Have you ever been in this position? You are working for a company and the general work vibe has become negative. Or maybe your peers have become indifferent and are starting to go through the motions. When company morale begins to sink it is usually felt by the staff long before their bosses. It can be months before it is recognized at the leadership levels.
I have been in this situation in the past. A couple of times it was driven by temporary condition brought on by a tough economy, or a big client loss. Those situations tend to right themselves over a period of time. The team can rally and bounce back.
Most of the companies I work with have an existing IT Service Provider. Their role is to help support their network and assist in making IT decisions. Coming from that background myself I know this relationship can be invaluable to a growing company. Especially in times of trouble.
I have also found that just because the relationship has been long term, it does not mean that it is necessarily a thriving or healthy. Like a bad marriage sometimes these relationships continue because “it’s just easier” than making a change.
Let’s start with a quick question…
When was the last time you recognized an employee? More than a month ago? More than 6 months? A year?
If it has been a while since the last time you recognized members of your team you are missing a great opportunity. Studies have shown that when employees get recognized or even a simple “thank you” from their boss they are more loyal and productive.
Everyone wants to believe that they have a great corporate culture within their business. The hard truth is that senior management can be walking around wearing blinders totally unaware that the empire can be on the brink of collapse! Okay, maybe a bit extreme. It doesn’t change the fact that often the last people to know that culture of your company has become toxic is the leadership team.
Many studies link corporate culture to a company’s overall performance. Jobsite surveyed 1000 workers correlating job satisfaction driven by strong peer relationships. Forbes profiled a Duke study surveying 1,400 CEO’s and CFO’s over a 13 month period. 90% of those surveyed felt corporate culture was important to their firms. However, only 15% felt their firm met their culture goals.
I was asked recently about how to manage multiple and different personalities by a potential client. The client drew similarities between his days in management with a manufacturer of denim clothes with and mine managing a consulting firm. Initially I had a tough time drawing a parallel, but as he explained more it became almost glaringly obvious. I was also asked how I managed those personalities when project expectations are at best “unreasonable”.
He stated managing the “unreasonable” periods were the hardest. For him this could include tight customer deadlines or a shortage in raw product. That would cause timelines to compress and the team to become stressed. In his field he has to deal with fashion designers, textile manufacturers, retail buyers, and factory workers. I remarked that is certainly a varied group of skills and personalities to deal with. Especially in a time of crisis.
When you leave your house to go shopping I am sure you lock your door on the way out. You may even set your alarm. Once at the mall you lock your car and maybe park under a light if you know it will be dark when you leave. Simple steps to make sure you keep the things you care about stay safe. So the question can be asked, if you keep your personal life safe shouldn’t you follow the same approach for IT Security?
There is an old saying “Security never goes out of style” and no matter what the latest technology trend might be security is always part of the conversation. Your company is responsible for a number of different types of sensitive information. Common items include personally identifiable information about your employees, your organizations financial information, customer data and your organizations intellectual property just to name a few.
Early in my career I thought the role CIO (Chief Information Officer) and CTO (Chief Technology Officer) were interchangeable positions. It did not take me long to come to understand that each role is different and the importance of each role is rooted in the user community it serves.
While both roles are C-level, it is not uncommon for a CTO or CIO to shift into one or the other over the course of their career. The primary distinction between the two roles is pretty easy to understand. The correct title is based on the person’s interaction with the business, the technology, and its clients.
One of the most difficult tasks for a company is choosing a new software or SaaS application. Especially when that software is mission critical to the business. It becomes that much harder when you have more than one person involved in the selection process.
This endeavor usually includes a bunch of software demos, many spreadsheets tracking the features and benefits, and sales collateral from all the vendors all over your desk. Very quickly the whole process can become a blur with each software package resembling one another. Opinions come from all sources… family, vendors, and even your close competitors will offer their two cents on the subject. But do their suggestions even fall inline with your need?