You know, this IT stuff is getting harder. There are more threats/risks, more control points and demands, more functionality being required and more services being delivered. There is just more and more and more going on and it is getting harder to keep on top of all of it. I wrote of wicked problems a while back and those hard problems are still here with us. And business is speeding up with supply chains getting shorter and moving faster.
The combat these changes in business we need to:
- Simplify where you can. Ask your team where we are doing things that are not adding value and not helping the core part of the business succeed. Tell your staff and your teams that if you are driving complexity or chaos, that you expect them to speak up. Then be sure to listen when they do. If you can’t listen to their response, then you are in the wrong job.
- Make non-strategic things someone else’s problem. Can you move your mail environment to one of the several cloud email providers and cut all those servers in your data centers? Can you find other SaaS solutions that will simplify your universe?
- Surround yourself with great people and then get out of their way. You’ve got to have great people all over the place and then trust them to run the business. The leader should focus on strategy, operational expectations, relationships and staff development. The leader shouldn’t get into the weeds of database tuning, patch management, detailed feature reviews, etc. except where there is a critical gap of some kind. I need to keep repeating this to myself.
- Put good metrics and scorecards in place. Measure what needs to be carefully done and don’t measure things that simply don’t matter.
- Network with peers in the IT industry and listen to what they are doing and telling you. Don’t ever assume you have all the right answers. Seek out wisdom and experience all over the place. Read.
- Network with the leadership in your own company. Connect with them often and listen to what they are telling you too.
What other ideas do you suggest? What have you learned?