What our execs are reading: Sam Babic, senior VP and CTO

For the inaugural episode of What our execs are reading, John Rice, our VP of global healthcare services, shared his thoughts about two of his favorite business books.

This time, we check in with Sam Babic, Hyland’s senior VP and chief technology officer. Sam took a different route and talked about seven books that have influenced him.


Most of my reading revolves around growth and innovation in IT. Not only does Hyland play in a space where we are helping our customers with digital transformation, but we are in many ways going through similar transformations. Hyland has nearly doubled in size over the last three years via organic growth and acquisition.

As you can imagine, our ability to both integrate people, processes, and products while still maintaining innovation is a key component to our success.

There is quite a bit here, but from my perspective, this suite of reading definitely gives IT entrepreneurs and executives the edge they need to navigate change both within their industry as well their organizations.

Seven sources of inspiration

Zone to Win: Organizing to Compete in an Age of Disruption
By Geoffrey A. Moore

Any successful organization will eventually run into the challenges of innovating while sustaining success. Moore discusses strategies for maintaining existing business models and keeping the lights on while empowering the organization with the ability to incubate and innovate.

The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
By Clayton M. Christensen

Christensen details how companies succeed or fail when coming up against disruptive technologies. And in the age of digital transformation, disruptive technologies are thriving.

To demonstrate his points – and drive them home – Christensen uses case studies and real-world examples. Hyland has done a great job navigating these disruptions over the last 25 years. As the book demonstrates, many companies are doomed to repeat history, so it is important to reread this book every few years as a source of inspiration.

Consumption Economics: The New Rules of Tech
By J.B. Wood

This book is very relatable to Hyland’s ongoing transformation. Wood discusses challenges and strategies involved in moving an organization from a perpetual-based model to a subscription usage-based model.

As the summary says, this book really is an owner’s manual for executives who want to drive their companies successfully into the next technological shift. It is no accident that the examples in this book speak directly to the reader, as most software companies that have survived the last few decades will most likely have experienced many of its examples first hand.

A Practical Approach to Large-Scale Agile Development: How HP Transformed LaserJet FutureSmart Firmware
By Gary Gruver, Mike Young, and Pat Fulghum

It’s all in the title. This book examines how HP successfully transformed its fragmented LaserJet development.

The organization had to empower a group of 400 developers with timely delivery and innovation – even though they were spread across four states, three continents, and four business units.

Especially with Hyland’s recent growth, I often think about the best way to organize 110 R&D teams across multiple products and programs, and this book really put some of my ideas into context.

Why Limit WIP: We Are Drowning in Work
By Jim Benson

This is another great tactical book that is generally applicable to all businesses and even facets in one’s personal life.

Benson shares strategies for – and the merits of – limiting work in progress. He also shows how greater focus ultimately leads to higher efficiency and throughput.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
By Jocko Willink and Lief Babin

Two former SEAL officers share stories about combat environments and then apply the lessons they learned to business scenarios. Willink and Babin also include concrete examples of organizations leveraging core leadership principles.

Not only is the book full of lessons, but it is inspirational. The authors read the audiobook themselves, almost making you feel personally accountable to them for taking ownership of your successes and failures.

Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change
By Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

This book details how you can apply a six-block influence model to inspire change in people, organizations, and populations. It leverages real-world case studies to demonstrate the application of the six-block model and how it can solve ‘impossible’ problems.

With Hyland’s growth, there is a large amount of continual change going on. Influencer is a great model to help leaders successfully guide their organizations through those changes.

See you next time

Thanks for stopping by!

Next time, we’ll check in with David Luzier, our VP of content services engineering.

Hyland's team of technology professionals share leadership insights, technology news and insider information about how content services can help your organization deliver the best experiences of the digital age to users and the people you serve.


Hyland’s team of technology professionals share leadership insights, technology news and insider information about how content services can help your organization deliver the best experiences of the digital age to... read more about: Hyland