Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The ITSM Universe Within
I’m reading an interesting book right now - “The Universe Within” by Neil Turok.’
The book begins with an explanation of the title. The author describes how one of the greatest strengths possessed by humans is our ability “To conceive of the universe within our minds”. It seems that (from a scientific perspective, at least) everything else going on in the universe is governed by mathematics and can ultimately be predicted. It was Galileo Galilei who is reported to have said “Mathematics is the language with which God wrote the universe.” Furthermore, Turok stresses that “Whether you lived two millennia ago or will live two millennia in the future, a circle is round, and 2+2=4.”
So, if it were not for the human mind and our ability to reason and conceive of new concepts, everything should be so easy to understand and predict. Of course as I read this I cannot help but relate back to our experiences in the more mundane world of IT service management. Connecting together activities, tools, money, timetables and many other resources can be complex, but should be finitely manageable - except for one more consideration .....
If we need yet another reminder, it’s the role and impact of People that increases risks, yet also provides us with the opportunity to innovate and make things better.
When making your IT service management plans I’d respectively suggest you limit the focus on documents, processes and tools, etc - and put more thought and effort into contemplating the vagaries of human behaviour, culture and attitudes, as well as their capabilities, needs and expectations.
Getting inside the heads of People might seem to be an impossible challenge - but it needs to be attempted. You need to consider “The ITSM Universe Within” the minds of your co-workers and customers.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
The WHATs and HOWs Of A Great IT Service Management Leader?
There are two types of leaders:
1. The Designated Leader - who has been appointed or promoted into the position.
2. The Self-Empowered Leader - who is not in a position of authority the same as A “Designated Leader”, but who demonstrates many of the qualities of a good leader.
I’ve talked about Self-Empowered Leaders in an earlier post. And if you’ve been following what I’ve said and written over the past couple of years you’ll know that the concept of “Self-Empowerment” is close to my heart.
Today, however, I want to focus on Designated Leaders. Designated Leaders in IT Service Management will usually have a title such as CIO or Director. They may even be the head of a more discrete team or project.
No matter what their title, this is WHAT we need from our Designated Leaders:
- Understanding of the greater goals of the organization, division or department. These “greater goals” are those which this Leader’s team have to support.
- Definition of relevant goals for their team. Whether it’s the whole of IT or a discrete team within IT - the Leader’s team needs to have their own objectives.
- A focus on the future - what it looks like and how we get there.
- Definition of the strategies and approaches to be adopted to achieve goals.
- Ability to clearly explain goals & strategies. Not just what they are, but why they’re important.
- Continual re-explanation and reinforcement of goals & strategies on a frequent basis.
- Provision of capabilities (resources) to the team. This includes funding, tools, knowledge & skills and time.
And these are the traits we need to observe in HOW our Designated Leaders go about their business:
- Honesty - telling the truth and not sugar-coating bad news.
- Integrity - walking the talk.
- Reliability - being available when needed, and providing consistent direction.
- Being true to their values and always doing the right thing.
- Showing a positive, confident and optimistic attitude.
- Determined and persistent - sticking to the task when the going gets tough.
- Inspiring and empowering others to act.
If the Leader can deliver on all of the above then they’ll generate trust, confidence and the respect of all they interact with - not only subordinates but also peers and higher-ups.
At Pink we’re considering how we can recognize the great leaders in our industry (watch out for more on this very soon). One thing’s for sure - anyone gaining recognition as a great ITSM leader has to have a profile that covers most of the WHATs and HOWs I’ve just outlined.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Extreme Leadership Lessons From Gregory Peck
Over the past few years I have written and talked a lot about leadership in IT service management. And it’s often been helpful to refer to general leadership examples elsewhere in society to illustrate such critical factors as communication, goal setting, integrity, empowerment, etc.
A few years ago I led a series of workshops at Pink events where we used the movie “The Guns of Navarone” to highlight the 8 step process for leading change that Professor John P. Kotter discuses in his leadership books. (To be perfectly honest, this workshop was originally developed by my good Pink buddies at the time - Jose Stijntjes, now with itSMF NL, and Paul Wilkinson, now with GamingWorks).
We all love a good adventure movie, especially the ones based on a big “project”. Some of my favourites being “The Magnificent Seven”, “The Great Escape” and “Indiana Jones”, but there was something quite special about “The Guns of Navarone”. It almost seemed like it had been scripted in order to fit Kotter’s teachings. How very convenient!
Well, a little while ago I heard about another special movie that teaches us many of these timeless key leadership principles. And last weekend I had the chance to watch it. As with “The Guns of Navarone” the leading character in “12 O’Clock High” is played by Gregory Peck. I actually found “12 O’Clock High” to be a much more interesting movie. It doesn’t have the glamour of any of the other movies I just mentioned, but it does have a most powerful, engaging and emotional storyline along with the valuable leadership messages. I’ve since learned that even though it was shot in 1949, it is still required viewing in many of the US services officer training schools and colleges. Timeless indeed!
To justify what I mean by “Extreme Leadership ...” here’s what Gregory Peck had to say to his men ...
” ... Stop making plans. Forget about going home. Consider yourselves dead. Once you accept that idea it won’t be so tough.”
Extreme indeed! You can watch a longer version of the speech in this video clip ...
Monday, February 25, 2013
Fatima’s Welcome Remarks From Pink13!
This year everyone attending Pink13 - Pink Elephant’s 17th Annual International ITSM Conference & Exhibition - were welcomed by Pink’s CEO, Fatima Cabral Ratcliffe.
Here’s what she had to say .....
On behalf of everyone here at Pink Elephant, it is my pleasure to welcome you to Pink13 - our 17th conference.
We are so very proud that this is the largest gathering of IT Service Management professionals in the world! Thank you so very much for choosing this as one of the education events you attend this year.
I remember when I welcomed everyone to our very first conference many years ago in the mid ‘90s – there were 70 people at that first conference, and we had only one post conference workshop - an ITIL Foundation Certification Course.
That was the start of the snowball. And, over the years the snowball has grown larger and larger, and today, we have an event that’s a week and a half long, with over 20 certification courses on the program, and close to 2000 attendees.
You know, at the beginning, we challenged IT professionals to embrace not just technical certifications, but to also learn about process management. And you did!
Over the past two decades, millions of people have learned about ITIL, ISO, Lean IT, Six Sigma, COBIT, just to name a few frameworks, standards, and models. While at one time, very few IT managers knew about process management certifications, today that is definitely not the case. And, we at Pink are proud of the major role we have played in this industry transformation.
But, with all this knowledge, there are still many IT organizations who are not seeing the results expected. Why is that? That’s a fair question.
As our opening video stated: Just having certification knowledge is not enough! Successful IT organizations know how to turn knowledge into skills, and they know how to turn skills into results. Let me expand on that: successful organizations know how to turn knowledge into changed behavior, and they know how to manage this changed behavior to generate desired outcomes and new cultures.
Many struggle with this, and so their IT service management initiatives often fail the first time around. There is a very famous quote about knowledge - have you heard it? It goes like this: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put one in a fruit salad!
But, you know the news is not all bad; there are organizations who do get it right! So, what are they doing, that others are not? There are several critical success factors for getting it right and our conference program is filled with dozens and dozens of presentations delivered by CIOs and other IT practitioners, IT and business experts, and our own Pink consultants, and also our amazing line up of keynotes. They will all share details about what these critical success factors are.
For now, I want to take a quick moment to tell you about just a couple of them myself. Through our education and consulting practices we are lucky to interact with thousands and thousands of IT professionals each year. And, we can see very clearly that there are commonalities amongst those organizations who are indeed very successful in turning knowledge into results.
One key ingredient is “leadership”. Leadership success at operational and tactical levels does matter, but it is the leadership capabilities of the most senior IT leaders that are most critical.
Successful IT leaders demonstrate what I call the 3 i’s of leadership – they know how to “inform”, they know how to “inspire”, they know how to “ignite”. We have these leaders on our conference program.
They have been successful because they found the right way to inform their teams about why change is urgent and necessary, and linking these reasons back to their businesses – the bigger whole.
They have found the right way to inspire their teams by making them feel emotionally connected in a very positive way to the change, and so they get people to buy in – they get them on board.
And, they have found the right way to ignite and spark enthusiasm in others by mobilizing and energizing them in very effective and productive ways.
And, successful IT leaders are also able to entrench a culture of continual service improvement (CSI) where improvement is not a one-time project, but rather it is managed as an ongoing, never ending cycle of Plan, Do, Check, Act. To these leaders, when it comes to CSI – there is no finish line.
So, I have a call to action to all of you, and here it is ...
As we move together through the conference over these next few days, I ask all of you to, not only share very granular operational successes and best practices at a process level – these are great. But, I ask that you also talk about and share successes about what your IT leadership is doing to inform, inspire and ignite.
And, you can keep sharing with others when you get back to work. You can join IT service management local interest groups to keep sharing on a regular basis. If you want to know if one of these networking groups exist in your community then visit Shari at the itSMF booth here in the exhibition hall.
Now, let me close off my welcome and opening remarks by saying ...
I hope that you will inspire others, with your stories.
I hope that you will be inspired to go back to your organizations and implement at least a few good ideas.
And most of all, I hope that you will leave here with a deeper understanding of what it really means to turn knowledge into results!
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
What’s The First “Thing” You Have To Get Right In ITSM?
We talk a lot about “business/IT alignment” (or “business/IT integration” - whatever!) The reason for this is because it makes sense to assure ourselves that ITSM practices are relevant and valued.
As a starting point I’d like to suggest a little thinking exercise (it’s a good idea to stop and think from time to time, right?) So think on this, and answer this question ....... what is the first “thing"ITSM must achieve in your business? I’ve listed 10 possible answers below. Can you chose THE most important objective for YOUR organization? Maybe it isn’t even in my list!
1. Is it to resolve incidents and problems quickly?
2. Is it to expedite changes quickly, with a high success rate?
3. Is it to keep the lights on with a high % of availability?
4. Is it to reduce the overall number of outages (reliability)?
5. Is it to be available to support customers at times when they need assistance?
6. Is it to directly help the business generate more revenues?
7. Is it to reduce costs?
8. Is it to secure data?
9. Is it to increase efficiency and productivity out in the business?
10. Is it to help the business grow?
I can imagine you’re thinking “Yes - it’s all of those things!” But which is the most important? Is it possible to identify what’s most important? Is it even helpful to do so?
I think it is, because no matter how well you do SOME things, there’s often an initial objective that must be met before all others become relevant.
I’ll tell you why I’ve been pondering this. Elsewhere I’ve been asking myself the same question - to see if, as a customer, I can identify what’s most important to me when choosing (and paying for) a service provider. This was all prompted by a book I read just last week written by Christopher Hitchens called “Mortality”. It was his last book. In it he described the healthcare he was receiving after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. You may say that the most important criterion would be something like: being treated by the best doctors; or being provided a choice of treatment options; or having access to the most effective treatments; or the most affordable treatment; or a treatment regimen that doesn’t impinge too much on your quality of your life; etc. For me, in that situation, it would be have to be speed of access to services. The reason for this is because it doesn’t matter how good, or how cheap or how affective the treatments may be - if there’s too long of a delay in seeing someone to get started ....... well, you know ......!
Here’s a few more examples:
Choosing A Restaurant.
There’s lots of criteria to assess, but for me the #1 is whether I feel safe eating there. Is it clean and no risk to my health? If I look through the window and don’t get a good feeling for how clean the place is, then I don’t care about the plaudits, or the quality of food, or the value for money, or the ambiance, etc.
Choosing An Airline
Usually the in-flight announcements say “Safety is our #1 priority ...” and I’m always glad to hear that. But to be honest, I assume that most airlines operate to similar safety standards, so the #1 selection criterion for me is “Do they fly to the place I want to go on the day and time I want to travel”. Some people might make the cost of the ticket the #1 priority, and I can understand that, but often there’s not a lot of difference in fares because it’s so competitive. So I gravitate to the schedule when making my decision. Sure, I compare one airline against another in areas of seat comfort, food & beverage service (or lack thereof!), customer service, rewards program, etc. But whoever goes to my destination on days & times closest to what I need usually gets my business.
Choosing A Supermarket
Being just around the corner is not good enough. Advertising the lowest prices isn’t that big a deal either. What does attract my scrutiny is the quality of the non-brand name produce and how well it’s prepared, packaged and presented. The store has to have stuff that looks appealing (and safe!) to me. I react positively to fresh, healthy food presented in an attractive way. I’ll even pay a little extra for that.
So, what do you think the first “thing” is you have to get right in ITSM?
Leadership • Practices • Rants • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
My 1, 2, 3 of ITSM: Or, What Is IT Service Management REALLY All About?
It seems to be something about human nature that we’re always seeking quick and easy solutions to our problems. We prefer not to admit that some challenges are complex and need a lot of consideration. Instead we get sucked into the idea that there must be a simple “flick of a switch” solution. The so-called “Magic Bullet”.
The world of IT Service Management is no different. Sourcing an eclectic mix of infrastructure and applications and managing it all with close to 100% availability and reliability. Oh - and do it for less than what it cost last year!
That’s a complex challenge, right?
No - it’ll be quick and easy if we just buy this state-of-the-art ITSM tool; or if we implement a best practice process framework (such as ITIL). Better still - buy one of those tools that come with ITIL out-of-the-box. (“I’ll have that big tool over there, and a pound of ITIL please!”) Problem solved!
Those Magic Bullets never work. What does work is the hard graft of making sure those working in ITSM know:
- What the business needs from IT; so we know what’s important, and what isn’t.
- Which IT objectives and priorities truly enable the business; so we know what activities we should be focused on.
- The ITSM metrics that really help; so we know when we’re on track.
- What everyone’s responsibilities are; so we know how we can work together effectively.
- How to deal with out of order situations; so we can keep things going when we’re under stress.
- The policies and procedures that govern our decisions; so we can apply them, or not, with confidence.
Notice everything I’ve just said is not dependent solely on which tool we use. Tools help with productivity and consistency, but they don’t always drive the right thinking or the right behaviour. Same goes for Processes. A well documented process will guide us to be efficient and consistent, but doesn’t help much when it comes to understanding WHY we need to do something. This is where good communication and thinking skills come in.
The most valuable variable in any ITSM organization is the quality of the People. Enabling people is more about giving them intangibles like knowledge, time and support than fancy tools & techniques.
I remember a survey of business managers a few years ago asked the question “When your staff under-perform, what are the reasons?”
The answers were not “They don’t have the right Tools” or “They’re working with no Processes”. The actual answers were startling:
- They don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing.
- They don’t know why they should be doing it.
- They don’t know how to do it.
- They don’t know when they’re doing it wrong.
- They work on the wrong things.
Seems like there’s a bigger management and leadership problem than a staff problem.
IT Service Management, like many other business functions, is all about leading and managing people. That is, providing an understanding of the purpose of ITSM and truly enabling people to be successful.
Sure, Tools and Processes have important roles to play, especially today when we’re trying to be so super-productive and avoid repeating errors. But it’s the People on your team who do the day-to-day thinking, make the decisions, produce the plans, prioritize activities, deal with out-of-order situations and ultimately deliver worthwhile outcomes. So, if you’re an IT leader, you need to enable them with knowledge, time and your support as well as tools and instructions.
By the way, I regularly see references to the “PPT of ITSM”, where PPT = People, Processes & Tools. My version looks like this:
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Friday, November 16, 2012
Justifying Your Next Big Idea Means Entering The Dragon’s Den Of ITSM
One of my favourite TV shows is “Dragon’s Den”. At least that’s what it’s called here in Canada and in the UK. In the USA it’s called “Shark Tank” but I prefer “Dragon’s Den”!
The premise is that if you have what you think is a good business idea you can present a proposal to a team of rich entrepreneurs (the Dragons) and try to convince them to invest in you.
In ITSM, there’s 3 Dragons you need to keep in mind.
The CIO Dragon (see how small you are!)
The CFO Dragon (you’re still smaller!)
The CEO Dragon (small again!)
Each one has a different viewpoint when it comes to assessing your next big idea. So keep in mind:
The CIO Dragon - Is focused primarily on IT resources, particularly risks to current performance and existing projects. So what will be the impact of your Big Idea to what’s currently going on in IT? And remember, the CIO may well be your boss, so you have to make him/her look good. Promoting a Big Idea that jeopardizes IT resources, projects and image will not go down well.
The CFO Dragon - Is focused primarily on revenues and/or costs. So do you know how much your Big Idea will improve the bottom line of your organization? You better be ready to answer that. If you can describe the costs accurately and the end result is an improvement to business financial results - how can the CFO argue with you?
The CEO Dragon - Is focused primarily on business objectives. Do you know what they are?! If not - find out and make sure you make reference to the positive effect your Big Idea will have in enabling those objectives. The CEO isn’t really that concerned with what’s going on in IT, so he/she may well be an ally if your CIO is being over-cautious. Just as long as there’s a worthwhile business benefit.
Good luck, and let me know how you get on!
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
PinkChile12: My Keynote & “Dragon’s Den” Materials
Here are the materials from my two talks at Pink’s 3rd Annual IT Service Management Conference here in Santiago, Chile this morning.
First, the opening keynote, where I discussed the leadership qualities we all should identify and try to develop within us. You do NOT have to be in a position of authority to demonstrate good leadership qualities:
And my second session, where I discussed entering the “Dragon’s Den” when seeking approval for ITSM improvement projects. Go into the “Dragon’s Den” unprepared and you’ll be eaten alive! Make sure you’re well prepared by having ready answers to the Dragon’s predictable questions - and you can walk out of the Den with whatever you need - as long as your project makes sense!
Events • Leadership • Practices • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink
Monday, August 20, 2012
1st Annual IT Service Management Leadership Forum
Just got back from the lovely Fairmont Princess Resort in Scottsdale, AZ (“But it’s a DRY heat!”) where we discussed 24+ primary issues facing IT service management leaders today. Everything from “Business/IT Alignment”, to “Meaningful ITSM Metrics”, to “Proving The Value Of Frameworks in ITSM” - and so much more.
Thanks to all the guest Subject Matter Experts as well as the practitioner participants who made the whole 2-days a most illuminating, and fun, experience.
Watch out for the 1st Annual IT Service Management Leadership Report, summarizing all the discussions, advice and recommendations from the event. It will be published - in e-format - very soon and will be a free download from the Pink website!
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Ideas For Keynote Speakers At Pink13
We’re at that time of year when we have to be decisive about keynote speakers for the Annual Conference. We already have one confirmed, Sally Hogshead, who will talk on the Tuesday morning about how to get others excited about your ideas.
Remember, I have blogged before about the criteria we apply when assessing our potential keynotes. We’re looking for speakers who can EDUCATE, INSPIRE & ENTERTAIN. Sally definitely fits the bill. Now, here’s something of a random short-list of other options we’re looking at for the remaining keynote slots. I wonder what you think about them, feel free to let me know.
Matt Ridley has a different perspective on the subject of “ideas”. In fact the title of his talk really grabs your attention - “When Ideas Have Sex”. I have to admit I’m a sucker for everything Matt Ridley writes. His book Genome is one of my all-time favourite reads.
Charles Duhigg has recently released an interesting book - “The Power Of Habit” - where he explains, amongst other things, what we need to do to break unwanted habits. I can think of a few habits I’d like to break! See him talk about the concept here:
Is there anyone in North America who isn’t already familiar with Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger? We may know what he did (emergency landed a plane on the Hudson River in January 2009), but there’s a heck of a back-story about the man’s mind-set and his methods. What I really like about what Sully has done since he hit the news is that instead of simply writing a book about his own experiences he’s actually knocked on doors, researched and interviewed others about stories of vision and courage from “America’s Leaders”. You can read all this in his book “Making A Difference”, or maybe come along to Pink13 and hear what he has to say (and get him to sign your copy)! I saw him a couple of weeks ago on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and here’s the clip:
And, just for fun, watch what David Letterman did with the “Sully Story” .....
For me, one of the smartest men on the planet right now is Neil deGrasse Tyson. Do you think he’d be a good fit for Pink13?
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Thursday, May 24, 2012
Leadership Fun In Mexico
I enjoyed talking to our customers at the opening to the 8th Annual ITSM Conference in Mexico City yesterday. The session kicked off with a short video highlighting leadership qualities demonstrated by recognizable leaders from the past and present. I can’t post the video here, but I have included a copy of all the still images and statements in this file. BTW, how many of these great leaders can you name?
However, the point I wanted to make in my talk was that you don’t have to be a “Designated Leader” with great power over resources in order to show leadership. We can all be “Everyday Leaders” in the eyes of our co-workers and friends if we demonstrate some of the qualities I outlined.
Look through these PowerPoint slides to get a better idea of what I discussed; including suggestions for what we can do to improve our leadership abilities when we’re not in charge.
What do you think? Have you seen leadership in action from those who aren’t in charge?
UPDATE - Just loaded the video to YouTube!
Events • Leadership • Travel • Videos • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Summer Travels - Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore & Arizona!
Just been reviewing my calendar and realized I have a busy travel schedule over the next few weeks. We have 4 major Pink events in 4 different countries and I’m speaking on the subject of “ITSM Leadership” at each one. Here’s the full run down ....
“8th Annual ITSM Conference” in Mexico City next week.
My opening keynote is titled “ITSM Leadership: You Don’t Need To Be In Charge To Get Results”.
“4th Annual ITSM Conference & Exhibition” presented mid-July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia & Singapore.
I’m involved in 3 sessions:
- The opening keynote - “Key Challenges For The ITSM Leader Today” - where I’ll specifically include references to what I believe are challenges unique to delivering ITSM in Asia.
- A co-presentation with Pink’s George Spalding titled “Pink Elephant’s Top 8 Absolute Must Do Projects For Every ITSM Organization”
- The closing “Round-Table With The ITSM Experts” which I chair, and will be joined by Cathy Kirch of Allstate, Jerry York of University of Texas Health Science Center, Rich Razon of PureShare and Pink’s own Troy DuMoulin & George Spalding.
“1st Annual ITSM Leadership Forum” presented mid-August in Scottsdale, Arizona.
I’m really excited about this new event on our calendar! Not only are we presenting it at one of my favourite venues, the Fairmont Princess Resort, but also because of the format. We’re facilitating a series of deep discussions into a couple of dozen high priority concerns that ITSM leaders are struggling with today. I present the opening and closing keynotes as well as facilitate a breakout discussion group:
- The opening keynote is titled “Vision, Strategy & Leadership In IT Service Management”.
- The closing keynote is a repeat of what I present in Mexico next week - “ITSM Leadership: You Don’t Need To Be In Charge To Get Results”.
- And the breakout discussion is all about how the Cloud can be exploited by ITSM - “Should ITSM Tools Be Located On Premise Or In The Cloud As SaaS?”. A little provocative sounding, maybe, but a topic many of our customers want to talk about.
Let me know if you’re planning to be at one of these events and I’ll make a point of looking you up to say “Hi!” (or “¡Hola”).
Events • Leadership • Travel • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink
Thursday, March 08, 2012
The Reason Doris Day Is Not An IT Leader
In my opening remarks at Pink12 a couple of weeks ago I said we need better leadership in IT Service Management. Here’s why ....
Do you let your employees decide what IT equipment to use?
Do you allow your competitors to talk to your customers?
Do you permit total strangers to decide where your data is stored?
A few years ago these questions would seem ridiculous. Today the answer to all of them is “Yes!”
Through consumerization and the bewildering distribution of IT services everywhere across the Web and in the Cloud – corporate IT is evolving. We don’t just manage large, stable, internal IT infrastructures any more.
I believe the ITSM professionals in many organizations are not thinking enough about this evolution. There is still a big gap between where many of us currently view the role of ITSM, and where it should be.
“IT 1.0” (internal, fixed & expensive) is evolving into “IT 2.0” (anywhere, dynamic & cheap) - and we need to start paying attention.
We can’t claim this is a surprise, otherwise this would be a revolution not evolution. The first indications came a long time ago - with Mobile IT. From ITSM’s perspective it was easy just to look the other way. At best we lazily threw some quick policies in that direction, such as “Approved devices only ….” or “Don’t do that!” And we secured the networks.
But as our users and customers became ever more knowledgeable and demanding they also became ever more mobile and resourceful. They bought their own stuff; configuring and supporting it themselves. Many of these services can be activated almost instantly, and some are even available for free. So, how can we resist?
Now, with Mobile IT, Cloud IT & Social IT we see that IT 2.0 is coming of age. Huge amounts of services - not just infrastructure - are now outside of our control.
So what does this really mean? Well, I have two more questions:
Question #1: Do you understand the risks, and are you managing them?
The risks of increased data insecurity because of loss of control. The risks of potential brand damage because everyone has an opinion and can express it. The risks of lost productivity because of a distracted, unsupervised or unsupported workforce.
If you need examples, there’s plenty.
How many more times are we going to hear about personal data being compromised when a careless employee leaves a portable device in a taxi-cab?
And type “QANTAS social media” into your search engine and see what pops up. Or “TripAdvisor social media”, or “MacDonald’s social media”, or “Toyota social media”. All of these prominent organizations have IT 2.0 disaster stories to tell. Some are self-inflicted and others caused by 3rd party mischief-makers. But they’re still risks that existed, and went un-heeded. If we’d still been in the IT 1.0 world - someone in IT Service Management would have shouted “computer error!” But you can’t do that with IT 2.0 because now what happens in IT, no longer stays in IT. It’s out there for all to blog, tweet, read and talk about.
And there’s more disasters on the way – just as long as we stand back and let them happen. People just love IT disasters, especially IT people!
In the world of IT 1.0 we did risk management and came up with creative solutions & services to help our business. But who’s doing that with IT 2.0?
Question #2: Do you understand the opportunities, and are you seizing the right ones?
The opportunities to actually increase security, and uptime. The opportunities to reduce costs or increase worker productivity. The opportunities to engage positively with customers and enhance your brand or standing in the community.
Wake up! IT 2.0 is here to stay. Get used to it and give it some attention. The genie is out of the bottle. These technologies cannot be un-invented – and they shouldn’t be. You need to learn about them, so you can manage the risks and opportunities.
Doris Day may have sung “Que sera, sera” – but she didn’t work in IT, you do!
I know there’s a lot to think about here. The good news is if you’ve worked in IT Service Management for a while you likely already have the skills to be able to tackle these issues. Just stop thinking IT 1.0 and increase your knowledge of IT 2.0.
What strategy should we go with? Research, think, decide and act!
What are the risks of doing this or that? Research, think, decide and act!
What are the risks of doing nothing? Research, think, decide & act!
What kind of opportunities might we be missing? Research, think, decide and act!
What policies should we set? Research, think, decide and act!
So when I say “IT Service Management needs to evolve” - how should this happen?
Let’s take a step back for a second.
ITIL tells us to pay attention to the 4 Ps - People, Process, Products & Partners (whoever came up with the idea of linking key components with a common capital letter was just being a bit opportunistic I think – but it does get our attention). While Tools (the Product P) and Suppliers (the Partner P) are clearly important – as well as Processes, you cannot be assured of success just by making good choices in those areas. The People component is the real linchpin here, and that’s what I want to talk about now.
For me it always starts, and sustains, because of People. Frameworks provide useful guidance, consistency of approach and some good options and ideas - but that’s just knowledge. To generate worthwhile results we need to look to the People component; execution; and the quality of leadership in particular.
With decent leadership we can work within any Culture and Structure, on any Strategy, and still deliver worthwhile results.
So I’d like you to step forward and lead. You can do it, you really can! Don’t confuse authority with leadership, or leadership with management. Anyone can lead, you don’t need approval, or a title.
Good leadership is about influencing and helping others to achieve a common goal. A vision can come from anywhere, but a good leader communicates and reinforces the vision; and helps others to act in accordance with it.
We already have some good leaders in IT Service Management. Many of them come along to Pink Conferences and share their stories. But I’d like to see more evidence that our leaders in ITSM can embrace the challenges and opportunities of IT 2.0.
Corporate IT is no longer the sole provider of IT services to the business. These services are out there in the ether, on the Web. Being dreamt up by innovators who don’t work for us and who sometimes don’t even know where they’re headed! These new services are being tried out by everyone – often without a goal in mind. They’re just experimenting. Much falls by the wayside, but some of it sticks. And some of it can be incredibly valuable. If only we’d open our eyes and recognize the opportunities. Our business needs people to lead the way! That’s what I’m getting at here.
As a worker in Corporate IT I urge you to step forward and show some leadership. Learn about IT 2.0 and encourage your co-workers to do the same. Research, think, decide and act! Evaluate the risks and opportunities. Talk with your subordinates, peers and managers – and start to make some decisions.
Remember, good leaders are made, not born. So if you need to improve your leadership skills, do it!
1. Observe, listen and understand - get yourself informed.
2. Then talk, consider and decide – on actions.
3. And inform, influence and empower – those around you.
Be an IT Service Management leader. Help your organization to understand how IT 2.0 is here to stay, and needs proactive attention.
Leave “Que sera, sera” to Doris Day.
Leadership 101: Values & Attitudes Trump Skills & Knowledge!
Thanks to fellow Pinker, Pattie Lanktree, for uncovering this article in Forbes about the IBM Executive School.
It’s interesting to learn what happened, way back in 1955, when IBM’s CEO Tom Watson, Jr instructed Louis R. Mobely to create a school to develop executives at IBM. Mobley assumed it would be pretty straightforward. After all, he’d recently succeeded in his previous task, to create a development program for managers & supervisors. Mobley’s assumption was that he just needed to do the same thing again:
1. Identify the skills & knowledge needed by a good executive.
2. Build the education programs accordingly.
3. And validate the effectiveness through testing.
However, while this approach worked for the management & supervisory program, it didn’t work for the executive program!
Read the article, written by August Turak, to discover what Mobley found - that values and attitudes were the characteristics that made a good leader, not skills and knowledge.
Turak lists 10 Leadership lessons from Mobley’s experience. I particularly like the fact that Mobley eventually abandoned “lectures & books” and turned to “games, simulations and other experiential techniques” to develop IBM’s leaders. Fits in with what we’re discovering at Pink as we learn more about what makes a good leader in IT Service Management.
For example, the official ITIL certification program may be an effective way to learn the basic knowledge and some skills needed to work with ITSM the ITIL way. But you can’t just rely on that if you aim to implement meaningful and lasting changes in work practices. A more useful technique is “ITSM In Action: The Apollo 13 Simulation Workshop” to really bring home the changes in attitudes and behaviour needed to get the right things done.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
My Presentation - “4 Rules For Transferring Knowledge Into Results”
Certification • Events • Leadership • Practices • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink