Leadership by crisis

garden path comic

I have worked in many companies that have leadership by crisis. It is very interesting.

Working in IT what happens is there is an emergency and then the cause of that emergency is understood and then decisions are made to try to prevent it from happening again. All is well and good. What would be even more helpful is if IT people were listened to so that those issues wouldn’t happen.

In almost every company I have worked at, I have given warnings and tried to have proactive discussions about the risks I saw in a decision that was being considered. I often played out the pros/cons and when I was ignored I just waited for the issue to happen. I do not delight in having issues, rather I feel frustrated that they could have been avoided.

The problem is that often non-technical people make technical decisions. Or decisions are made on the basis of cost. Both of which cause issues and greater costs for a company.

I can understand why leaders want to make decisions that are easily accepted by employees. People feel that it is hard to get employees and giving employees whatever they want will make them happy. Yes, it will make them happy until they have a problem and then IT can’t fix it because of the chain of decisions that have gotten to that point.

Am I saying that IT needs to make a final and only determination of technical decisions? YES. If you pay someone for their experience why not use it? It always surprises me when people feel they are smarter than IT people. When they make decisions that IT doesn’t recommend. IT always takes the fall for IT issues, but often they don’t have any real power to affect decisions in a company. In that case, it demotivates the IT person because who wants to work where they aren’t valued?

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