out that culture in general is a constant feedback loop: on one hand, different groups of individuals have different cultures and they impact each other; on the other hand, the culture of the group impacts the personality of the individual. Relating this to security culture, Kai says the ideas or behavior in a particular group impacts their security—either positively or negatively. Security, or the feeling of being safe, is mainly cultural because it is a learned behavior. You feel safe when the behavior of people around you is familiar and there is no threatening environment, and familiarity is a safety mechanism.

Kai gives emphasis on the need for corporations to put security culture in place, meaning there should be an interplay of PTP, or “Policies, Technology, and People”. While these three elements are present in the Internet and technology today, the challenge is how to make them support each other. They are interconnected, and everything goes back to culture. There can be no culture without policies, just as there can be no policies without people. And technology consists of the tools that tie them together. Michael surmises that changing a culture, specifically for very large corporations, can be an incredibly difficult thing to do. To this, Kai answers that, yes, it can be very difficult, but it is not impossible. He cites a study made in the 1960s at Stanford University, which proved that you can change the culture within a group if guided by policies and supported by tools.

In a light moment during the interview, Kai shows his favorite thinking “toy,” which is a colorful filler box for toddlers. He makes a great analogy of using it with mental models as a way to interpret information. Kai also cites how I am doing a fantastic job by sharing and promoting #ThoughtLeadership as it supports intrinsic motivation. Before the end of the interview, Kai gives a final Aha: To change cultures, change environments. When you are out of your normal environment, you forget all the normal things that you do. So changing cultures takes people out of the normal and challenges them so that it also changes them.

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Here are some “‘aha’ moments” from the episode. See more in the Aha Moments from Thought Leader Life books available in the Aha Amplifier and watch the interview below!

Security culture is so relevant to everyday culture, both on the consumer & particularly on the B2B side. @happyabout

Telling me what I could do, rather than what I should do, gives me inner motivation. That’s stronger than anything else you can do for me. @kairoer

Social media has transformed the world, and the lives of people & organizations in just a decade. @kairoer

To change cultures, change environments. @kairoer

Follow Kai on Twitter at @kairoer. Tune into Thought Leader Life every Saturday for more thought-leader goodness!