I recorded a few rambling thoughts one day after work this week. That’s how many of my blog posts originate. Things happen through the course of a day that stick with me into the evening. When I jot down my thoughts, I see interactions with people, process observations, desires for a better solutions, and things I want to change.
This week I looked over my notes and thought, “What do I want to be known for?” It’s a question I knew I had asked myself in the past. Three years ago, I wrote a post entitled What are you known for? In that post I expressed my desire to be known more for providing solutions over following processes. I’m a practitioner of following processes, but the process itself isn’t bigger than the results it provides.
Fast forward to today. The Information Technology landscape is increasingly burdened with applying more security and availability controls to keep customers data safe and to achieve compliance with standards. But compliance is never convenient. The IT guy is caught in the cross hairs of a battle between making the work environment more secure and the extra burden it places on other employees. Burden in this context means restrictions. Lots of them.
Traditionally, IT has been known as Dr. No. There are restrictions on what hardware employees can use and what software they can install; Internet sites are blocked, software can’t be downloaded, etc. This is the seed that birthed Shadow IT where departments arrange and install software outside the approvals and processes of their local IT group.
A better way
I’ve had too many experiences in my career watching people telling someone else they can’t do something for one reason or another. It’s not only frustrating; it drains the energy and motivation of those involved.
But it doesn’t have to be this way in every situation.
A better partner explains the constraints of the problem and solution. Instead of ending a discussion with ‘no’, he or she will offer alternatives for a solution.
“We can’t do that for you, but what we can do is this…..”
“That’s not possible, but I know a way that is….”
“We are prohibited by policy/contract/compliance control from doing that, but there a few different ways to accomplish something similar….”
Of course, the person on the receiving end has to be able to compromise and think about the solution in different way as well. It takes two to make the partnership happen.
If you are a solution provider, don’t stop at the word ‘no’.
If you are a solution receiver, be open to alternative ways of doing things.
What do you want to be known for?
Onward and upward!