Who is IT NZ: Vic MacLennan

dcg-vicWelcome to the first edition of Who is IT NZ. We talked about this in an earlier post. We’ll meet you for coffee, ask you a version of the Proust Questionnaire and just hang out and have a nice time. Afterwards you introduce us to someone else so the chain keeps going.

Our first participant was OptimalBI’s Vic MacLennan. Full disclosure: Vic is also a director of Draper Cormack Group, so we’re keeping it in the family for our first edition.

What’s your business:

I am involved with many businesses but my primary operating vehicle (and the one that enables me to do so much pro-bono work) is OptimalBI.

What’s your role?

We don’t like titles at OptimalBI but someone needs to be the boss so I am called Managing Director. In that role I do everything from washing the teatowels to negotiating complex contracts.

What’s your two sentence elevator pitch for your business?

We help organisations make their information visible through teaching, coaching and doing projects in the data space – visualisation, data science, data transformations, reports dashboards – you name it. We do cool shit with data.

What’s your favourite virtue? 


What do you look for in a friend?

Someone who can move at my pace in life or doesn’t complain about my pace. My best mate is awesome. She knows how busy I am and how many directions I am pulled in everyday so she organises what we do and how to keep me from fidgeting.

What’s your dominant characteristic?

Curiosity. I never stop asking questions.

What’s your biggest flaw?

I have many! Probably not saying no often enough is the biggest. There are so many fabulous businesses who need help, charities to support, initiatives to champion – I struggle to say no when I can see the impact they will have with a tiny bit of my help.

[When pushed that this wasn’t really a flaw, Vic also said that sometimes she speaks without thinking].

What’s your favourite occupation?

Mine. I love what I do. Help businesses, communities and charities realise their potential and have an impact on the ecosystem they contribute to. It’s so stimulating and rewarding.

What’s your idea of happiness?

That’s hard…the happiest moments in my life have been with Steve, Don and Imogen on holiday – when we are all focused on spending time together and sharing experiences as a family. Holidays aren’t every day occurrences though so knowing they are all happy and fulfilled in their lives is a big element of my own happiness.

What’s your idea of misery?

Downtime. I don’t do it and have learned in my 47 years of life that there is no point in trying to force me to. I need to be busy, my brain functions best and I am happiest when I’m busy.

If you weren’t you, who would you like to be?

Anita Roddick – sadly she passed away 10 years ago. As a business woman, a leader in ethical, sustainable consumerism, and a champion for women, Anita Roddick embodies everything I aspire to be as a person.

Where do you wish you could live?

In a warmer version of Wellington. I love our compact city but am fatigued by the weather.

What’s your favourite colour and favourite flower?

bird-of-paradise-flower-384344_640The colour orange of course. I don’t “do” flowers. I respect complex forms like irises visually and bird of paradise (which is also orange) but flowers are just not me.

Who’s your favourite character in fiction?

Pollyanna – I definitely exhibit Pollyanna principle symptoms.

[When pushed that this was more characteristics than a character she liked, Vic said Neo from the Matrix].

What’s your favourite swear word?

Fuck. I use it in most sentences.

If you’d like to take part in Who is IT Wellington, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.

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