A true leader should not take his or her responsibility to influence others lightly. This is something Bill Fandrich, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, strongly believes.
CIO Bill Fandrich and a member of the Blue Cross team during a "Tech Time" discussion. “When I look at the early stages of my career and see the investment made in me, I can’t help but give back,” says Fandrich. “I have a responsibility to develop IT employees who are committed to carrying out Blue Cross’ mission of promoting member health and serving the community.” Fostering employee connection, openness and inclusivity are key principles of Fandrich’s leadership style. “Whether it’s a ‘Bagels with Bill’ breakfast meeting or one of our ‘Tech Time’ sessions, my touchpoints with employees are always two-sided conversations,” says Fandrich. “Not only do I want to ensure employees are educated and understand their role and purpose, but I also want them to be able to give me feedback that can help enhance their experience.” That’s why Fandrich does everything he can to support employees looking to have a fulfilling career in IT. “As a leader, the most important thing I can do is coach, mentor and teach,” says Fandrich. “My goal is to create a safe environment where employees can become their best.” He regularly coaches Blue Cross employees and industry professionals in both group and one-one-one sessions. “Within Blue Cross, we have a corporate commitment called the ‘Mentoring Circles’ program, where I and other IT leaders offer insights on different topics that affect employees’ careers,” he says. Fandrich practices what he preaches through his commitment to continued personal development, as well. “I regularly seek out the counsel and diverse insights of close colleagues and friends—doing that has been invaluable for my career,” he says.
Fandrich and members of the Blue Cross IT team meet to discuss ongoing team projects. As much as technology is at the core of IT, Fandrich is keenly focused on collaboration and empowering teams to work and see things differently. “For us, it’s about fulfilling the Blue Cross mission, continually driving the right type of change and challenging the status quo,” says Fandrich. Get more information about Blue Cross IT leadership and team by visiting these MI Blues Perspectives blogs: