"To be on the competitive edge you've got to be leveraging new technologies. That can be a very isolated place," Young says.
In spite of the rapid change of pace and demand, Young describes Wotif as a "moderate pressure" workplace. However, he acknowledges, "I've definitely noticed that as Wotif grows, from the time I walk in to the time I walk out there is no time to do anything except what needs to be done."
Young typically works 50-60 hours a week and tries to keep his team each to 40 hours a week. "Often when the IT team is working shocking hours then there are other systemic problems — the project is probably not properly scoped and resourced. The high level of IT project failures must be because of not scoping the project properly. Here 98 percent of our projects come in within 3-4 percent of time and budget."
With a diploma in psychology, Young is well aware that to work well at the management level you need good business skills and organization skills. "The insight from the psychology diploma is one of the fundamental precepts — the reality principle — when you are totally pressured and unable to cope then it can have an enormously detrimental effect. You can become ineffectual and it will have deep effects on your social and private life."
CIOs that don't tackle the pressure problem head on risk losing their bright young staff. "Younger workers will walk away from pressure," says Young. "If you are trying to create a leading edge brand like Wotif you have to create an environment where they want to work — and an environment to support them personally and professionally."
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