Just finished watching “The Internet’s Own Boy – the story of Aaron Swartz” – not only was the government wrong, it was morally unjust, I’m still angry, I’m heart-broken and concerned about our future, a future that rely’s on government. They don’t always have your interest’s in mind. I’m concerned from the perspective of who we elect to office, and the power they use. I have always had a dislike for those who run for office, mostly because I believe their motive(s) is about money & control, not about making our communities and the world a better place. There are a great many injustices in the world, most from the lack of voter turn out, the lack of voters elects the wrong people to office. Voting is more important today than it has ever been, not voting merely guarantee’s we will continue to have more situation’s Aaron found himself fighting. He didn’t run to Russia, although he should have, he was steadfast, he didn’t hide, he stood for what he believed was right. I suggest we all should take his fight and example. What do you stand for, and are you willing to die for it?
I had this very conversation the other day, and it had me thinking about your problem, about how your problem is my problem. This is how all business owners should think really. Now, we are in the midst of an election here in Canada, the best well crafted mud slinging money can buy is making itself known. One thing I can’t fix is, how politicians need to do, how to fix the broken trust constituents have with their MLA’s / political geniuses in their riding.
On May 2nd we will have to vote, I will have to decide which Kool-Aid I’m going to drink, it’s a conundrum. In this country, whomever lies the best gets elected, you can see and feel my lack of trust with that statement can’t you. I have friends on both sides of the fence, we have multiple parties but we really only have two options to vote for. In this situation, your problem is my problem, but I don’t have any control over your problem, I can only vote, and it may not be in the same camp as yours. But enough talk on politics.
The truth is, if you are a business owner, or your part of a business, your problem should be solving my problem and vice versa. We tend to think in terms of dollars and cents most of the time, and we call ourselves by our profession, if you do landscaping, your a landscaper, but I think that’s the wrong view to take.
If you are a landscaper, stop calling yourself one, what you should be is a problem solver, you should be solving a particular problem my yard is having. If you haven’t talked to your potential client yet, survey the land(scape) of that property and find a problem to fix first before contacting them. Find a need, then fill that need. An old small town rule that will continue to work till the death of all mankind.
Once you’ve identified a problem, knock on the door and introduce yourself, share the observed problem, tell them what will happen if they don’t fix it, and that you can fix it for them toot sweet. Your problem is solving my problem, the square dance of business, it’s still the future of business.
As a business owner, are you solving problems? If not, it’s one sure fired way to improve your business, just sayin.
So look at your business today and ask the question, who’s problem am I solving today, and how often can I repeat the process.
Your problem is always solving my problem and vice versa.
Every organization has politics that shapes the culture of an office, this culture also determines whether you’re satisfied with the role you fill and or find the work you do is meaningful. Now I’m generalizing of course, there are many organizations that have healthy environments, they allow those they hire to do what they do best. They foster creativity and the opportunity to improve and actually keep the organization inline with business objectives. There’s also many that don’t, and there are many good and very smart people trying to shine there too.
One thing an I.T. Strategic Plan can’t solve is the politics of an organization. Great strategies never see the light of day due to the political climate of an organization, right or wrong it happens everyday. Some of the brightest minds in an organization won’t be fully utilized, or worse yet, a business could go out of business if the political culture doesn’t change. I don’t have the answer for this and there is no silver bullet, but each office has it’s dynamics to deal with.
Don’t give up, there is hope. As head of I.T. you have a way to ensure your strategy get’s a fighting chance, start with developing a departmental Vision / Mission statement that aligns with the organizations business plan. Pull your team together, brainstorm and start building your purpose statement that makes the political field in your firm take notice. A solid I.T. Strategic Plan germinates from a great Vision / Mission statement, you and your team is the one that has to get it done. Deliver a message that shows everyone how you are committed to the organizations overall vision and then tell them how you are going to help them achieve the goals laid before each department. Every person on the team has to be committed, has to read it, memorize it, learn it and above all believe it or you won’t be able to sell it.
Once you have a strong Vision and Mission you must deliver the message by doing exactly what you said you would do in your strategy. It’s the first step in your I.T. Strategy, taking inventory and paying attention to what the organization is trying to accomplish at a high level. Fly at 50,000 Feet and look for the patterns no one else sees. Look for ways to tie technology to business objectives and you will be golden when you deliver.
Once you have a purpose, you can then focus on the services your team will deliver, these services will be tied to the objectives and Key Result Areas (KRA’s) in your plan. Those are the next two steps and I’ll touch on those another time, for now, sit down and get familiar with your organizations business plan, fly at 50,000 ft. and look for the patterns, then pull the team together to build a MANTRA, a war cry and then get to work. This is just one way to manage the politics in your office, but it’s just one way to proceed. There are many ways to skin a cat my Father used to say but at least do something positive to help the organization win, you and your team will be viewed as a solution provider.