Friday, June 5, 2015

Moving IT From Its Historical Brand

Ok everyone - Let's make a pact right here and now. Everyone stop calling IT "The Helpdesk". All of us. Just stop it, ok?

I suspect this started eons ago in the dark ages of technology when things were fragile and needed a suspender-wearing, bearded, bespectacled fellow on-hand at all times to perform magical incantations to bring back to operational status. When it was all mysterious and only the indoctrinated with the secret handshake had any hope of making it all work again.

The thing is, this was never IT in the first place. It was the most visible part of IT. That fixing part of the job is what people see us do or it's the only time many folks ever get to interact with an IT staffer. We parachute in, magic wands in hand, to perform a faith healing that no one else understands. It's amazing to see, for sure, but it doesn't even scratch the surface of what IT is.

We've started to call our department IS&T for Information Services & Technology. By no means a creative original idea but it's a start at rebranding ourselves from the fix-it staff to something else that recognizes the potential for what we can do for the organization. 

Fragile systems are the past. Data is the present. Creative innovation is the now and the near future. Yeah, we do technology. But so does everyone else in the organization. Few jobs remain out there allow technophobes the luxury of remaining untainted by a computer to do the work. Those of us who work purely in the technology realm (formerly IT) need to drive everyone forward by freeing data from its cages and harnessing tools, data, people, and processes together creatively to move businesses to the next level.

That sounds like a pretty exciting career!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Current Reading List

Despite reading so many blog posts by others talking about what they're reading I realized today that I've never done the same. Huh. Well here goes.

Since becoming a manager almost a year ago my reading picks have changed pretty dramatically. There's definitely less tech but not less technical - at least in the sense that it's about the technical aspects of leading, managing, etc. The Phoenix Project got me thinking and more on the path of reading up on what the heck I'm supposed to be doing in my current role.

Currently Reading:
  • A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink - Recommended to me by a friend whose career is in creating and teaching visual art. It's a look at the shift from the workplace putting more value on left-brain, logical-only thinking to more right-brain, creative thinking.
  • Lead I.T: Moving from Technical Leader to People Leader by Sharron Spratt - When I saw the review from +Karen Ferris I added it to my Kindle immediately. The title says it all.
  • First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman - Recommended by someone in a training session. I guess it's one of those basic reading requirements for people going into a management position.
  • The Iliad - Because I may not have been entirely sober when I read it in college (in fact I'm fairly certain I wasn't). It's time to read it again. Academic intros are full of bombast and impenetrable, unnecessary analysis. I like that I can skip them now. 
The on-deck circle is filled with many other titles. I gotta spend more time reading for sure.