The last thing you need is some senior VP, with a face on him like a slapped arse, standing at your desk demanding answers.
This leads to a conservatism in IT that seems to militate against your capacity to innovate or incorporate new ideas.
According to Susan Cramm, IT can fall in to several categories from butler to entrepreneur.
Cramm, who gained notoriety writing book called 8 Things We Hate About IT, said the butler is a “no muss, no fuss” person who stays in the background.
The entrepreneur, meanwhile, is driving the business forward using IT. And that is where a lot of us would prefer to be.
But are those roles opposed to each other? It would seem so, at first. Butlers smooth things down and make sure operations are working as intended.
Entrepreneurs are wheeler dealer, no-rules guys. Confident and extroverted, they are the kinds of people who employ butlers.
Then again, this is IT we are talking about. Not some game of stereotypes.
I would argue that you need to be a butler before you get promoted to entrepreneur. IT needs to ensure everything works fine. The dreaded phrase there is “keeping the lights on.”
The “mentality is reactive and sometimes even defensive,” according to Mike Kavis on the IT Toolbox.com blog.
It’s best not to hang around in that phase for too long — just enough to build up credibility as an organization that is reliable.
Then smack them in the kisser with your entrepreneurial flair and blindingly brilliant business insights.
Butler photo by Glamhag on Flickr.com.