After eight years and more than 800 suggested solutions to various problems, Advice Line is poised for a new direction. This is in large part a strategic response to the challenges IT will face in the years ahead. Whereas Advice Line to date has been focused on the present, suggesting solutions to problems at hand, starting next week this space will be devoted to providing strategic and practical advice to IT leaders seeking to push their organizations beyond today's hunkered-down, budget-driven, can't-please-anyone way of running things.
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Anyone looking for a sneak peek at the themes that will be core to the new Advice Line should take a moment to read my recent in-depth analysis of today's IT challenges, all of which require forward-thinking IT organizations to reconsider policies centered around control. To take the enterprise to the next level, one that will position IT advantageously vis-a-vis the business, IT must embrace three core principles:
- IT is the steward of the company's information resources, not the owner.
- IT must empower end-users to be innovators by opening new technological doors for them as motivated by end-user choice.
- IT must be strategic in supporting "single-actor business practices" -- a significant tactical shift from years of paying attention only to core processes.
Starting next week, Advice Line will begin to carve out practical approaches to redefining how IT goes about its business. These changes are not only about survival -- they are an opportunity for IT to bring new joy to work.
So tune in next week for an exciting new direction for Advice Line. In the meantime, as a send-off to the old-style Advice Line, I thought I would deliver some final pieces of old-style advice.
Over the past several years, the inquiries I received most were in fact the hardest to answer. These were all variations on the theme: "How can I get so-and-so to change their behavior to align with how I know they should be acting?" The specifics varied. Sometimes it was the boss. Sometimes it was the company's top executives. It was, on occasion, peers and colleagues. I will admit that I ducked the ones that dealt with family members -- you have to draw the line somewhere.
Here's one last attempt to answer this time-honored question in its various guises.