Emerging from the Cocoon

Emerging from the Cocoon, Blair Sawler and David Ince, UNB

Just like a caterpillar, no matter how reluctant they might be to leave that nice warm cozy cocoon, one day they must break out to experience a whole new world. Our presentation will discuss the experiences of two managers (technical and service) in our IT department who did get out of their cozy cocoons and swapped roles for a six-month period. Starting out, our expectations for the six-month job-swap were varied; we hoped to sharpen different managerial skills, gain a new perspective for each other’s roles, expand our networks, break down silos among departmental staff, and immerse ourselves in the daily operations of our new division to gain a new perspective. We’ll discuss both the challenges and the benefits we experienced during the six-month “job swap.” Topics we’ll cover are: what we learned about each other’s teams (i.e., the “other” side of the business), preconceived notions that may or may not have been dispelled, and how taking everything that we learned will, in the long-run, benefit both of our teams and help each division work better together.

Blair Sawler Bio

Blair graduated from UNB with a Bachelor of Education. He quickly merged his love of technology and education in the early 1990s designing computer based training for the Canadian Navy. Over the past 30 years, Blair has worked with large consulting firms, School Districts, and ran his own successful consulting business. In 2012, Blair joined the UNB ITS department as the Manager, Business Support Services.

In 2013, Blair took on the role of Technical Operations Manager for ITS. He managed the day to day systems, networks, and development teams. In 2018, he took on the role of Service Operations Manager for at least six months, leading the service desk, business support services, and desktop teams.

In his spare time, Blair stays involved in the community through Scouting, Rotary and minor hockey. He and his wife have enjoyed traveling with their two boys and love to spend time at home enjoying the outdoors.

David Ince Bio

Dave graduated from university in the UK with a Bachelor of Arts. His love of education and travel have afforded him the opportunity to work on three continents and at four higher education establishments over the last 20 years.

In 2014, Dave joined the UNB ITS Department and although in his regular role he manages the service operations, he has taken over as the Technical Operations Manager for a six-month (minimum) period to gain knowledge and experience life managing the 'other' side of the shop.

An avid sports fan and keen cyclist, Dave enjoys coaching his two daughter's soccer teams and finds relaxation by preparing various culinary creations for his family.